What is an immigration adviser?
The immigration adviser is someone who:
- gives advice to you as an individual about your asylum application, or asylum support application or your immigration case, or
- who represents you in court or at a tribunal, or
- who writes letters for you to the Government.
Someone is not counted as an immigration adviser if they only:
- tell you about where you can find more help, or
- give you very general information.
What does accredited mean?
‘Accredited’ means the adviser
- Has the right level of skills, knowledge and qualifications to do their job
- Is regulated by one of the official regulation organisations
‘Regulated’ means the adviser and their work are checked and controlled by an independent organisation set up to do this.
There are 3 levels of qualification. Check which qualification level an adviser has before you decide to work with them.
- Level 1 advisers can only give basic advice about straightforward problems that follow immigration rules. There are many immigration and asylum problems a Level 1 adviser is not allowed to work on
- Level 2 advisers can do everything a Level 1 adviser can, and they can do casework on complex problems that are outside immigration rules. But there are still things a Level 2 adviser is not allowed to work on.
- Level 3 advisers can do everything a Level 1 or 2 adviser can, and they can do specialist work like advocacy, appeals and representing you in court.
Immigration Advice Regulation
There are 3 different regulation organisations
- Solicitors Regulation Authority – SRA, or
- Law Society – LS, or
- Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner – OISC
Regulated advisers must show this by putting 1 of these images in their office, in their windows and on their papers. This is so you know which advisers are regulated and which are not.
Immigration advisers to avoid
Some advisers are prohibited or suspended. ‘Prohibited’ means the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner has said they are not allowed to work on immigration and asylum problems any more.
I got bad advice from my adviser
Watch a video from the SRA about what to do if you are unhappy with your solicitor