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Project information

Immigration Clinic

In June 2018 we were awarded accreditation by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner to provide level one immigration advice via a free weekly clinic. RSD is the only organisation to offer this service for free in the whole of the south-west of England.

The clinic began in August 2018 and will continue as long as funding is available to allow us to provide it

Charity information: Refugee Support (Devon)

Refugee Support (Devon) logo
  • Need

    Need

    Refugees and asylum seekers face many legal and procedural problems. Even simple immigration processes can be confusing and costly to the individuals we help, most of whom are on low incomes or are without recourse to public funds. Immigration advice is a regulated service for which Legal Aid is only available in a very limited number of situations, and it is a criminal offence for individuals or organisations to offer immigration advice without the appropriate accreditation.

    Solution

    In June 2018 RSD's Casework Coordinator and three RSD volunteers were awarded accreditation by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner to provide level one immigration advice, as a result of which we can now offer a free weekly immigration clinic to our clients. RSD is extremely proud to be the only organisation in the south-west of England offering this service for free. We hope in the future, if there is sufficient need, to obtain level 2 accreditation.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide free level one immigration advice to our clients via a weekly clinic


    Activities

    » Our accredited staff and volunteers will offer a free weekly immigration clinic at our offices in Exeter to refugees living in Devon

    What success will look like

    RSD will keep a record of the numbers of clients using this service, and the outcome of each individual client's case


  • Impact

    Impact

    The clinic will aim to provide assistance on a range of immigration-related topics including obtaining legal aid funding, achieving more settled status and gaining access to public funds during periods of crisis. Individual outcomes will vary from client to client, but each success could have a profound and far-reaching influence on a client's physical and mental well-being. RSD will keep records of outcomes and client feedback, providing objective and subjective measures of success.

    Risk

    The provision of immigration advice is a regulated service and it is a criminal offence for individuals or organisations to offer such advice without the appropriate accreditation. RSD has obtained level one accreditation from OISC and performs all its procedures and record-keeping in accordance with OISC requirements. Lack of funding may curtail this project but we are pursuing an active strategy to raise funds and continue providing this service.

    Reporting

    RSD reports on all its activities in its Annual Review, available on request. Local donors are welcome to visit our drop-in centre during its opening hours to see our day-to-day work, otherwise donors can contact RSD by e-mail and request information about our immigration clinic at any time.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Running Costs Room rental, provision of telephone, WiFi, general maintanence and administrative costs
      £11,000 Salaries Contribution to Caseworker salary and administrative/management support
  • Background

    Location

    Exeter Community Centre, 17 St Davids Hill Exeter EX4 3RG

    Beneficiaries

    Refugees and asylum seekers, living in Exeter or across Devon, who have limited income or no recourse to public funds. In the first six months of the clinic's operation it assisted 25 clients.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    RSD has 17 years' experience of working with refugees and asylum seekers. As of February 2019 we are the only organisation in the south-west of England to offer accredited level one immigration advice for free.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Nelida (Neli) Montes De Oca

    RSD Casework Coordinator - Neli coordinates our weekly drop-in service and supervises the day-to-day running of RSD's immigration clinic

    Volunteers

    Three RSD volunteers have also been awarded OISC accreditation and offer their services on a rotating basis