Job Description

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Job Description

Job Title: Street Legal - Immigration Advisor (OISC-level 2)

Responsible to: Praxis – Head of Housing

Location: Shepherd’s Bush and Bethnal Green

Hours: 30 hours with possibility of extending to 35

Status: 12 months initially

Grade: pro rata FTE 35 hours - SCP Scale Pt 31

£30,528 (£26,167pro rata for 30 hours) inclusive of London Weighting

Date: 11 April 2016.


Background Information
Street Legal is a cross-sector partnership bringing together Praxis Community Projects, Refugee Action and St Mungo’s. Its projects, operating pan- London, look at innovative way of addressing the needs of non-EU migrant rough sleepers with immigration issues.
The philosophy of the Street Legal programme is to take the service to the hardest to reach groups – those that are not accessing building-based homelessness and immigration services, or are not well served by them due to a lack of flexibility and understanding of the complex needs of the client group by mainstream providers. We advocate for immigration issues to be seen as a support need, rather than as a barrier to accessing support.
The aim of Street Legal is to ensure all clients have a route out of rough sleeping either by:

  • Resolving their immigration situation, securing necessary documentation and securing housing and support both during the process and following its resolution or

  • Facilitating a dignified return to a home country through assisted voluntary return.

Street Legal also works towards capacity building the homelessness and migration sector so that advice and housing provision of the highest quality are delivered to those in need.

We are seeking an immigration caseworker with experience of providing advice on a range of immigration issues to work sensitively with clients to help them explore their options. This will focus on regularizing their status in the UK where possible, to allow them to access services and support.
The post is based primarily at the Routes Home service with regular travel across London and to Praxis Community Projects offices in Bethnal Green. Line management, support and casework supervision will be provided by the employer, Praxis Community Projects, which is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Service coordination is facilitated by St Mungo’s.
This post is funded for one year initially with scope to be continued post 2017.
Interviews will be held on Wednesday 27th of April.

Job description

Purpose of the job

  • To provide immigration advice and casework to asylum seekers and migrants who are rough sleeping in London, including initial asylum applications, fresh claims and leave to remain applications.

  • To apply for replacement papers for rough sleeping individuals unable to access housing entitlements because of their lack of immigration status proof.

  • To work closely with the project team and management to contribute towards the aims of the project and Praxis objectives

  • To develop the project’s legal training resources and its links with immigration advisers and law centres.

Main Responsibilities

  • To manage a caseload (resolution list) of clients referred by NSNO and outreach services.

  • To interview clients to establish their immigration history and status.

  • To provide immigration/asylum advice and casework to clients in relation to their status.

  • To obtain the legal documents relevant to the client’s case from previous solicitors and the Home Office.

  • To make applications for asylum or leave to remain as appropriate and to refer the client to new legal representatives and/or sign post them to other services or agencies as appropriate.

  • To make applications for renewal of documents where clients have Leave to Remain but are unable to prove it.

  • To actively develop professional relationships and referral links with law centres and solicitors’ firms.

  • Record and input key data to support Street Legal Project monitoring and evaluation and wider agency initiatives or needs (e.g. for campaigning, financial monitoring, research, policy and advocacy purposes) and write client case studies and reports.

  • To work collaboratively with central teams including IT, Communications and Fundraising and Finance, to develop and refine policies and procedures for the project.

  • Carry out administrative tasks (e.g. word-processing, recording information onto database, filing etc.) in support of own work and the team as necessary

  • Positively engage and contribute to project reviews and evaluations, and to client follow up activities relevant to the service.

  • To work remotely in cooperation with the project’s partners and other staff members for the development of the project, particularly providing the immigration perspective to new developments.

  • To develop resources and on occasion work with the project’s Development Coordinator to deliver training to frontline workers on correctly identifying and recording immigration status.

  • Represent Street Legal and Praxis at external meetings as required

  • Participate fully in individual supervision, training and appraisal.

  • Participate fully in regular team meetings, and other Praxis staff meetings, planning and review sessions, conferences and working groups as required

  • Assist in promoting and publicising the work of Praxis through work including: identifying case studies, and promotional events.

  • Take on other duties consistent with the nature of the post and that may arise as the service develops and reviews its services, as required.

Person Specification

Please use your application form to demonstrate your capabilities in relation to each of the points. Where relevant use your answers to illustrate how your competences have helped you to achieve positive results. This will give you the best possible chance to be shortlisted.

  • Accreditation at OISC Level 2 (Asylum & Immigration) or LSC Level 1

Experience, skills, understanding and knowledge

  • Two years’ experience of providing advice and knowledge of asylum and immigration legislation and case law.

  • Excellent written communication skills and research skills

  • Experience of exploring sensitive and personal information and contentious issues during interviews with clients in a calm and appropriate manner.

  • Ability to work constructively as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

  • Ability to develop and maintain partnerships with other legal professionals, law centres and the voluntary sector.

  • Insight into the needs, experiences and hopes of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

  • Experience of working and communicating effectively with people from a range of different cultures and backgrounds.

In addition to the above candidates will be interviewed on the following if they are short-listed. Candidates need not write about these points in the application form.

  • Good understanding of general immigration issues affecting asylum seekers and migrants and of the key statutory bodies in the UK involved in the asylum determination process

  • Excellent online research and analytical skills in order to research case law and country of origin information.

  • Ability to analyse complex written information and communicate it effectively

  • Ability to train, support and supervise volunteer team members and work in partnership with interpreters.

  • A flexible and creative approach to developing legal advice provision for hard to reach groups.

  • Ability to plan and manage your own workload

  • Knowledge of the legal aid framework for onward referrals and project development purposes

  • Ability to work across teams, often in different locations to your colleagues, and uphold the values and aims of Praxis Community Projects in every aspect of your work.

  • Understanding of and commitment to the principles of confidentiality, impartiality, non-directive advice, and equality of opportunity

  • Ability to use MS-Office and Databases.

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