Our Aim

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) exists to advise, support, represent and campaign with people subject to immigration control.

Our aim is to ensure access to justice for survivors of torture, trafficking, human rights abuse and conflict, as well as divided families and others who are in need and affected by immigration controls.

Our Objectives

  • To provide free, confidential, independent information, advice, representation and advocacy services to the communities within our funding area.
  • To assist such individuals trying to obtain entry/leave to remain in the UK for themselves and/or for family members.
  • To liaise and develop links with other agencies dealing with immigration, asylum and nationality issues.
  • To promote access to justice for those subject to immigration control.
  • To provide support to individual and national campaigns.
  • To provide training on asylum, immigration and nationality issues.

Our Activities

In pursuit of these objectives, GMIAU undertakes the following:

  • Individual advice and representation, casework, and all stages of legal immigration advice and representation to people subject to immigration control.
  • Support for particular groups of people affected by immigration control including, currently, people who are destitute, women seeking asylum who have been subject to gender-based violence, unaccompanied children and young people, and refugees with a right to family reunion.
  • To promote and raise awareness of the issues affecting people subject to immigration control, and provide training, workshops, and events to highlight these issues and promote improved understanding and practice.
  • To work with others to secure and develop advice provision in the North West.
  • To develop policy responses and campaign to support people subject to immigration control and under threat of deportation.

Our Services

We offer the following services to the communities of Greater Manchester and Merseyside area:

  • Immigration Advice
  • Asylum and housing support
  • Supporting children and young people
  • Supporting women at risk
  • Supporting families with no recourse to public funds
  • Refugee family reunion project

We continue to represent over 1,000 people at any one time and provide advice to over 5,000 men, women, children and agencies annually.

Our Impact

In the year April 2016 to March 2017:

  • We took on 839 new immigration and asylum cases and 440 of our clients granted Leave to Remain in the same period
  • We supported 156 new immigration cases for children and 94 under 18s get Leave to Remain
  • We represented over 70 adults who are the victims of trafficking
  • We supported over 600 clients at our homelessness and destitution project
  • We helped 104 refugees bring 183 close family members to the UK under the family reunion rules
  • We provided intensive support to 35 unaccompanied young people and children and ran a social group for 23-35 young people each month.
  • We supported 324 women at risk of harm, securing emergency accommodation for 27 women to escape violent, exploitative or dangerous situations.
  • In addition to our direct work with clients, we have developed and supported volunteers and students on placement, produced research and briefing papers on elements of the asylum system and provided training to key stakeholders.

Want to know more about our work and impact? Have a look at our 2021 Report.