Message from the OISC

In an email to ARIA, Stephen Seymour, Operations Director at the OISC advises that the Immigration Act 2014 makes some fundamental changes to the OISC’s regulatory scheme.

The first of the provisions is being implemented on 28 July 2014 which gives the Commissioner an explicit power to carry out inspections of the activities and businesses of registered persons.

We expect the remaining provisions to be implemented later in the year, probably October.

They are –

  • The abolition of the concept of exemption by the Commissioner

This will mean that all OISC regulated organisations will become “registered”. Those previously “exempted” will have to apply for annual authorisation to give immigration advice and services.  The way this will work is that upon implementation, all the currently exempted organisations will become “registered” automatically.  However, we will need to get these organisations on an annual cycle of registration which we plan to achieve by 31 March 2015 at the latest.

Of course the “exempted” sector did not have to pay the OISC a fee for their application for regulation and we fully expect this to continue to be the case.

  • Suspension of Registration

This provides that the Commissioner can apply to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration Services) to suspend a person’s “registration” where they have been charged with an indictable offence, an offence involving dishonesty or deception or an offence under certain sections of the Immigration Act 1971. If the Tribunal agrees, the person will be suspended from providing immigration advice until either the person is acquitted, the charge or proceedings are dropped or withdrawn.  Where the person is convicted, the suspension continues while the Commissioner considers whether that person is no longer competent or is otherwise unfit to provide immigration advice or services.

  • Power of Entry

Previously the Commissioner could enter a regulated organisation’s premises without a warrant, but only to investigate a complaint. Additionally, she could only enter commercial premises.  Under the new Act, the Commissioner can enter premises, including those used as a dwelling (if the person is operating from those premises), to carry out any of her functions. But to do so, she must get a warrant.

  • Power to Cancel a person’s “registration”

This provides the Commissioner with a power to cancel a person’s “registration” (either an individual or an organisation) where they are no longer fit or competent. This can be at the conclusion of a complaint or at any time where there is evidence to support the cancellation. There is a right of appeal to the Tribunal against the Commissioner’s decision. Previously the Commissioner could withdraw the authorisation of an “exempted” organisation to operate (but not an individual adviser at that organisation) but could not remove a “registered” organisation (or adviser) other than refusing an application for continued registration.

The OISC are planning to issue a special newsletter, probably in September, providing more information to regulated organisations about the provisions and in particular how the conversion from exempted to registered will work for the not for profit organisations.

Does anyone have any questions or comments? If so, let us know and we will put these to the Commissioner.

Email: admin@aria-uk.org

IMMIGRATION CHECKS FOR LANDLORDS

ARIA have been in discussion with UKVI regarding the Government announcement that all private landlords will need to make checks on their tenants.

Whilst we support the general gist of this, we are concerned on several fronts: potential for discrimination; lack of understanding of Immigration status by landlords and agents; but most of all regarding the provision of advice on Immigration matters by people or companies with no expertise (ie letting agents).

We would welcome your views on this so we can feedback to UKVI.

 Please email admin@aria-uk.org

ARIA CONFERENCE CANCELLED

It is with much regret that ARIA must announce the cancellation of the ARIA Conference that was scheduled to be held in London on 21st May 2014.

The decision not to proceed with the conference in London has been a difficult one for us and has not been taken lightly.

Peter Larkin

Chair

ARIA Conference – Bookings to close Monday 12th May 2014

ARIA CONFERENCE & AGM 21st MAY 2014

CPD approved

LAST CHANCE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE AT THE
ARIA CONFERENCE AND AGM

Bookings to close 5pm Monday 12th May

Location – Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BY

Keynote Speaker

Immigration Services Commissioner Suzanne McCarthy

Presentation from our sponsor NSL Validation Solutions

The Home Office speaking on ‘Policy Changes’

Antonio Lam of Newland Chase giving an update on Immigration

Training session with Mansfield Chambers

CPD approved

To download booking form click here 1 ARIA Delegate Booking Form

For full programme details click here ARIA PROGRAMME May 2014

NSL Validation Solutions

We are pleased to announce NSL Validation Solutions as our sponsor for the ARIA Conference.

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NSL Validation Solutions specialise in ID Verification solutions for checking the worlds identity documents, enhancing security at international borders and local governments and ID checks for client verification.

Remember, places are limited so please book early to ensure your place.

Please click here for Delegate Booking Form

The Future of Regulations and the OISC

ARIA CONFERENCE & AGM

DATE CONFIRMED ~~~~~~~ 21st MAY 2014

ARIA are holding their Annual Conference, AGM and training day on 21st May 2014 at the Friend’s Meeting House, Euston Road, London.

Our Keynote Speaker is Suzanne McCarthy.

There will be presentations from the Home Office, respected advisors and key industry experts.

We expect the day to be very popular – so book now!

The Conference is open to both members and non-members.

To book your attendance, please complete the booking form and return to ARIA with your payment. Delegate Booking Form

Programme details ARIA PROGRAMME

If you are not currently a member and would like to join, please follow this link for further details and to download the ARIA membership application form. MEMBERSHIP FORM 2014

Members are asked to attend to vote at the AGM.

I look forward to welcoming you to what promises to be a very interesting event.

Peter
Peter Larkin
ARIA Chairman

MEETING WITH THE OISC

ARIA Chairman, Peter Larkin, and Secretary, Ian Westwood, held an initial meeting with Suzanne McCarthy, the Immigration Services Commissioner on 13th January. We hope this to be the start of a new relationship with the Commissioner and her staff to engage in positive debate regarding our industry. We agreed future meetings will focus on matters of importance to all advisors, and we therefore encourage you to contact us if there are any issues you feel we should be raising. There will be further consultation on the codes and standards in due course, and we encourage you to give your comment directly to the OISC as well as letting ARIA know what you think. 

As a reminder of something mentioned by the OISC at the meeting, but also in recent communications from them to all advisors. Prior to OISC audit, they do make contact with the Home Office to seek feedback on the applications being made by advisors. The Home Office are permitted to share details with them, and therefore they are likely to review completed cases with you during audit visits.