For almost 30 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.

Our team specializes in providing expert legal advice and representation on all issues of immigration, nationality, asylum and human rights. We provide outreach services to people in detention who are facing deportation, and dedicated services for people who are particularly vulnerable (victims of torture, trafficking, rape and domestic violence, and children).

All our immigration caseworkers and solicitors are accredited by the Law Society and maintain an up to date knowledge of all aspects of immigration and asylum law and practice.

We represent people at every stage of the legal process. We also, where necessary, instruct expert counsel to represent our clients. We are committed to challenging discrimination and encouraging and promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures.

GMIAU is regulated by the OISC, Registered No: N201000004

Manchester

We no longer operate an in-person drop in service. Please ring our advice line 0161 740 7722.

GMIAU
1 Delaunays Road, Crumpsall Green
Manchester, M8 4QS
Tel: 0161 740 7722
Fax: 0161 740 5172
Email: info@gmiau.org

Liverpool

GMIAU has two offices in Liverpool, providing asylum legal advice and representation. Access to the services at the Liverpool offices is by appointment only.

To contact the GMIAU office directly, phone 0161 740 7722 and we will put you through to the relevant Liverpool office.

Merseyside Law Centre
1st Floor, 35-37 Bold Street
Liverpool L1 4DN

Asylum Link Merseyside
St. Anne’s Centre
7 Overbury Street
Liverpool L7 3HJ

Our destitution team supports people with a wide range of issues relating to homelessness and destitution.

Being able to combine our knowledge of immigration routes out of destitution along with knowledge of the support available for those facing homelessness is key to resolving destitution for the long term. The team includes a Social Worker/ Service Manager, level 2 OISC caseworker, level 1 OISC caseworker and volunteers. We are also very grateful to the Social Work students who undertake their placement with GMIAU and provide invaluable support to people facing homelessness.

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 offer the following support:

  • Application for asylum support (formerly NASS)
  • Asylum support appeals
  • Applications for extra payments for children and exceptional needs
  • Applications to change the “NRPF” condition on someone’s leave to remain
  • Late applications to the EUSS for homeless people
  • Help to access immigration advice
  • 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 accept referrals from individuals and partner organisations.

Rights and Advocacy

Our specialist rights and advocacy service supports children and young people who are separated from their families to navigate the UK support and welfare systems and ensure that their rights are upheld. Our team works alongside our immigration caseworkers and includes solicitors in public law and a social worker to provide holistic support and ensure the best outcomes for young people.

We provide a free and confidential advice and support service for young people regarding their rights and entitlements in the areas of:

  • Housing and homelessness
  • Welfare support
  • Local authority support
  • Age assessments
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Education

Age Assessments – Appropriate Adults

We have a bank of trained Appropriate Adults who can support a young person through an age assessment. Our Appropriate Adults meet with the young person prior to the assessment and use our Age Assessment Guide to carefully explain the age assessment process and what to expect.

To request the support of an Appropriate Adult, please contact maria@gmiau.org / 07592 399 700

Training, policy and speaking out

In addition to supporting young people directly, a key aim of our service is to improve the awareness and understanding of issues faced by migrant children by external agencies. We do this by providing training and advice as well as producing policy and research based on our specialist knowledge and contact with children in the immigration system.

Our “speaking out” publications and documents can be found here.

For more information on training available to professionals and advisors from non-immigration backgrounds, please contact maria@gmiau.org.

All4One Youth Group

The All4One youth group has been running since 2009 and brings together separated children and young people (aged 13-21) who are seeking safety in the UK. The group meets weekly on Wednesday evenings at the Powerhouse Youth Centre in Moss Side. The group brings young people together over fun activities as well as developing skills such as confidence and leadership skills. The group is also a platform for young people to speak out and campaign about issues important to them as well as learn about their rights and understand the asylum process. The group will also organise the occasional trip or activity on a Saturday, for example to the cinema or football matches.

Details of the group are:

Wednesdays 4:30-8:00pm

Powerhouse (140 Raby St, Moss Side, Manchester M14 4SL)

Prior referral to the group is essential and can be done via this form: https://data.gmiau.org/node/6

Click here to download our All4One poster.

Referrals

For further information and to make a referral to the Children and Young People’s service please contact referrals@gmiau.org / 0161 740 7722.

Or you can contact our Service Manager Maria Houlihan directly on maria@gmiau.org / 07592 399 700.

When making a referral for the All4One group, please complete this referral form.

We provide support to women with insecure immigration status and who are at risk and vulnerable to violence, danger and/or exploitation. We want women to access support, advice and advocacy to leave the situation they are in and secure a place of safety. Women who have insecure immigration status often have “no recourse to public funds” or believe they do, and are at risk of domestic violence, trafficking, forced labour, and other forms of gender based violence.

