BOLTON Citizens Advice has suspended its immigration advice service to new clients.

Bolton Citizens Advice deputy chief executive, Gary Malcomson says the decision was made not to accept referrals for new clients with ‘great regret’.

Providing advice on immigation matters is a specialised role which can only be undertaken by an accredited member of staff.

The service is currently recruiting for an immigration advisor to fill the post as the current advisor is leaving.

In a letter to the service's partner organisations Mr Malcomson says he hope the immigration advice can restart by early April.

“I must stress that this decision has not been taken lightly and is a last resort," he said. “It is a necessary decision, which will allow us to fulfill our promises to all those clients we have already signed up. (either via legal aid or fee-paying), while ensuring that we continue to provide a high quality and effective service.”

Until then, anyone with an immigration query going to Bolton Citizens Advice drop-in service will be provided with a web link to find alternative provision.

All other advice areas will continue unchanged during the suspension.

Citizens Advice can usually provide help with visa eligibility and applications, including advice filling in the forms, chasing up Home Office delays, getting replacement immigration documents, problems with coming to the UK or staying in the UK and becoming a British citizen.