News story

Legal regulators issue guidance on immigration and asylum issues

OISC works with the SRA and BSB to issue guidance for the public and professionals on immigration and asylum issues

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Consumers of immigration and asylum legal services are often a particularly vulnerable group. They may have limited knowledge of their rights, the law and legal process, and can struggle to navigate a complex immigration and asylum system. These consumers can face significant barriers to accessing legal services, including inconsistent client care, the provision of poor quality advice and a lack of choice and/or accessible information, including clear information about fees.

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) in collaboration with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the OISC has developed guidance for both public and professionals following extensive consultation with consumer organisations and consumers themselves. Two documents have been published, the first guidance is aimed directly at consumers of immigration legal services. The second is for professionals working with people with immigration and asylum issues, to help them better assist their clients to navigate the legal system.

A link to the BSB guidance is found here.

Anyone providing immigration advice and services to the public in the course of a business (whether or not for profit) must be registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), or be a lawyer regulated by a “qualifying regulator”. It is a criminal offence to provide advice and services to the public without being registered with the OISC, or regulated by a “qualifying regulator”.

The guidance is available in the following languages: • Arabic

• Bengali

• Farsi

• Pashto

• Punjabi

• Romani

• Turkish

• Urdu

The translated versions of the guidance are available to download on the BSB website. If you would like hard copies of the guidance, please contact the BSB directly stating which languages and how many copies you require at ContactUs@BarStandardsBoard.org.uk.

Published 4 July 2017