Civil Advice and Assistance – applications on behalf of others

This update is to clarify the position around admitting an applicant to advice and assistance where instructions are being given to a solicitor via a representative for the applicant, particularly where the representative is concerned with the interests of more than one individual.

The need for clarification is required, particularly in relation to asylum and immigration work, and will apply to all grants made on or after 17 October 2022.

Our legislation requires the person in receipt of advice and assistance to be the client and the person for whom the work is being carried out.


We have received queries from solicitors involved in asylum and immigration work in the context of applications for entry clearance and family reunion.

In this situation, instructions are commonly given to a solicitor by the sponsor for the family member(s) who seeks to travel to the UK.

Confusion has arisen in this area because an informal position was previously arrived at, whereby we agreed to accept one application by the sponsor to cover the work done on behalf of all family members applying for family reunion or entry clearance in certain circumstances.

Applications on or after 17 October 2022

To ensure that valid grants of advice and assistance are made in all situations the application must be in the name of the person for whom the work is to be carried out.

The financial assessment must also be based on the applicant’s resources.

All practitioners must ensure that grants made on or after 17 October 2022 are made in line with our published guidance and the keycard.

For grants from that date onwards, we will only be able to pay for work carried out under a valid grant of advice and assistance which has properly assessed the eligibility of the applicant on behalf of whom the work is to be carried out.

More information

Legal enquiries: please contact Wendy Dalgleish at

Financial eligibility and application queries: please contact Mike Caldwell at

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