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It is important to remember that immigration advice is heavily regulated. There are legal restrictions on giving immigration advice and providing immigration services. Aside from this, immigration law is complex. If in doubt, you should recommend that constituents seek advice from a specialist solicitor or adviser. Encouraging constituents to access appropriate professional advice is more helpful than trying to be a substitute for it.

Members of Parliament handle a high volume of immigration, nationality and asylum enquiries from constituents. Many of them are straightforward and can be answered using information that is readily available, for example on the internet, or by using the Home Office’s dedicated MPs’ correspondence channels. Others are more complex and require specialist advice from a solicitor or professional adviser.

This briefing provides a short overview of the UK’s immigration and asylum system and basic British nationality law. It also outlines the legal restrictions on giving immigration advice, gives some suggestions on handling constituents’ enquiries, refers to some sources of information that may be helpful for straightforward questions, and highlights training courses available to Members’ staff.


Documents to download

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