For over 25 years Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit has been supporting people subject to immigration control.

We offer the following services to the communities in Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

Asylum Support Housing Advice (ASHA) was set up in October 2004 by Tony Openshaw who had previously worked for the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns. In 2015 Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit took over the running of the organisation. The project continues to provide support, advocacy and advice for asylum seekers whose applications have been refused and fully determined, and whose status renders them homeless and destitute.

We aim to protect people’s rights to housing and food and lift people out of poverty while also giving advice about rights and other sources of support to enhance wellbeing. We run two drop in advice sessions started at 9.30 am on Wednesday and Thursday. We can only see the first 15 people on each day, and offer the following support:

  • Application for asylum support (formerly NASS)
  • Asylum support appeals
  • Applications for extra payments for children and exceptional needs
  • Help to find legal aid solicitors
  • Help with healthcare (registering with GP, challenging NHS fees, applying for NHS fee exemption)
  • Referrals to homeless charities, welfare charities and social services
  • Referrals for food parcels
  • Signposting to organisations to help with status housing and benefit advice

We run 2 drop-ins per week which are open to anyone seeking advice for support and housing services outlined above. We open the door at 9.30 am on Wednesday and Thursday and can only see approximately fifteen people each day. Please arrive early in order to avoid disappointment.

We also accept referrals from partner organisations and can arrange individual appointments if the person is not able to attend the drop in.

Asylum Support Housing Advice
159 Princess Road, Moss Side
Manchester
M14 4RE
Tel: 0161 227 8555
Fax: 0161 227 8585
Email: info@asha.gmiau.org

Our Young People’s Support Worker offers support and advocacy to young people who would benefit from support with practical issues such as:

  • Accessing specialist services
  • Accessing education
  • Attending appointments and interviews
  • Communicating with other professionals
  • Advocating for their rights and entitlements

We also run the All4One group which is a safe social space for children and young people between the ages of 13 and 21 who are seeking asylum or have been trafficked, and are living on their own in Manchester. The group meets monthly on a Saturday for fun activities, trips and events. The group is a great place to meet other young people, make friends, have fun, build confidence and get to know Manchester.

The Safer Lives project aims to make sure that women with insecure immigration status and who are at risk and vulnerable to violence, danger and/or exploitation, access support, advice and advocacy to leave the situation they are in and secure a place of safety. Women will typically have “no recourse to public funds” or believe so, and will be experiencing domestic violence, trafficking, forced labour, prostitution and other forms of gender based violence. As part of the GMIAU team, the project worker is working alongside the immigration legal advisers who are experts on all issues of immigration, asylum, nationality and human rights.

The worker provides a safe meeting place and be the first point of contact for women who need immediate support and advice to secure safety and who have immigration issues preventing them doing so. She will take down detailed information and make an assessment of the urgency of the situation. She will then advice and assist on practical steps needed to be taken to ensure immediate safety and will help her with this.

The worker will then help her identify and access safe, emergency accommodation appropriate to her needs and help her take steps to protect her children if necessary. The worker will also be offering:

  • Emotional & practical support with interpreters as necessary.
  • Access to specialist services in relation to women’s experiences of gender based violence.
  • Access to statutory and voluntary services around Greater Manchester.
  • Advocacy and support and advice to ensure barriers to safety, particularly those around immigration issues, are broken down.
  • Education and information for relevant service providers to improve responses, work together towards more effective referral systems and to ensure safe outcomes for women with insecure immigration.
  • Support women to maximise their income and access their financial entitlements.
  • Empowerment of women through informing them on their rights and entitlements.

The project worker is based at GMIAU and agencies can ring or email to arrange a meeting at the safe place identified between the woman, the project worker and the referrer. Women can self-refer by ringing the main office.

In April 2013 the government changed the law in relation to funding for refugee family reunion cases, and the project was set up in response to these cuts. We are committed to making sure that refugees can assert their right to family reunion and will do so in whatever ways we can.
The purpose of this project is to assist refugees and those who have been granted humanitarian protection to be reunited with their families in the UK. This project aims to help refugees to prepare their own application, with volunteers providing assistance.

If you thinking of coming to the Manchester drop-in advice service on Tuesday morning, please make sure to bring the following:

  • All documents relating to your case
  • Your Passport
  • Letters from the Home Office
  • Anything relating to previous decisions
  • Any evidence you have to support your case
  • Any evidence that you are financially eligible for Legal Help.
  • Evidence of your income, savings, and regular outgoings and living costs which may include recent pay-slips, bank statements, NASS or social services letters.

We accept written referrals for immigration legal advice and representation, from individuals and from agencies.

Please use the Referral Form below. Referrals may only be accepted from the North West of England. We cannot respond to referrals from anywhere else. Written referrals are considered once a week unless the matter is urgent.

Please send the completed form, together with copies of all Home Office and Tribunal decisions to:

Email: referrals@gmiau.org
Fax: 0161 740 5172
Post to: Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, 1 Delaunays Road, Crumpsall, Manchester M8 4QS
In person: Call into the office with a completed copy of the referral form together with the necessary documents.