A guide to the UK immigration
and asylum system and
taking action for the right to remain

About this Toolkit

The Right to Remain Toolkit is a guide to the UK immigration and asylum system. It gives an overview of the legal system and procedures, with detailed information on rights and options at key stages, and actions you can take in support of your claim, or to help someone else.

Understanding the asylum and immigration system, and your own legal case, is more important than ever. Cuts to legal aid (free, government-funded legal representation) mean that more and more people have no lawyer at all and are forced to navigate this very complicated system without legal representation.

Take an active role in your legal case. The Right to Remain Toolkit will help you do this. Even if you have a lawyer, it’s important to understand your own legal case – this is your case and your life and you need to keep track of what is happening and whether the lawyer is doing the things they should be. You will also know what you and your supporters can do to help strengthen the legal case. Look out for the yellow ACTION SECTION boxes throughout the Toolkit!

Don't try and get through this alone. Have good people around you who can support you. With people standing by you in solidarity, you are more likely to be able to keep going, and keep fighting for justice in your case.

Know your rights at different stages of the system, and know what the options are for the stage you are at. Knowing what could come next will help you prepare. The Right to Remain Toolkit will help you do this.

Who made the Toolkit, and why?

The Toolkit was made, and is kept updated, by Right to Remain: a national migrant rights organisation providing resources and support to assist people in the immigration and asylum system. Since 2013, the Toolkit has been developed with migrant community support groups to become our primary resource. This new, updated and expanded version was published in March 2016.

Put simply, we made the Toolkit because migrant community groups asked us to. Over the years, UK governments have introduced ever harsher immigration controls, laws and procedures to discourage or prevent people establishing their rights to live in the UK. With or without a lawyer, immigration and asylum applicants face significant legal and procedural barriers to securing their rights.

Thank you

The funds to research, write, design, publish this resource came from public donations.

We would like to thank all the individuals, groups and organisations who donated - without your help this vital resource would never have been published. Special thanks go to the Iona Community for the many donations from members, and to Garden Court Chambers for their generous donation.

We are committed to keeping the Toolkit continuously up to date, and to do this we must keep bringing in more money. If you work for a funded organisation and use the Toolkit, or if you can afford to help, please consider making a donation for its upkeep.

The information is provided free, and you are free to use it, adapt it, remix it, and share it, as long as it is not for profit and subject to certain conditions, including that you credit Right to Remain and you link to the original source. Read more about these share-alike terms here.

START HERE: YOUR LEGAL CASE