Find answers to the most common concerns and issues raised by victims of trafficking about their situation and their future.
I don’t want to say anything about trafficking to the Home Office in case the traffickers find out and come to find me.
If you are referred into the national referral mechanism you can be placed in a safe house which is in a different area to the one where you were with your trafficker. The Home Office will not contact the trafficker to tell them where you are.
Do legal aid solicitors work for the government?
No, they are independent. Anything you say to them is private unless you give permission for them to share your answers.
Will you tell my social worker everything I tell you?
No. We have a duty of confidentiality which means we cannot tell anyone anything that you tell us unless you give authority for us to do so; there are however some limited exceptions to this rule.
Will my benefits and right to work stop at the end of my visa?
No – if you put in an extension application before your visa runs out.
Am I allowed to be here legally while my extension application is being processed?
Yes. If your application is submitted before your current visa/leave to remain runs out then you can carry on living here legally under the same conditions that were on your leave last time, until a decision is made on the application or an appeal against a refusal of your application is finally decided.
When do I have to put in an application to extend my leave to remain?
It is fine to put in the application in the month before your leave runs out. You might want to get legal advice a bit sooner but do not worry about putting in the application several months in advance. This will not make your application more likely to succeed.
How many appointments will it take for an asylum claim to be prepared?
At the very least it will take three or four appointments. The number of appointments will depend on a number of factors like how difficult for the person to speak to their lawyer.
How long will making a compensation claim against my trafficker take?
A claim in the employment tribunal can take between six months and one year. Claims in the courts usually much take longer.
Is there any way to avoid facing my traffickers in court?
Vulnerable witnesses may request adjustments such as appearing behind a screen or by video link. Complete anonymity may also be requested if needed.
Have I waited too long to make a claim against my trafficker?
A claim in the employment tribunal must be brought three months less one day from the end of the trafficking situation.However, a claim in the court can be brought within six years of the beginning of the trafficking situation. It is possible to extend these times but there must be good reasons why your complaint was not brought in time.
I was working illegally in this country, can I still make a claim?
Yes, if you are a victim of trafficking, even if you haven’t been referred into the NRM, you are still eligible for legal aid to make a compensation claim. However, the best type of claim for you to make will vary and so you should seek legal advice on this.
If you think of any other common questions you are asked please let us know so we can add them to the list.