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21 Immigration and Nationality

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1. Introduction

2. Do I need permission to come to the UK?

3. How is entry to the UK controlled?

4. What sort of permission do I need to come to the UK?

5. What if I want to work in the UK?

6. What restrictions are there after I´ve arrived in the UK?

7. What if I want to settle in the UK?

8. What if my application is refused?

9. What if I stay longer than I am allowed to?

10. Who has a right to British nationality?

11. How can I become a British citizen?

12. Where can I get help with my immigration application?

If you are making an application or appeal, and you do not have enough money to pay for a lawyer, you should be able to get specialist help or advice free through the Community Legal Service. See '' for more about how to do this.

It is against the law for someone to offer advice or help with immigration cases unless they work under the rules of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (see 'Further Help' for details), or belong to a professional body such as the Law Society (for solicitors) or the Bar Council (for barristers).

Your adviser must tell you in writing:

  • what service you can expect;
  • who to complain to if you are not happy with the service;
  • whether you will have to pay, and if so how it is worked out; and
  • how to contact your adviser when you need to.

If you pay for immigration advice and have no income or a very low income, your adviser must also tell you that you can get free advice.

If you are not happy with any immigration advice, or think any charge you have to pay is unfair, you can complain to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (see 'Further help' for details).

What if I need an interpreter?
If you need an interpreter, the immigration authorities will provide one for any interview they carry out, as long as you tell them you need one. Your legal representative should also find an interpreter for you when you see them. You won’t have to pay for this if you get free legal help.

Remember, the interpreter is there to help you to communicate. They should just translate what is said, not give advice or answer questions for you. You should try to avoid using friends or family members for translating all but the simplest advice.

13. Terms used in immigration and nationality matters

14. Further help

15. About this leaflet


This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and Mick Chatwin, a barrister and solicitor specialising in immigration law.

Leaflet Version: June 2006

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