Refugee & Migrant Advice Service

An alternative to detention pilot developed in partnership with the Home Office and UNHCR providing free legal advice for vulnerable irregular migrants.
advice line

King’s Arms Project are proud to be delivering the second alternative to detention community engagement pilot, the Refugee & Migrant Advice Service.  Building on the success of Action Access and developed in partnership with the Home Office and UNHCR, the service provides free legal advice for vulnerable people without immigration status through holistic, person-centred support and dedicated case workers.

The Refugee & Migrant Advice Service exists to help people understand their immigration options and make decisions about their next steps in order to avoid the limbo of an irregular status.  Access to legal advice is delivered in a trauma-informed way which maximises client-choice and engagement.

Since August 2020 we have supported 75 vulnerable migrants of 23 different nationalities.  More than ¾ of those who received legal advice through the pilot were presented with viable options to apply to regularise their immigration status.  We have also assisted some people to access information about voluntary return.  So far, a number of people have received leave to remain through our support, with more awaiting the outcome of an immigration / asylum application.

In addition to access to high quality legal advice, we have helped people to access; GP registration, medication, health & social care, hardship payments, food, clothing, mental health support, English language learning and community activities.

This is what a client who regularised their status through our support had to say:

“I cannot really find the words to express my gratitude or to explain what your service meant to me.  It came at a time when I was in the depths of hopelessness and in despair, I did not know who to turn to for help.  Once I met you, you took away all that fear, you gave a sense of security and safety.  Your help was so methodical, it was very orderly and effective that from one stage to another everything kept moving on, everything was progressing.  I then received indefinite leave to remain. When I heard the news, the joy I felt was so deep, I was in shock for a few days, I could not believe that all of the hardship that I had been through had now come to this wonderful outcome.  You and your team are extraordinary, I cannot describe the sense of safety that you brought.  Initially I was so hopeless, no one had bothered to really listen to me, but with you I found you so accepted me and understood where I was coming from.”

What the team say...

It's been a privilege to see many of our clients with no recourse to public funds go from literally having nothing to be in secure housing with an income, a hope and a future.

Outreach Team

The thing I love most about working for KAP is the team that I am in and how everyone looks out for each other, I love that we can pray together as a team when we feel like we have exhausted all visible options and we then see answers.

I have worked closely with one resident who has really struggled with both his physical and mental health since the first day I met him but has recently been prescribed the correct medication finally. He said he  'felt the most hope he had felt in over a year about his future' and was making jokes which he hadn't done before and looked like a new man!

Accommodation Team

Many of those I and my team work with have been through serious trauma both in their home countries and in the UK. Being able to bring hope to them by providing practical and emotional support is a huge privilege. 

Welcoming a new family from Syria has been wonderful. As their support worker I went to meet them at the airport. Journeying with them as they adjust to life in the UK has been an absolute joy.

Refugee and Migrant Services Team

It is such an amazing thing to be part of this team and make a real difference in people's lives.  It is really rewarding when we support vulnerable clients and see their difficult situation change to the better.

Refugee and Migrant Services Team

Work Opportunities

Thinking about a job change? Want to be part of a supportive and inspiring team? We have a number of vacancies available...

Bedford winter night shelter