Other Important Services

Other important services

Access to other important services

Family reunion

Individuals who obtain permanent leave to remain or citizenship are entitled to bring their immediate family members, defined as their spouse and any children under the age of eighteen.

Parents and grandparents of settled persons or citizens are permitted to join their children or grandchildren in the United Kingdom but only if they are over the age of sixty-five and have no other relatives to support them in their home country.

Other close relatives, such as aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters may be eligible “if living alone outside the United Kingdom in the most exceptional compassionate circumstance.”

There are financial requirements that the British citizen or UK resident must meet in order to ensure their family migrant does not have recourse to public funds. These financial requirements were challenged in the courts, but were upheld by the Court of Appeal. 

For more information, please refer to the Asylum policy guidance on family reunion applications.

Tracing loved ones

Red Cross provide crucial administrative support in tracing separated family members

How Red Cross can help?

  • Finding the missing family member: when families are separated by armed conflict, disaster or migration
  • Deliver family news: when normal means of communication breaks down, a family member can still send messages via Red Cross to family and relatives (Note: Red Cross does not send money or packages.)
  • Get a certificate of detention: for people who have been visited and registered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) while detained Red Cross may be able to provide confirmation of detentio.

Note: All services are free and confidential. Find out more or contact Red Cross.

Care for victims of torture

A significant asylum seekers and refugees will have been subject to severe physical and/or psychological torture. There is now a large body of evidence indicating that this exposure may have long-term physical and psychological effects; this include high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, the result of exposure to horrific, life-threatening events, are well documented in refugee populations. Prolonged grief; limited social and family support; identity and culture; and separation from, or loss of family members and all these have an impact on mental wellbeing. 

Some common forms of torture include:

  • Severe beatings, falanga: prolonged and severe beating of the soles of the feet
  • deprivation of sleep and sensory stimulation
  • use of psychotropic drugs
  • electric shock: electrodes are placed sensitive areas such as the tongue, fingertips and genitals
  • burning with cigarettes, hot irons, burning rubber, welding torches, corrosive liquids
  • mutilation: extraction of hair or nails, cutting with knives,
  • amputation of body parts, insertion of objects under nails
  • suspension: hanging by arms or legs for extended periods of time
  • isolation and solitary detention, starvation and exposure to heat and cold
  • sexual violence and rape of women, men and children: insertion of objects into the vagina or rectum

As result, some survivors may end up having the following problems:

  • brain damage
  • chronic pain and poor mobility (can be due to fibromyalgia syndrome)
  • missing teeth
  • impaired hearing (which may result from beating and electrical torture)
  • difficulties in walking (can result from falanga)
  • bronchitis (can result from submarine torture)
  • mutilation of body parts, scars and disfigurement
  • sexual and gynecological dysfunction

Note: Some survivors may not have visible sign, so never assume that torture has not occurred.

Majority asylum seekers and refugees are likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Access to Immigration and legal services  

Information leaflet for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers are entitled to free legal representation by a qualified asylum lawyer or caseworker. This will vary for each individual dependent on their ‘status’ within the asylum process.

Asylum law is complicated and it is important that individuals get good legal advice and someone to support them. They should find a solicitor as soon as possible, as there are very short deadlines for providing the evidence needed to support the claim for asylum. For more information visit Lawsociety.org or migranthelpuk.org.

Police

Professionals and member of public are encouraged to report the racism and hate crimes against those seeking asylum and refugees.

Find the nearest police station and contact details

Hate Crime

Professionals and member of public are encouraged to report the racism and hate crimes against those seeking asylum and refugees.

Stop Hate UK is one of the leading national organisations working to challenge all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination, based on any aspect of an individual’s identity. Stop Hate UK provides independent, confidential and accessible reporting and support for victims, witnesses and third parties.

Fire Service

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Tel: 0151 296 6270

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service provides every household on Merseyside with a FREE Home Fire Safety Check, including FREE smoke alarm installation. A specialist community fire safety advocate can visit households to carry out Home Fire Safety Checks for refugees and asylum seekers. 

Community groups

Chinese wellbeing

Chinese Wellbeing

Telephone: 0151 709 2643

Their organisation provides Domiciliary services, Personal Wellbeing Services, Mental health and Wellbeing Services, Luncheon Club and the Teahouse Reminiscence Project. Contact through telephone service, drop-in service.

Irish Community Care Merseyside

Irish Community Care Merseyside

Telephone: 0151 237 3987

Offer daily drop-in information and advice around a range of issues including homelessness, identification, health, GP registration, applications for accommodation, cultural isolation and maintaining family links. Their Welfare Benefits Advice and Advocacy links people into the range of welfare benefit entitlements from initial welfare benefits checks and form filling to representation at appeals and tribunals.

Office Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Liverpool Somali Community

Liverpool Somali Community

Telephone: 0151 709 3853

Provide human resources, buildings, facilities, open space, advocacy, advice and information among the Somali community in Liverpool. The aim is to advance the Islamic religion, and to provide facilities in the interest of social welfare for recreation and other leisure-time occupation. They reach out to children, young people, elderly, those with infirmities or disabilities and those in difficult social and economic circumstances.

Office Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Merseyside Yemeni Community Association

Merseyside Yemeni Community Association

Telephone: 0151 734 4965 / 0151 734 3843

Their office is open to anyone seeking help and support. Available Activities include football, swimming, elderly lunch club, family trips, cultural celebration days and female support sessions.

Office Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am – 2pm; Thursday 9am – 3pm