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Resources for migrant members

22 September 2021

UCU campaigns to improve support for migrant members and to challenge government policies which target, persecute, and disenfranchise migrants in the UK.

UCU is currently the only trade union to officially recognise migrant status as an equalities issue, with a dedicated equality strand devoted to advancing the interests of migrant members. Increasing the focus on the specific challenges faced by migrants amongst the wider trade union movement is a key priority for the union.

Migrant members' standing committee 

The migrant members' standing committee (MMSC) advises the equality committee and the national executive committee (NEC) on issues affecting migrant members and encourage self-organised networking.

The committee is comprised of the migrant representatives on the NEC, plus ten representatives elected at the annual equality conference.

Details of the current membership of the equality committee can be found on the equality standing committees information page.

If you would like to contact the migrant members' standing committee, please email 

Migrant members' annual equality conference

Each year, the union hosts a conference for migrant members. The conference is open to all members who self-identify as migrant members, and is a chance to hear directly from the committee as well as to debate motions and discuss wider issues affecting migrant staff in our sectors.

Further details, including registration information, can be found on the equality groups conference page.

Legal support for migrant members

UCU provides a range of legal support for migrant members, supported by expert immigration lawyers Bindmans.

Update: read a summary of changes to immigration requirements [164kb] provided by Bindmans in March 2024.

For more information about the UCU legal scheme, see our full legal services page.

If you are applying for a visa or indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and have questions, you can find a range of frequently asked questions, as well as other information about UCU's legal services, on this page. We anticipate that most questions about more 'straightforward' visa and ILR applications are answered in these documents, but we are constantly working with Bindmans to update them, so if your question is not covered, please email UCU members whose circumstances are unusual or notable in some way may be eligible for additional tailored legal support with their application. Please email to learn more.

If you are being supported in casework in your local branch and your immigration status is raising complications with regard to UK employment law, you may also be eligible for  legal support from Bindmans. Again, please email for more information.

UCU migrant members' survey results, November 2022

UCU's migrant members' standing committee (MMSC) conducted a survey to help understand how UCU support for migrant members could be enhanced. It examined the most effective ways to communicate the support UCU offers migrant members. It also asked what additional support was needed at branch level and national level.

Migrant members and non-members were clear in their responses that the support they would most like to see at branch level is support for 'bargaining and negotiating with employers to pay for related costs such as: visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, Immigration Health Surcharge and citizenship applications'. While the most sought support at the national level was a 'toolkit for branches to support migrant members at a local level'. Please click here to read the full report. [386kb]

Last updated: 27 March 2024