This newsletter focus on OISC requirements regarding supporting EU Settlement Scheme applications.
EU Settlement Scheme and immigration advice:
Local organisation providing supports regarding the EU Settlement Scheme shall ensure that they are fully compliant with the requirements of the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) in the services they deliver. Any basic immigration advice within the Immigration Rules being provided requires organisations to be registered with OISC level one.
If not OISC regulated, organisations must ensure all staff supporting applicants understand the definition of advice and the limits of what they can do without OISC regulation.
ARE YOU PROVIDING IMMIGRATION ADVICE OR IMMIGRATION SERVICES?
The definitions of ‘immigration advice’ and ‘immigration services’ are set out in section 82 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (as amended).
- relates to an individual; and
- is given in connection with a relevant immigration matter
Immigration services means making representations on behalf of a particular individual:
- in civil proceedings before a court, tribunal or immigration judge in the United Kingdom
- in correspondence with a Minister of the Crown or a government department.
Providing non-OISC restricted EUSS support:
If your work is restricted only to signposting or the provision of general information, you do not need to apply to the OISC for registration. Examples of this are:
- awareness raising,
- information provision,
- public events,
- language support,
- digital assistance and equipment provision.
However, providing one-to-one immigration advice would require OISC registration.
You can find further information on OISC regulations https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/604521/OISC_GoC_2017.pdf.
OISC ADVICE LEVELS
The OISC has divided immigration advice and services into three Levels depending on the type and complexity of the work involved. The competence requirements increase with the intricacy of the work. The three OISC Levels of immigration advice and services are as follows:
- Level 1 – Advice and Assistance
- Level 2 – Casework
- Level 3 – Advocacy and Representation
OISC guidance for level 1 organisations providing Level 1 Immigration Advice related to the EU Settlement Scheme
In the overwhelming majority of circumstances, you should be able to complete applications under the EU Settlement Scheme:
- For EEA nationals
- For anyone who already has a permanent residence document or evidence of indefinite leave to remain
- For family members of EEA nationals applying with their EU Citizen family member (excluding durable partners and other ‘dependent relatives’)
- For durable partners and other ‘dependent relatives’ of EEA nationals – provided they have a ‘relevant document’ and there has been no material change in their circumstances
- For family members who have retained the right of residence – where they have already been issued with a permeant residence document.
HOWEVER, regardless of whether the case is listed above or not, should you come up against any of the Red Flags (below) you should stop working and refer the matter on.
You should refer cases on:
- Where a person is relying on a derivative right to reside
- Where a person is a family member of a ‘qualifying British citizen’ (i.e. ‘Surinder Singh cases’)
- Where durable partners and other ‘dependent relatives’ do not have the necessary documentation, or their circumstances have materially changed since that documentation was issued
- Where people with retained residence rights do not have a permanent residence card.
- Where you are unable to prove a requirement is met with the required documentation – for example where the applicant does not have their own valid identity and nationality document; where the applicant is missing some evidence to prove their own residence in the UK; where a non-EEA applicant does not have evidence relating to their EEA family member.
If you would like further information about how to become a regulated immigration Adviser please click here
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner ( OISC) campaign:
The OISC has recently launched a resource page which includes posters that promote the use of advisers and explain what to do if there are issues regarding advice received. The page also contains links to a video aimed at those who are applying under the EUSS but want to use fit, competent and regulated immigration advisers. These resources are particularly timely as the EUSS ends in approximately a year’s time.
Councils are invited to use the video and posters in their communications with their local community.
Translated versions of the posters will be made available. Download resources here