Our host, Top Law expert and Immigration Consultant, Joseph K. Adebola is an authority on Immigration matters.
He will be taking on all your questions on this forum and will provide answers as frequently as possible to bring you close to solutions to issues on your Immigration matters.
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Welcome to Migrants Watch. It is a forum created to enlighten Immigrants on the steps to take to help them in the cause of regularising their status in the UK.
As we all know that Immigration law continues to change at an alarming rate with repeated revisions of the Immigration Rules and new statutes being introduced from time to time. This is no doubt having increasing impact on everyday cases, coupled with the regular raids being carried out by the UK Border Agency; there is an increasing need to instruct specialist counsel.
And in my official capacity as Immigration Consultant with Brightway Immigration & Asylum Practitioners (BIAAP) and during our continuous Immigration Awareness Campaign in Churches where we go to enlighten Immigrants – especially those that have overstayed the duration of their visas – discovered the staggering ignorance that exists amongst many Immigrants. Many simply do not know what to do or who to turn to for help in this regard. Some get caught up through listening to “Street Attorneys at Nothing – SAN”. Amongst the few that does, many have sad stories to tell about their experience with the Legal Reps they turned to for help.
Many problems were discovered in our Immigration Awareness Campaign but in this article, I am only going to deal with the need to instruct specialist counsel.
The first thing I want all Migrants to know is that all Legal Representative (Legal Reps) practicing in the UK (Solicitors, Immigration Advisers/Consultants etc.) are mandated by law to be accredited by either the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) or the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
These two regulatory bodies have strict code of conduct that all Legal Reps it regulates has to abide by.
Also all Legal Reps are mandated to reveal and display its accreditation to either of these bodies in its marketing materials like Business Cards, Website etc.
The way to recognise an accredited Legal Rep is by checking for their accreditation from their Website, Business card etc.
Before instructing specialist counsel all Migrants are advised to check the OISC website: www.oisc.gov.uk for (a) List of Advisers or (b) Register of Advisers.
The List of Advisers is for Not-for-Profit organisations and the Register of Advisers is for Profit making organisations. For clarity List of Advisers is for organisations that do not charge a fee for its services while the Register of Advisers is for organisations that does charge a fee for its services. Either one of these should contain details (Names etc.) of all advisers accredited by the OISC.
Lastly, an advice organisation’s current certificate of regulation must be prominently displayed at the organisation’s business premises.
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