Immigration and Asylum Law Accreditation

Our Immigration and Asylum Law Accreditation is a recognised quality standard for practitioners providing advice under a legal aid contract.

The accreditation covers all immigration work that can be done under a Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contract.

It can be used as a quality mark for privately funded work.

Introducing the new funding initiative in collaboration with Ministry of Justice

We are excited to announce our collaboration with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for a significant development that is intended to directly benefit your firm or organisation as a Legal Aid Agency provider.

We have established a new funding arrangement aimed at supporting our Immigration and Asylum Accredited members.

In line with this arrangement, the MoJ will fund the Accreditation application and examination fees for those seeking to accredit as Senior Caseworkers who are employed at firms holding legal aid contracts.

The benefit of the funding is available to those applying for initial accreditation as a senior caseworker or reaccreditation as a senior caseworker via our website for up to 12-months starting on 1 January 2024.


Eligibility

To apply for the accreditation, you must be one of the following:

  • solicitor or a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives who holds a practising certificate (normally free of conditions)
  • barrister in independent practice
  • non-solicitor employed in a practice or an organisation that is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner or the Solicitors Regulation Authority

How to apply

There are several stages to the accreditation:

  • trainee casework assistant – practise at a probationary stage for nine months before becoming accredited as a casework assistant
  • casework assistant – for applicants who do not feel ready to take the senior caseworker exam
  • senior caseworker – accreditation members must be fully accredited to be paid by the LAA for work under the Standard Civil Contract 2018

Senior caseworkers may also apply to be accredited as a supervising senior caseworker and as an advanced caseworker.

Find out how to apply

Membership levels and duties

The accreditation has three stages designed for practitioners with different levels of experience of immigration and asylum practice.

Trainee casework assistant and casework assistant

Trainee casework assistants can remain at this stage for up to nine months.

Casework assistants can remain at this stage for up to one year.

Assistants who have passed the exam:

  • can conduct tasks delegated by senior caseworkers from their own caseload, except in reserved matters
  • cannot have conduct of cases or matters

Delegated tasks are supervised by, and remain the responsibility of, the senior caseworker who has conduct of the matter.

The LAA has confirmed that tasks in controlled legal representation (CLR) matters can be delegated to casework assistants, provided the matter or task is not reserved.

Senior caseworker

You must become accredited as a senior caseworker in order to be paid by the LAA for work conducted under an LAA contract.

Senior caseworkers should:

  • have conduct of all matters
  • delegate tasks to casework assistants and trainee casework assistants, but remain responsible for the progress and overall conduct of the matter

They cannot delegate:

  • matters for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and other minors
  • matters for those who lack capacity within the meaning of section 2 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • matters for clients detained at an immigration removal centre
  • exercise of delegated function to grant CLR, including when this is conducted at legal help level

Contract holders must maintain a maximum ratio of two full-time equivalent (FTE) casework assistants or trainee casework assistants to every FTE senior caseworker or supervising senior caseworker.

Supervising senior caseworker

Supervising senior caseworkers can have conduct of all matters.

They have responsibility for the:

  • supervision of up to four supervisees (FTE)
  • supervision and training of casework assistants and trainees, including allocating tasks appropriately in terms of capability, capacity and progress towards accreditation as a senior caseworker
  • supervision and training of senior caseworkers
  • allocation of matters to senior caseworkers, including to themselves

Supervising senior caseworkers must delegate tasks to casework assistants and trainee casework assistants.

Contract holders must maintain a maximum ratio of two FTE casework assistants or trainee casework assistants to every FTE senior caseworker or supervising senior caseworker.

Re-accreditation

How long your accreditation lasts for depends on your level of seniority.

You cannot be re-accredited at the trainee casework assistant and casework assistant levels.

Supervising senior caseworkers must be re-accredited as a senior caseworker every three years.

If you’re a senior caseworker, you can apply to be re-accredited up to three months before your accreditation expires.

Find out about re-accreditation

Cost

The cost of the accreditation is made up of an application fee and a membership fee.

In line with Ministry of Justice funding arrangements, if you are eligible for funding, you will only be invoiced for the membership fee.

If you are not eligible, you will be invoiced for the full fee.

Application fees are not refundable.

Application Application fee Membership fee Total (including VAT)
Trainee casework assistant £0 £0 £0
Casework assistant, senior caseworker, supervising senior caseworker – initial application £127 £228 £426
Senior caseworker, supervising senior caseworker – re-accreditation £127 £228 £426
Add senior caseworker supervisor membership £52 £0 £62.40
Other fees Total fee (excluding VAT) Total (including VAT)
Late application £103 £123.60
Certificate re-issue £10 £12
Appeal against decision to refuse accreditation £258 £309.60

MoJ funding does not apply to other fees.

Frequently asked questions

Read our FAQ document for answers to questions on funding and the exam (PDF 229 KB) 

Membership

Download a list of Immigration and Asylum Accredited members (PDF 1.3 MB) 

Download a list of Immigration and Asylum Accreditation supervising senior caseworkers (PDF 642 KB)

These lists are updated monthly.

Promoting your accreditation

We have logos, certificates, window stickers and more for you to promote your accreditation.

Order promotional materials

Contact us

Call: 020 7320 5797

Email: accreditation@lawsociety.org.uk

Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Related accreditations

Immigration Law Advanced

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