If you’re planning to move to the UK or extend your stay, navigating the UK immigration system can be a complex and overwhelming process. There are various rules, regulations, and requirements to follow, and any mistakes or omissions could lead to significant delays or even visa refusal. That’s why it’s essential to seek professional guidance and support from a UK immigration adviser. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to find a UK Immigration adviser and what to expect from the process.
To find a UK immigration adviser, follow these steps:
Use the OISC adviser finder tool
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is a regulatory body established by the UK government to license and regulate individuals and organisations that provide immigration advice. The OISC’s adviser finder tool can help you find a regulated immigration adviser in the UK. You can search for advisers by location, language, and level of advice required.
Check professional associations
There are several professional associations for immigration advisers in the UK, such as the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). These associations can provide directories of their members, which can help you find an immigration adviser.
Ask for referrals
If you know someone who has recently gone through the immigration process, ask if they worked with an immigration adviser and if they would recommend them.
It is important to choose an immigration adviser regulated by the OISC or a legal professional regulated by their own professional body, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Standards Board. This ensures that they meet the required standards for providing immigration advice in the UK.
How much does a UK immigration adviser cost?
The cost of an immigration adviser in the UK can vary depending on several factors, including the level of advice required, the case’s complexity, and the adviser’s experience and qualifications.
Most advisers charge an hourly rate for their services, ranging from around £100 to £300 or more per hour. Some advisers may offer fixed-fee packages for certain cases, such as visa applications or appeals.
It is important to note that the cost of an immigration adviser is just one factor to consider when choosing an adviser. It is also important to choose an adviser qualified, experienced, and regulated by the OISC or a legal professional body. A good adviser can help you navigate the complex and often-changing immigration laws in the UK, ultimately saving you time, money, and stress in the long run.
When choosing an adviser, it is recommended to understand their fees and any additional costs associated with your case before agreeing to work with them. It is also important to ask for a written contract outlining the scope of services, the terms of engagement, and any fees and expenses.
How can I get free UK immigration advice?
There are a few options for getting free immigration advice in the UK:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB): The Citizens Advice Bureau provides free advice on various issues, including immigration. You can find your nearest CAB office and book an appointment for a free consultation.
- Law Centres: Law centres offer low-income or otherwise disadvantaged people free legal advice. Some law centres provide immigration advice and assistance.
- Charities and Non-governmental organisations (NGOs): Some charities that provide free immigration advice and support, such as the Refugee Council, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and Asylum Aid.
- UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI): UKVI provides a free helpline to call if you have a question about your visa or immigration status.
- Gov.uk website: The UK government provides information on immigration and visas, including detailed guidance on applying for a visa and what to do if you face immigration problems.
- Whytecroft Ford: We offer a 15-minute free no-obligation consultation. You can speak with an experienced immigration adviser regarding your situation by calling our team on +442087575751 or using our contact form.
It is important to note that free immigration advice may not always be as comprehensive or tailored to your specific circumstances as advice from a qualified and experienced immigration adviser. If your case is complex, it may be worthwhile seeking advice from a regulated immigration adviser who can provide detailed and tailored advice based on your circumstances.
Do I need an immigration adviser?
Whether or not you need an immigration adviser in the UK depends on your circumstances and the complexity of your immigration case. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to seek advice from an immigration adviser:
The complexity of your case
If your immigration case is straightforward, you can navigate the process independently without needing an immigration adviser. However, if your case is more complex and involves issues such as prior refusals, criminal convictions, or human rights claims, it may be beneficial to seek advice from an immigration adviser.
If you have limited time to prepare and submit your application, an immigration adviser can help you navigate the process more efficiently and help you meet your deadlines.
Confidence in your knowledge
If you have a good understanding of the UK’s immigration system and are confident in your ability to prepare and submit your application, you may not need an immigration adviser. However, if you are unsure about any aspect of the process, an immigration adviser can provide guidance and support.
Risks associated with your case
If your case has significant risks, such as a high likelihood of refusal or potential legal consequences, it may be wise to seek advice from an immigration adviser.
If English is not your first language and you are not confident in navigating the immigration system in English, an immigration adviser can help you understand the process and communicate with the relevant authorities.
Ultimately, the decision to seek advice from an immigration adviser is a personal one that depends on your circumstances. Do your research and choose a qualified and experienced immigration adviser if you need one.
Who can give UK immigration advice?
In the UK, only regulated individuals and organizations can provide immigration advice. These regulated entities are licensed by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), a government regulatory body that oversees the provision of immigration advice.
The OISC licenses three different types of advisers, each with different levels of authorisation:
Level 1: These advisers are authorized to provide basic advice and assistance with completing application forms. They are typically not allowed to represent clients in legal proceedings.
Level 2: These advisers can provide more complex advice and assistance and may represent clients in certain legal proceedings, but only in a limited capacity.
Level 3: These advisers are authorised to provide the most complex advice and assistance and can represent clients in all legal proceedings relating to their immigration cases.
It is important to note that the OISC’s regulatory framework does not apply to legal professionals such as solicitors and barristers, who are already regulated by their professional bodies. These professionals can provide immigration advice and representation as part of their legal services.
If you seek immigration advice in the UK, you must ensure that the adviser you choose is licensed and regulated by the OISC. You can check an adviser’s registration status on the OISC’s website to ensure they are authorized to provide immigration advice.
What does an immigration adviser do?
A UK immigration adviser is a licensed and regulated individual or organisation that provides advice and assistance to individuals seeking to navigate the UK immigration system. The primary role of an immigration adviser is to help individuals understand their options and navigate the often-complex immigration rules and procedures.
Some of the specific services that an immigration adviser may provide include
- Providing advice on different types of visas, their eligibility criteria, and the application process for each type of visa.
- Review application forms to ensure that they are complete and accurate.
- Assisting with preparing supporting documents for visa applications.
- Advising on requirements for entry clearance or settlement in the UK.
- Helping individuals understand and respond to any issues or questions the Home Office raises during the application process.
- Advising on appeals or challenges to immigration decisions.
- Guiding changes to UK immigration law and policy.
It’s worth noting that the specific services an adviser provides may vary depending on their authorisation level under the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) licensing framework. Additionally, while an immigration adviser can provide guidance and advice on the UK immigration system, they cannot guarantee a successful outcome for a particular application.
If you are considering working with an immigration adviser, it’s important to ensure they are licensed and regulated by the OISC. This will help ensure that you work with a reputable and knowledgeable professional who can provide the guidance and support you need to navigate the UK immigration system.