As part of our Safer Lives project, we produced the following resources: a database of support services in Greater Manchester (and some national services), and a leaflet titled ‘Supporting women at risk of violence and abuse with no recourse to public funds: A Practitioner’s Guide’. Download them below.

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.

We accept requests for advice from individuals as well as referrals from third-parties. Unfortunately we have limited capacity and it might take up to 4 weeks for us to confirm whether we are able to take your case. We advise you also contact other legal aid and private solicitors – see buttons below. For data consent, please see our privacy policy.

Contact us for advice or make a referral

Fill out this form to make your referral or to request advice.

    Referrer Details





    Client Details


    We only take on cases for people living in the North west of England – if you are applying form outside of this area we will not be able to progress your referral.

    Client Details


    We only take on cases for people living in the North west of England – if you are applying form outside of this area we will not be able to progress your referral.

    Client Dependants





    We only take on cases for people living in the North west of England – if you are applying form outside of this area we will not be able to progress your referral.

    Further Details



    Tell us what you need help with.

    Please include details of your current and previous immigration status (if known), any decisions you have received (from the Home Office or Immigrations and Asylum Tribunals) and what your needs are now. Please highlight any risks to you or members of your family.


    We only take on cases for people living in the North west of England – if you are applying form outside of this area we will not be able to progress your referral.

    I am on the 10 year route and have leave based on my family circumstances. I'm struggling and I have ‘no recourse to public funds’.

    You need to make an application to have the restrictions on your access to public funds lifted. You can only do this if you can show that you have minimal income and have no savings.

    This is on an online which is available on https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk.

    For more help to apply see our information sheet.

    I was given 5 years leave as a refugee and I have to apply for indefinite leave in the next month.

    You have to make an online application before your visa finishes. This is a free application and the form is available here.

    You will need an email address and you will be asked to verify your email address when you first start. You can also go back to the form via the email at any time before you submit it so you can make changes. The form asks for your personal details, the places you have been living at for the last 5 years, details of your Biometric card and travel document ( if you have one) and your national insurance number. The form also allows you to put your family dependants on it and asks for the same information about them.

    After you have made your application you will be referred to another website to make an appointment. This appointment is to hand your documents in and also have your biometrics taken. You will find however that there will be no appointments available until you get an email asking you to make an appointment. This could be some time after your application has been submitted.

    Once you get this email you need to log into this website again and make sure that you look for free appointments which will only be available towards the end of the appointment list dates. You will have more success if you try to make the appointments early in the morning as only a limited number of free appointments are made available.

    You should also upload the documents requested before you go to your appointment.

    I was working and supporting my spouse (husband or wife) who is on a visa with no recourse to public funds. I’ve lost my job. Can I apply for benefits? What do I say about my spouse?

    You can apply for benefits as the restriction to benefits only stops your spouse wife from claiming in her own name. You should tell them what her status is. An application for benefits by you will not affect her current visa.

    If your spouse’s visa is due to expire soon you need to seek advice about the extension application.

    I’m here on a spouse visa with no recourse to public funds. I am suffering domestic violence. What can I do to escape?

    There is scope within the Immigration rules for someone who leaves their spouse because of domestic violence to obtain permanent stay. This only applies to someone who has status on the basis of a relationship to either a British Citizen or a person with permanent leave to remain.

    You also need to have left your partner before your visa expires, and need to have some objective proof (e.g police report/ doctor/refugee letter) to confirm that there has been Domestic Violence.

    If you have no income or savings then the first step is to make a Destitute Domestic Violence Concession application. This is an online application and is dealt with in a matter of days. You don’t have to send any proof of Domestic Violence, as all the Home Office check is whether your status is on the basis of a relationship with a British partner or someone with permanent leave to remain. They will require your partner’s full name, date of birth and the address where you were living with them, plus your details and details of your visa.

    If this all checks out, then you will be granted 3 months’ status with access to public funds. You have to make the full Domestic Violence application within those 3 months. The form is available here.

    It can also be found by googling ‘DDV concession form’, and it can be sent by email to DomesticViolence2@homeoffice.gov.uk

    I have 10 year status as a parent or partner which is about to run out. What do I need to do?

    You have to make an application in the month before your visa finishes. The application is online and you can access it here.

    The fee for the application is £2013 per person. This includes £1000 for the Immigration Health Surcharge. This is paid via this website.

    You will get a IHS number after payment which is needed for the actual application.

    There is a provision for applying for a fee waiver. This is granted to those with minimal income and no savings. You will have to provide the Home Office with 6 months’ statements of all your accounts, and they will check the accounts thoroughly to see what money you are getting in and what money you are spending. They will also check to see if you have any other accounts and can refuse if bank statements for all accounts have not been sent in.

    You apply for a fee waiver by clicking onto the fee waiver link at the top of the application form linked above. Your current status is protected as long as the fee waiver application goes in before your visa expires.

    The Home Office will then make a decision on your fee waiver application first. If it is granted you are given 10 working days to make the full application.