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Separated migrant children given better access to legal aid

Separated migrant children have become eligible for legal aid to help with citizenship and non-asylum immigration applications and appeals from 25 October 2019.

The changes have been made through an amendment to Parliament Schedule 1 to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012. This amendment means that separated children seeking to regularise their non-asylum immigration status in the UK will be within the scope of legal aid. In the past, separated children in this position would have had to apply for exceptional case funding.

Transitional arrangements have been introduced to enable separated migrant children to apply for legal aid in line with the new rules as quickly as possible. The Legal Aid Agency has provided a statement for legal aid providers and guidance for providers on the transitional arrangements.

For the Legal Aid Agency's press release, click here. For the guidance, click here. For comment by Coram Children's Legal Centre, click here.