Frequently Asked Questions

What we're often asked

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The Immigration Advice Service: Immigration advice. This service may not be free.

UK Border Agency: Information about immigration and visas from the Home Office

our specialist Immigration Advisers will discuss your issue in confidence and give you impartial advice to help you to find the best way forward.

We can help with:

Post Brexit queries including

  • settled and pre-settled status
  • Letters from the Home Office
  • Studying in the UK
  • Refugee & Asylum problems including interview, working and status issues
  • Your rights
  • Access to benefits
  • Help with housing, medical or other services
  • Help when you have no recourse to public funds
  • British Citizenship for you and for your family
  • Visa applications and documentation queries
  • Problems with refused visas
  • Overstaying
  • Residence cards or family permits
  • Human Trafficking and employment exploitation concerns
  • Living in the UK illegally and deportation
  • Windrush applications,documentsand compensation
  • Legal issues and accessing the right expert help for your needs
  • Sponsorship problems and more.

If you need help with an Immigration issue, call our phone line: 02394 006600.

You can also call outside of these times to leave us a message and our Immigration staff will call you back as quickly as possible. If you prefer, you can contact the team by sending an email to: Immigration@caportsmouth.org.uk

For dedicated and free advice on energy saving measures and efficiency, you can speak with Switched On Portsmouth. Switched On Portsmouth is run by Portsmouth City Council to provide Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant residents with a number of ways to save energy, money and carbon.

There are a number of websites that are helpful, which are included below.

Citizens Advice – Your energy supply 

Energy Saving Trust have lots of information about how to save energy around the home and what to do if you are struggling to pay your bills. 

The Energy Grants Calculator lets you find out what help might be available for you. 

Working out what benefits you might be entitled to can seem complex. However, there many calculators that can help you with this. These are available at Turn2Us, EntitledTo and Better Off Calcutaror

If your situation is complex, for example due to anyone in your household being disabled, we would recommend a full benefit check with one of our advisers.

Council Tax Discounts and Benefits Many people who pay their Council Tax and entitled to Council Tax Support, as well as other Council Tax discounts. This support is often unclaimed and you should check if you’re entitled.

Water Bill Discounts You can also get discounts with your water bills if you’re on a low income. Both Southern Water and Portsmouth Water have schemes available that can reduce your bills.

There are lots of different food banks in Portsmouth that may be able to assist you, as well as places that offer meals. You can find an up-to-date list on the Portsmouth City Council website, here: Help with Food - Portsmouth City Council. If you require a foodbank voucher, please get in touch with us or any agency that you’re working with. 

You can also call the helpline that Citizens Advice runs jointly with Trussell Trust. You can call the helpline on 0808 2018 2138. This is a dedicated helpline for help with foodbank vouchers.

Our volunteers assist with form filling. However, we get many requests for assistance and unfortunately this is dependent on our capacity. If we can’t assist, you can approach Advice Portsmouth for assistance, if you live in PO1-PO6, or your local Citizens Advice if you live elsewhere. You can also use the step-by-step form filling guides on our website for PIP, DLA and Attendance Allowance.

Can you help me with Universal Credit?

If you need help claiming Universal Credit our Help to Claim service can help you. The service is available via telephone on 0800 144 8 444 or webchat at www.citizensadvice.org.uk 

Can I meet someone to discuss my problem face-to face?

Yes, if you book an appointment. If we have an adviser available, they’ll be happy to see you face-to-face. You can ask for a face-to-face appointment by attending our drop in, calling us, or sending us an email using our web form.

All applications for social housing are processed and administered by Portsmouth City CouncilFor more information about your options, email housing.options@portsmouthcc.gov.uk. Include relevant details about your current circumstances and ideally a contact phone number. You can also phone 023 9283 4989 or visit Housing Options on the first floor of the Civic Offices in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. You can also find information on the Portsmouth City Council website here: Looking for a home - Portsmouth Council.

Citizens Advice relies heavily on the work of our volunteers and we are always looking for new volunteers to support our service we have a variety of roles available. If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch. We have a number of different roles available. Please send an email to hr@caportsmouth.org.uk

Our client Database operates on a secure network and we shred any paper with personal details on once it is stored on the database. We only share your details with trusted organisations if you give us permission to do so, in line with our privacy policy.

There are many organisations who offer free advice on debt, and you should ask whoever you approach to confirm that they offer a free service so that any payments you make go towards reducing your debts. Citizens Advice offers a full range of debt solutions, and like all professional debt advisers we will always seek the most appropriate solution for your specific circumstances. You can find an overview of local services on the Portsmouth City Council website: Money Advice - Portsmouth City Council.

If you are having trouble being able to see your child, there are steps that you can take to resolve this. You can find information about what to do on the Citizens Advice website here, or on the .gov.uk website here

Money Advice Service :Money Advice and Pensions Service

National Debtline: Free internet and phone advice about debt.

Payplan: Free debt advice and support over the internet or phone. This service is suitable for people whoare able tomake regular payments towards their debts. If you prefer face to face advice and support, or if you are unable to makepayments,please contactCitizens Advice Portsmouth.

Step Change Debt Charity (formally Consumer Credit Counselling Service): Free debt advice and support over the internet or phone. This service is suitable for people whoare able tomake regular payments towards their debts. If you prefer face to face advice and support, or if you are unable to makepayments,please contactCitizens Advice Portsmouth

BusinessDebtline: Free confidential debt advice for small businesses.

Citizens Advice - Comprehensive advice on many subjects, provided by the national Citizens Advice service.

Citizens Advice Consumer Service  - Advice on consumer issues managed by the Citizens Advice service.

TVlicensing.co.uk - Information on the different ways to pay for your TV Licence and the concessions available.

ACAS - Information about problems at work

Shelter - Specialist advice on housing matters, including repairs, homelessness

Money Advice Service: a charity formed in 1991 to increase the quality and availability of free, independent money advice to people with debt problems.

Personal Finance Education Group: pfeg is the UK’s leading financial education charity. They provide resources and lesson plans, help and advice to anyone teaching children and young people about money.

Money Saving Expert: Tips on financial management and how to save money on a wide range of financial products.

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