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prioritypress
15th Jan 2009, 01:35
How do you become a "registered" OISC advisor?

Is it just a case of doing the various courses and exams?

Or is there more to it?


Nick

Merseymike
15th Jan 2009, 05:44
Basically, there are three levels of qualification, being levels 1-3, and 3 being the highest. Within these are categories of immigration work in which an adviser may choose to operate.

An application is made to the OISC for registration in which the applicant has to set out his previous experience and competences that will enable him to operate effectively at the chosen level and in the selected fields. Once the application is accepted in principle by the OISC, the prospective adviser is invited to attend an exam in which he will be questioned at the chosen level and in the nominated areas of expertise. If he passes this, he will be duly registered. There is an annual fee for belonging to the club which is dependent upon the level of qualification and the number of advisers within a firm. An adviser registered at levels 1 or 2 can operate at the next level up under the supervision of a suitably qualified person.

An adviser has to re-register on an annual basis (of course, having to pay the fee again). During this re-registration he has to demonstrate that he has undertaken ongoing training and that the firm is being run in accordance with the OISC's rules and regulations. If he wishes to move up a notch, he has to take another exam at that level.

Level 1 = Can undertake form-filling and advise a client of the requirements of the Immigration Rules, but without giving an opinion on the interpretation of the Rules. Cannot advise on appeal matters or detention matters.

Level 2 = Essentially, everything short of appeals and complex cases, although what constitutes a complex case is rather subjective.

Level 3 = Everything, but cannot represent a client in a court above the Tribunal.

To take Davies Khan as an example, we are currently registered to level 2 in all categories of immigration work with the exception of asylum, which we chose not to do. These categories are defined as Entry/Further Leave to Remain/Leave to Remain, Nationality/Citizenship, EU/EEA, and Detention/Applications for Temporary Admission. We are currently in the process of registering another adviser who was a barrister, and who, it is hoped, will give the firm level 3 coverage. Currently, we get involved in appeal matters under supervision, and instruct either a solicitor or barrister to actually represent the client at the appeal hearing.

prioritypress
15th Jan 2009, 08:31
Thanks for the extensive reply.

Firstly, I have to add that I have no experience in this field. I'm just exploring a possible new business opportunity.

But as I understand it, if I undertook several training courses and maybe did some part-time/voluntary work for an organisation such as the CAB, would this qualify me to become a "registered" advisor?

And finally, if I was working abroad say, LOS or even Brazil, would being "registered" really matter if I wanted to give immigration advice?


Nick

Merseymike
15th Jan 2009, 09:06
You will have had to undergo some training as otherwise you'll have no experience/competence to rely upon. Working for another organisation under supervision also helps. That organisation will have to be registered in its own right, although that could be with the OISC or any of the other professional bodies stipulated in section 86 of the '99 Act:-


Designated professional bodies (1) “Designated professional body” means—
(a) The Law Society;
(b) The Law Society of Scotland;
(c) The Law Society of Northern Ireland;
(d) The Institute of Legal Executives;
(e) The General Council of the Bar;
(f) The Faculty of Advocates; or
(g) The General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland.


Whether such training or experience would be sufficient to ensure your ultimate qualification would largely be down to the type of training you have and you; i.e. how quickly you assimilate the information and how adept you are at putting it in to practice.

UK legislation does not have extra-territorial effect, so there can be no requirement for overseas advisers to be registered. However, there may come a time when visa sections have the right to refuse to accept applications prepared by those who are neither registered nor otherwise interested in the application.

In certain areas of Thailand there are many fly-by-nights who are self-appointed immigration advisers of dubious provenance. They have neither experience nor knowledge of UK immigration law and policy, and they appear to have established themselves in this line of work simply as a means to the end of being able to remain in Thailand. Such people aren't going to take kindly to any encroachment on their turf, so make sure you get yourself a "poo yai" worth his salt.

Tobias
15th Jan 2009, 09:09
Originally posted by prioritypress:
... if I was working abroad say, LOS or even Brazil, would being "registered" really matter if I wanted to give immigration advice? You would not need to be registered with the OISC to offer immigration advice abroad. However you must be OISC registered (or employed by an OISC registered business) to provide immigration advice in the UK. It is an offence for an unqualified person to offer immigration advice (in the course of a business).

Those qualified to offer immigration advice in the UK are - registered members of the OISC, Legal Executives (Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives), solicitors and barristers (i.e. lawyers) or employees employed by such qualified persons.
.

[SELF EDIT: Oops, sorry Merseymike, our posts crossed :blush:]

prioritypress
15th Jan 2009, 09:30
I appreciate the points made above. I know there are many fly-by-nights in LOS...that's why I thought about providing a decent service.

I have no legal training, except as part of a business degree many moons ago.

I also have a Masters and a postgraduate journalism qualification.

It's just recently I had a "hair-brained" scheme about running a wedding-planning and visa service...with a bit of photography thrown in for good measure ;)

I have no real attachment to the UK, only my brother, Mum and Dad and a property. Not been married before, no kids.

I've just had enough of the UK... :help:


Nick

prioritypress
15th Jan 2009, 09:36
Originally posted by Merseymike:
You will have had to undergo some training as otherwise you'll have no experience/competence to rely upon. Working for another organisation under supervision also helps. That organisation will have to be registered in its own right, although that could be with the OISC or any of the other professional bodies stipulated in section 86 of the '99

A friend works for the Refugee Council and I believe they are registered to level 2 as an organisation.

He said he could get me some "work experience" there.

Nick

Merseymike
15th Jan 2009, 10:04
That's fine. The Refugee Council is of good standing and to have worked there in a voluntary capacity, rather than Dodgy Joe's Visa Emporium Ltd., will stand you in good stead. The only concern I would have is that you'll get experience in largely asylum-orientated matters, and this may not be the grounding you want if your ultimate aim is to advise on visa applications, as asylum seekers generally don't apply for visas. :D

prioritypress
15th Jan 2009, 11:27
Originally posted by Merseymike:
The only concern I would have is that you'll get experience in largely asylum-orientated matters, and this may not be the grounding you want if your ultimate aim is to advise on visa applications, as asylum seekers generally don't apply for visas. :D

Not generally no ;) :lol:

What about a Citizens Advice Bureau?


Nick

rolyshark
15th Jan 2009, 15:58
What about a Citizens Advice Bureau?
It will depend on the kind of work the individual bureau does. I suspect that most of the immigration work will be welfare benefit related-entitlements,challenging refusals of benefits etc

Many bureaux refer complex cases to specialist advisers...

Merseymike
15th Jan 2009, 16:59
Originally posted by rolyshark:

What about a Citizens Advice Bureau?

Many bureaux refer complex cases to specialist advisers...

That is my experience, too. The local bureaux I've come across are all registered at level 1, so may not be in a position to provide supervision.

rolyshark
15th Jan 2009, 18:22
Indeed and if they do have specialist advisers in,say,debt and welfare benefits,the legal aid contract specifically excludes them from conducting remunerated immigration work.