The tragic story last month of 50 declined applications from India for permanent residency, after Immigration New Zealand discovered they were submitted by an unlicensed immigration adviser, highlights the need to only use properly registered advisers.
In a statement, Nicola Hogg, General Manager of Visa Services, said their investigation has established applicants paid Hyderabad-based Opulentus Overseas Careers to represent them in their visa applications.
The applicants were asked to deny the involvement of any immigration adviser if questioned by the immigration service.
Ms Hogg said they have declined all applications submitted by the company.
The harsh action sends a strong message to unlicensed advisers and applicants that they will be found out if they do not comply with the requirement to be licensed.
In the UK immigration advisers are registered through the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), an independent, non-departmental public body set up by Parliament under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
It is illegal to give immigration advice without being registered with one of the recognised bodies which regulate legal and immigration advice in the UK.
Hundreds of migrants are scammed each year by rogue immigration advisers, some of whom are sent to prison. These crimes are investigated by a special team within the OISC.
To become a registered immigration adviser you will need to register with the OISC and pass a test. The OISC also carry out regular audits on registered immigration advisers to check their competence and suitability to give advice to migrants and members of the public.
Qualified immigration advisers must participate with the OISC’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme and ongoing training to ensure they are up-to-date with all the latest changes to the UK Home Office Immigration Rules.
If you are interested becoming an Immigration Adviser or learning more about UK/EU Immigration Rules, Immigration Matters have teamed up with leading training providers to run Level 1 Immigration Adviser Courses in London, Luton and Portsmouth. Courses will cover all aspects of level 1 immigration advice including: Points Based System, Right of Abode, British Nationality and Citizenship and UK Residency, Rules on Family Migration, Children and Dependants, Civil partners and Unmarried Partners, Entry Clearance, Visas and Leave to Remain, EEA/European Law, Yellow Card, Asylum and Human Rights.
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