Visa & Immigration Advice
The information provided in the following pages will help answer many of your questions. However, if you want advice based on your personal situation, please contact us.
Everyone providing immigration advice or immigration services in the UK, including licensed sponsors must comply with the OISC's Code of Standards. Our advisers are careful to work within their level of competence. If your matter is complicated you may be advised to seek the help of a Solicitor. In this instance we would signpost you to the Law Society to find a suitable practitioner.
If you have any complaints about the immigration advice provided to you, you may use the complaints procedure of the Student Advice and Support Service, or you can use the OISC complaints procedure.
Our authorisation to provide immigration advice and services
It is a criminal offence to provide ‘immigration advice or services’ unless authorised to do so. This provision was introduced by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the Act) and came into force on 30 April 2001. The Act provides that all organisations and advisers providing immigration advice or services must be “fit and competent” and must comply with a code of standards produced by the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
Authorisation to provide immigration advice and services can be obtained via one of three routes:
- Membership of a designated professional body, e.g. the Law Society
- Registration with the OISC
- Exemption by Ministerial Order
The Student Advice and Support Service derives its authorisation from this third route. There are currently two relevant ministerial orders.
- The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (Part V Exemption: Educational Institutions and Health Sector Bodies) Order 2001; and
- The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (Part V Exemption: Licensed Sponsors Tiers 2 and 4) Order 2009
Under the first of these orders the University (as a ‘recognised body’ under Article 3 of the Order) is exempt from the OISC registration requirement; this exemption also covers people employed by the University.
The second order permits licensed sponsors of Tier 2 and Tier 4 migrants to advise re matters related to the visa applications of their sponsored migrants and the migrants’ dependants.
The Student Advice and Support Service is authorised to provide immigration advice and services by an order made under section 84(4)(d) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (Part V Exemption: Educational Institutions and Health Sector Bodies) Order 2001 (Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 1403)). Should you have a complaint about the service you can use the Student Advice and Support Service's complaints procedure or you can use the OISC Complaints Scheme.