Legal aid reinstated for separated children

Legal Updates

Over the last decade, drastic legal aid cuts have left many to navigate the asylum and immigration system unrepresented.

In England and Wales, non-asylum immigration matters are generally not eligible for legal aid (free legal advice where the government pays the legal representative directly for their work).

Last week, there was some rare good news when the government announced that separated children would once again get legal aid for immigration/citizenship issues:

This amendment brings non-asylum immigration and citizenship matters into the scope of legal aid for under 18s who are not in the care of a parent, guardian or legal authority including legal aid for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

This includes for care leavers if their immigration claim started while they were under 18.

Legal aid is reinstated for these cases from 25 October 2019.

Congratulations to The Children’s Society, Just for Kids Law and all else who have campaigned long and hard for this result!

December 2019 update: charities working with separated migrant children have published guidance on accessing this newly reinstated legal aid.

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