Immigration services in the UK is protected service and professionals will be required to meet certain formalities before they can advice on immigration related  matters. However, immigration services offered from other countries for UK immigration matters may not be covered under UK law. There are varying requirements upon the candidates based on their scope of work within immigration services. In the UK professionals regulated by different organisations may offer immigration services including solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulating Authority, Barristers regulated by the Bar Council and  immigration professionals regulated by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). For an initial application, OISC Level 1 certified will be able to perform the relevant immigration related services. Whereas, OISC Level 3 certified  can perform more difficult and complex task such as appearing on tribunal courts for client representations.

List of OISC registered Immigration Practitioners and Immigration solicitors, Lawyers and Consultants in the UK

The list is reqularly updated and client should check the status of their prospective company offering them about immigration services. Search the OISC immigration professional registers here . Many other law firm offer immigration advice which is not listed on OISC register, you should ask the relevant credential such as membership from “The Law Society” or “The Bar Council” or Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) . The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the professional and  advisory body related to serving the interests of international students and participating organisations such as universities, colleges and academic and professional institutions

Avoid regrets by avoiding  ‘moral hazards and adverse selection’ of  immigration professionals

Immigration advice could involve very complex decisions and the impact could be life long for the client and their associates including their family members. Majority of the law firm make very attractive offers to their client. They may claim that they have served thousands of clients and their success rate is almost 100%. Majority of the law firm employ several immigration practitioners and you should [check] how many of them are registered professional. You can place complaint on the OISC website if you find false claim or inappropriate behavior. Immigration applications could be very complex and it is quite likely that your immigration application may be refused for reasons difficult to assessed apriori. However, a sincere and competent lawyer can help you the best he can in securing a successful immigration application with the UK home office. However,  assigning the visa is not their prerogative. So discourage immigration professional who claim it is their job to secure you a UK visa.

Be cautious when considering third party services in immigration matters

Often immigration services generates third party services. when procuring third party services such as accounting services or business plan services, equity finance or investment services, business analysis and market research services,  banking services, real estate services, client should consider an independent review of the relevant service providers. For example, many immigration professional will claim that they will be responsible for endorsing a business plan for Startup visa and Innovator visa UK on behalf of their client. Immigration professional may not have adequate skills related to business planning skills and may result in refusal of immigration application. Clients should seek independent business analyst to come up with their own business plan for UK startup or Innovator visa.

Immigration assistance in the UK

You may find important legal services free of cost using legal assistance services from below organisations.


Refugee Action

Refugee Support Network

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