3.2 Taking Client Instructions

This is a process which requires some finesse as the client will not always be able to identify what is relevant and will not always be able to tell their story in a logical sequence. You might need to probe for more detail and/or filter information from the client’s instructions in order to take things forward.

Part 1- Formalities

Use this part of the interview to put the client at ease, ensure the client understands your role. If you know the client in another role (e.g. a welfare support role) explain the new Immigration advice role you are playing and how it relates to the old role, in particular, whether it is independent (i.e. if you stop acting for the client in their immigration matter, can they continue to access other support?). During any formalities, try to establish a slightly more formal relationship with the client (for the purposes of taking instructions.) But if you can make the client laugh, this is the time to do it – a formal relationship doesn’t have to be dull.


Explain your role:

Explain the interpreter role:

Explain the limitations:

Explain duties:

Check nay conflicts of interest?

Explain the forms:

Explain how you will take instructions:

Part 2 - Taking Instructions

This is the longest part - allow at least an hour. Record everything verbatim (i.e. write down questions and answers word-for-word.) Try and establish a rhythm of question and answer with minimal interruptions. Begin with some fairly open questions - e.g. “how can I help you?” and give the client some space to talk.


Protection (if applicable):

Private Life



Child life in the UK:

Life of the Child in the proposed country:


Part 3 - Advice and Actions

If you are uncertain, you may wish to reserve the bulk of this for a second interview and give only interim or qualified advice.

Re-check: Conflict of Interest?

Do the instructions raise anything new that may compromise your independence?


Outline any possible applications, claims or other courses of action, and for each action, explain:

Also explain any current circumstances and potential consequences of inaction:

Webpage: Immigration Guidance For Professionals (Bar Standards Board)

A PDF document containing guidance for professionals working with people with Immigration and asylum issues.

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