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We recommend seeking legal advice for applications that are very complex, especially those involving non EEA family members, particularly if they have previously been refused a family permit. Legal advice is also recommended in the following situations:
  • Nationality applications that rely on discretion, such as when the allowed amount of absences is exceeded
  • MN1 registration of children born abroad
  • People with fairly serious criminal convictions, restraining orders, etc. against them and repeat offenders, or whose family members/children fall into these categories
  • People who have breached the immigration rules by living or working in the UK illegally
  • People who need detailed assistance filling in the forms or need their documentation and evidence assessed prior to submission
  • Applicants relying on retained rights of residence, such as those where the family member has divorced the EEA national or divorce proceedings are underway
  • Applications based on derivative rights of residence (Zambrano, Texeira, Chen cases).
With citizenship and children registration applications, a consultation with a lawyer will set you back a small fraction of the application fee and could make all the difference between being accepted or a rejection and loss of the fee.

As settled status is replacing PR, there is generally not much point in seeking legal advice to be able to obtain PR certification, but there are some exceptions, such as:
  • If your children’s citizenship depends on you being able to establish PR status before they were born
  • If a family member from outside the EU relies on your status
  • If you have spent too much time outside the UK and may not meet the residence criteria for settled status either.
In general, lawyers offer three levels of service:
  1. full representation;
  2. a document check; or
  3. a consultation.
Consultations start from £100 for an hour, and this may well be all you need to clarify the documents you need to send and what sections of the form you need to complete. Most refusals happen because people send the wrong documents or misunderstand the rules.

If you need legal advice but can't afford a lawyer, please get in touch with us on, and we may be able to refer you to pro-bono legal advice. This could be subject to a means test.

The details of the immigration lawyers on the forum are here: Legal team.