Main Office: 0117 9145480
Advice & Advocacy Referrals: 0117 954 0446

Advice Service

Helping out members with asylum claims and asylum support

Bristol Refugee Rights Advice Service provides one-to-one support to Bristol Refugee Rights (BRR) members. If you are not already a BRR member and would like to find out if you are eligible to become one, please visit the Welcome Centre page.

To access the Advice Service please visit the Help Desk at the Welcome Centre on a Wednesday or Thursday (please see the Welcome Centre page for details of opening hours).The Advice Service is provided by a team of exceptionally able volunteers together with  staff members

The Advice Service can assist members with:

  • Understanding the Asylum System
  • Explaining letters and helping respond
  • Finding a solicitor or addressing problems with a solicitor
  • Problems with National Asylum Support Service (NASS) support or accommodation
  • Problems with healthcare, education or social services
  • Destitution support

The Help Desk can deal with many types of problems on the day, however more complex issues may require you to make an appointment to see a specialist.

Interpreters maybe be provided by the BRR VOICE project, if no one is available we will use phone interpreters. Parents may be able to leave their preschool children with the Early Years Project creche.

National Asylum Support Service (NASS)

People seeking asylum are excluded from claiming normal UK welfare benefits and
most asylum seekers are not allowed to work. NASS is a government programme that provides people in the asylum process financial support and accommodation.

The Advice team offers one-to-one advice on accessing NASS support. Our aim is to prevent destitution and homelessness among asylum seekers in Bristol by providing personal advice on how to get the required support from the Home Office and Social Services.

OISC:

We are registered with the Offices of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC),  Ref No. N201600021, and a number of our staff and volunteers are qualified to provide advice up to OISC Level 3 for asylum and up to Level 2 for immigration.  We provide immigration advice in compliance with current OISC Regulations but we can only provide immigration advice to people who are members of BRR.

We do not currently provide OISC representation or casework but support our members to understand what is happening with their immigration case, the stage they are at in the process and what their options are.  If they don’t have anyone to represent them, we will support them to find someone.

Offices of the Immigration Services Commissioner

If we cannot help you, or if you are not able to become a BRR member, we will try and find another organisation that can help. You can also find out about different organisations in Bristol on the Welcome Centre page.

Other help with asylum claims

Right to Remain Toolkit

If you are struggling with an asylum claim, or need more information about how to start a claim, you might find the Right to Remain Tookit useful.

The Toolkit gives an overview of the legal system and procedures, with detailed information on rights and options at key stages, and actions you can take in support of your claim, or to help someone else.

As well as a comprehensive written guide, the Toolkit also contains several helpful videos which are available in 5 languages: English, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish and French.

The Toolkit is available on the Right to Remain website.

Bristol Law Centre

Bristol Law Centre run an Immigration and Asylum Drop In the first Wednesday of every month 3-5pm. They can help with:

  • All aspects of Children’s immigration and asylum
  • Asylum claims
  • Claims for victims of trafficking
  • Some domestic violence claims
  • Claims under Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the European Convention of Human Rights
  • Settlement claims for refugees and people with Humanitarian
  • Protection only
  • Judicial reviews
  • ​Appeals in relation to the above claims

There are more details on their website.

Asylum Seeker Mentoring Service

AID also runs a project supporting new asylum seekers to navigate the complex process of claiming asylum. While going through a claim the Bristol Refugee Rights member meets regularly with a dedicated volunteer mentor. Our aim is that this service provides a sense of continuity and stability during this stressful time.

Volunteer with us

If you are interested in joining the AID volunteer team and wish to be kept informed about the next recruitment, please visit our Volunteer pages.