Our response to closure of Immigration Advisory Service (IAS)

Dungavel House Immigration Removal Centre

We were very concerned to hear of the closure of the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) this week.

The charity, which worked across England, Wales and Scotland, was the biggest of its kind and provided free legal advice on immigration and asylum cases. It went into administration on Friday 8 July.

Clients can no longer get advice from legal charity

The closure means IAS is no longer able to give legal advice or representation to any of its clients. The charity, whose Scottish arm was based in Bath Street, Glasgow, has put information on its website for all of its existing clients. Read about what to do if your solicitor was from the IAS.

Gary Christie, Head of Policy and Communications at Scottish Refugee Council, said: ‘It’s dreadful news that the Immigration Advisory Service has closed. They were a very important charity providing essential legal services for people going through the complex asylum system.

‘Good legal advice for people fleeing persecution can mean the difference between life and death. If their claim is wrongly refused, they could be sent back to the horrors they fled from.

Effects of legal aid cuts in England and Wales

‘It is worrying to see the effects legal aid cuts in England and Wales have had on IAS, which have led to the closure of its Scottish office as well. Governments must ensure that the people seeking asylum are able to get good advice wherever they are – otherwise our asylum system is fundamentally unfair.’

IAS in Scotland was recently contracted by the Scottish Legal Aid Board to provide legal representation for people detained in Dungavel. Christie added: ‘We would now like assurance that clients in Dungavel will continue to get the best legal advice they can.’

More information about solicitors working on asylum cases

If your case was being looked after by an IAS solicitor, visit their website for advice on what to do or check our How We Can Help section for a list of other solicitors in Scotland who may be able to help.

Read more about this on the BBC website

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