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Know your rights guide

Introduction

Find out who has produced this guide and what its purpose is.

Accessing this guide

We have made this guide available online as well as in PDF format, both in English and a range of other languages. See the available languages.

Who produced this guide?

The guide was produced and coordinated by Migrants’ Rights Network

Contributors:

  • Against Borders for Children
  • Doctors of the World UK
  • Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX)
  • Liberty
  • Migrants at Work
  • Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN)
  • Open Rights Group
  • Project 17
  • Victim Support
  • Welsh Refugee Council
  • The Unity Project

With thanks to: Jean Demars, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), StopWatch, Stop Hate UK, Respond Crisis Translation

All of these organisations have come together to write this guide because we exist to defend and promote the rights of all migrants. We hope that it will help you to understand how the law affects you and what you can do.

The purpose of this guide

We have written this guide for all migrants living in the UK, including those without documents and those trying to regularise their immigration status, including asylum seekers.

This guide is to help you understand your rights in a situation where immigration rules are changing regularly. It is also useful for anyone who cannot prove they are British or have Indefinite Leave to Remain, for example if you don’t have a passport or immigration documents. Other migrants, including those from the European Union, refugees and those with Limited Leave to Remain will also find it useful.

In recent years, the government has been making it harder for all migrants to live their lives without the fear of immigration checks and the threat of deportation or removal from the country. The government hopes that this will force many to leave the UK. They also want to discourage other people from coming into the country.

What is the Government doing?

  • It is trying to stop undocumented migrants from doing the everyday things they need to live a normal life; working, having a bank account, driving a car, renting a house
  • It is also asking some migrants to pay in advance for medical treatment, except for emergencies (see detailed section on Health)
  • It asks doctors, nurses, banks, landlords, employers to check people’s documents
  • The Home Office sometimes gets information from other government departments to trace undocumented migrants.

What this guide will explain

  1. What your rights are
  2. How changes in the law may affect you
  3. What you can do if you face challenges
  4. Where you can go for support and advice