Brexit is making life harder for refugees: we need your help!

by Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

Brexit is making life harder for refugees: we need your help!

by Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
Case Owner
Refugee Legal Support is a registered charity in the UK and a non profit company in Greece offering legal services. RLS was established in 2017 and has presence in Athens, Lesvos and London.
3
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£11,429
pledged of £20,000 stretch target from 342 pledges
Pledge now
Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
Case Owner
Refugee Legal Support is a registered charity in the UK and a non profit company in Greece offering legal services. RLS was established in 2017 and has presence in Athens, Lesvos and London.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: April 15, 2021

Policy VS Reality

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

The Home Office wrote for one of our clients in Greece:

Asylum seekers in the EU, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, who would have been eligible …

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Who are we? 

We are Refugee Legal Support – a team of UK and Greek asylum lawyers who have been providing free legal assistance for refugees since April 2017. You can read more about us on our website.

What's at stake?

Brexit is already creating harsh challenges for displaced people. Those in the EU with families in the UK are now left with few options and face a difficult path to being reunited, safely, with their loved ones.

Lyla's Story

Lyla, a mother with four children on the island of Lesvos in Greece is seeking to be reunited with her husband who is an asylum seeker in the UK. Before Brexit, she could have made a free, straight-forward application to join him with free legal help from our lawyers in Greece all through the Greek Asylum Service.

Now, she has to:

  • Deal with the UK authorities
  • Find a lawyer in the UK to advise her on her options
  • Pay for DNA evidence (approx. £600-2,500)
  • Travel with her children to Athens to attend the Visa Application Centre (ferry tickets approx. £400)
  • Stay at a hotel for one night in Athens (approx. £100)
  • Pay the VISA application fee (up to £1,590)
  • Pay for official translations of documents (up to £300)
  • If her application is successful, she will have to pay for her and her children's tickets to the UK (up to £500)
  • Total: up to £5,500

Can we help? 

NOW: We want to provide everyone who is now in Europe and has family in the UK with free guidance for their next steps in their journey to family reunion in the UK. We want to help people navigate the UK immigration rules and receive the attention and advice they deserve. 

ULTIMATELY: Our goal is to secure free advice and representation for as many people as possible and be in a position to cover the extremely high costs involved in a family reunion application. 

This is a challenge we are confident we can achieve with your support.

How much do we aim to raise?

We aim to raise £10,000-20,000 by the end of April 2021. 

This money will go towards funding the costs for the family reunion applications of our clients and will help RLS continue funding its much needed work in Athens, Lesvos and London. 

RLS has assisted over 700 people with your support in four years. Today, in addition to our Athens clinic, we are working on the island of Lesvos, have a pool of volunteer lawyers in London and are building more connections in Northern France. This means we can be even more ambitious about the help and advice we can provide.  

We wouldn't be here without you. Thank you so much for your support and solidarity!

 

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Update 2

Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

April 15, 2021

Policy VS Reality

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

The Home Office wrote for one of our clients in Greece:

Asylum seekers in the EU, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, who would have been eligible to reunite with family in the UK under Dublin are able to apply for leave to enter the UK under existing UK Immigration Rules, if their family member has the relevant immigration status. They will be granted leave to enter if they are assessed to meet the requirements of the Rules.“

Reading this in an email from the Home Office, a person would hope that their rights remain intact and the only thing that’s changing is the procedure and the applicable rules.

How far is this from reality?

Only 4.8% of our clients who were eligible for family reunification under Dublin III are now eligible for family reunification under the UK Immigration Rules. The other 95.2% is separated spouses, unaccompanied children with parents and close relatives in the UK whose status does not qualify them to become sponsors under the UK Immigration Rules. We work very hard on these cases, build up strong human rights arguments and present objective evidence in order to prepare for good applications outside the Immigration Rules. 

What about the barriers?

Even this 4.8% that can in theory make applications under the Immigration Rules are faced with sometimes insurmountable obstacles; 

  • Hadi is sleeping at the outskirts of the camp on Samos island and there are no available doctors to take a DNA sample from him. There is only one doctor in the camp for over 3,000 people. We mobilised our network and found Hadi psychological support, advocated for his right to be within the camp and are working with a team of legal aid solicitors who are fighting for him with the Home Office in the Upper Tribunal. 
  • Mariam is afraid that she won’t be able to travel to the Visa Application Centre in Athens because the ferries from Kos are very limited. We referred her to a lawyer who is assisting her with relocating to Athens temporarily. 
  • Suleiman might not be able to attend her Visa Application Centre appointment because she is facing return to Sweden due to the errors of the French administration. Our French network is in the process of allocating her case with a lawyer in France to ensure that her rights are upheld. 

It's our duty to find answers to the problems that are coming our way. It's our job to find allies in all over Europe to support the people we work with. 

You are that ally. Thank you so much for your support and trust all these years. With another push, we can reach our stretch goal. We have a week! 

Share, donate and speak up!

In solidarity, 

RLS Team


Update 1

Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

April 2, 2021

Not in our name Priti!

 

So many of you who've donated and supported this campaign are expressing their frustration towards the inhumane systemic injustices posed by the "New plan for immigration" introduced by Priti Patel. 

               As Julia, one of our backers,  said: "Not in my name Priti".

There are no "bad" and "good" asylum seekers; there are displaced people, human rights and justice. This is what we believe in and will continue fighting for through our work.

Borrowing Chara's words from her comment on our campaign page, families belong together and this is not negotiable for us. 

With our network of support, with you all,  and most importantly with the people we work with who have endured these injustices all these years we've made it possible for families to reunite against all odds. 

Help us reach the stretch target of £20,000. 

Share, donate and speak up.

In solidarity, 

RLS Team

Photo by Miko Guziuk on Unsplash 

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