Find an immigration

If you need immigration advice or practical support with a visa or settlement application, you may wish to see an immigration adviser.

It is not an essential requirement to consult an immigration adviser, and there is no reason why you cannot submit an application yourself. However, seeking the advice of a specialist is strongly advised if you have a complex case, or if you just want to ensure your application has the best chance of succeeding. Having access to a qualified professional who knows the immigration system can also help to put your mind at ease and make what can be a stressful process run as smoothly as possible.

When finding an immigration adviser, you should look for a practice that is OISC regulated. This is to protect you and to ensure you receive a high standard of service. Smith Stone Walters is an OISC regulated immigration practice – but what does this mean?

What is the OISC?

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is a public body that exists to regulate immigration advisers in the UK to ensure they are fit, competent and act in the best interests of their clients. It is illegal for anyone who is not UK regulated or qualified to give immigration advice.

OISC is sponsored by the Home Office, but they are separate organisations. The role of OISC is to:

  • Publish a code of standards and other guidance for immigration advisers
  • Maintain a register of regulated advisers
  • Refuse entry to or cancel advisers who do not keep to the required standards of good practice
  • Discipline, restrain or prosecute advisers as appropriate.

You can find an OISC regulated immigration adviser in your area by searching the OISC register.

How am I protected when using an immigration adviser?

All regulated immigration advisers must follow certain codes and guidelines that are set out by OISC, to ensure their clients receive a high standard of work. They are:

  • Code of Standards – Sets the standards concerning professional practice, conduct and discipline across the whole of the immigration sector.
  • Guidance on Competence – Describes the skills and knowledge advisers need to provide good quality advice services.
  • Guidance on Fitness – Ensures that advisers and those owning and/or running an organisation are ‘fit’ to do so, and likely to comply with OISC regulations.

Immigration advisers must also have professional indemnity insurance which protects you if you end up in financial loss as a result of poor advice.

Alternative options

If you choose not to use an immigration adviser to help with your case, there are alternative options. You can also use a:

  • Solicitor
  • Barrister
  • Chartered Legal Executive

However, when looking for a representative to help with your case, you should bear in mind that although the above professionals are qualified to give immigration advice, it may not be their specialty area of law.

On the other hand, OISC regulated practices that deal solely with immigration are handling such cases on a daily basis and therefore may be more suitable to offer specialist advice.

Why choose SSW?

If you are looking for immigration advice, perhaps your first call should be to Smith Stone Walters.

With over 20 years of service, there is not much we haven’t seen before! We have worked on thousands of cases for a wide range of clients, from managing business immigration moves for large corporate organisations to assisting with individual cases for private clients and families. No matter how large or small your case is, we pride ourselves on providing a WOW service to all our clients.

Our immigration advisers are based in global offices in London, Hong Kong, New York and Mumbai, so wherever you are in the world, SSW is on hand to help. For an informal discussion with an immigration expert about your specific requirements, please contact us today.

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