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You may be aware from media and news reports that the political climate has adversely impacted the lives of settled and undocumented migrants in the United Kingdom. Following the BREXIT referendum on 23 June 2016, EU migrants now face uncertainty, and worrying times with regards to their status in the UK, as the Government negotiate a strategy for exiting the European Union. From September 2016, the Department of Education is now asking all children in schools in England to bring in their passports and birth certificates to prove their nationality and country of birth, which has caused great concern amongst teachers and parents alike.

The Immigration Act 2016, and its predecessor, the Immigration Act 2014, not only makes changes to immigration law and practice, but also extends immigration control into other areas such as housing, social welfare and employment. Unfortunately, consistent cuts to the Legal Aid budget, has meant legal aid is either not available, or is harder to get for many people with immigration problems. Resources in this area are limited, and as a consequence, Citizens Advice Waltham Forest has noticed an increase in the demand for immigration advice.

Citizens Advice are committed to providing high quality advice and information, and in May 2016 Citizen Advice Waltham Forest launched its fee paying Immigration Service. The service is staffed by fully qualified Immigration and Asylum caseworkers, who are registered by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. The service, which offers a free consultation, assistance with applications, and full casework support at competitive rates, is available to anyone who lives outside the London Borough of Waltham Forest and needs immigration advice and guidance.

Adhering to our aims and principles, Citizens Advice Waltham Forest’s Immigration service aims to ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge of the immigration laws and their rights. We hope that you will share the details of our service with your colleagues, and with   individuals you feel may benefit from our service. Please find attached our poster, with details of the service provided, which we hope you will display in your school.