OISC Level 1 is the basic requirement needed to become a regulated advisor in the United Kingdom. The accreditation is provided by the OISC based on an applicant’s skills and competence.
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner popularly referred to in its acronym (OISC), is a government agency that regulates the provision of immigration services and counselling throughout the United Kingdom. The body was created by the Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999.
The sole aim of the OISC was to prevent migrants and their families from receiving poor or dishonest immigration advice. Fighting against bad immigration advice is considered an important task not only for the persons and for businesses directly concerned but also for the benefit of the public.
The Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999 prohibits any person or organization from offering immigration advice or services unless authorized by law. If you consider a profession in immigration service, you will have to apply for OISC authorization. The main tasks of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner OISC are as follows:
– Publication of a code of standards and other guidelines for immigration consultants
– Keeping a register of regulated consultants
– Sanctioning immigration consultants who do not meet the standard of good practice and discipline, limit or process, as the case may be.
What Is OISC Level 1 Qualification?
The OISC Level 1 training course is designed to equip participants with sufficient knowledge of the Immigration law, E.U. law, and asylum claims in order to prepare them for the Level 1 assessments. The training course focuses on the basic requirements of the OISC ethics for immigration advisors. The training courses also include considerations on exam questions, techniques, and other helpful tips for OISC training assessment. The training is usually designed as a one-day, entry-level course on immigration counselling in accordance with the U.K. immigration guidelines. According to the syllabus published by the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner in 2013, the OISC level 1 training courses cover the standard terminology in the practice, analysis of structures, and ethical practices in the following areas:
– Immigration law
– Right of asylum and protection
– Law on the free movement of the European Economic Area (EEA)
– Commercial immigration law
– Legal proceedings and appeal structures in matters of asylum and Immigration
– Essential skills and abilities
How to Become an Immigration Advisor
anyone or organization who wishes to work as an immigration advisor in London and other parts of the U.K must be regulated by the OISC. This involves undergoing training and passing the OISC exams or assessment on different levels. If you do not possess any previous experience of the U.K. immigration law, you will need to start with the OISC Level 1 course. The training will expose you to the basic requirements of the profession. The few exceptions are for those who belong to any of the recognized professional bodies:
– General Council of the Bar
– Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
– Law Society of England and Wales
– Law Society of Scotland
– Faculty of Advocates
– Law Society of Northern Ireland
– General Council of Bar of Northern Ireland
Members of the above bodies do not need to possess OISC certification before they can give advice. The basic responsibility of an advisor in the United Kingdom is to provide services mainly on citizenship, residency, and immigration-related matters. It is a criminal offence for an unauthorized person to provide such services.
What Does OISC Level 1 Assessment Involve?
Before you can be certified by the OISC, you must prove to the office of the services commissioner OISC that you are capable of discharging the roles of an immigration advisor. Your fitness and competence level will be tested to see if you have all it takes.
Fitness: Your fitness will be determined based on three key elements, which are:
– The likelihood of compliance with the OISC regulatory scheme
– A history of legal compliance and honesty
– A history of financial probity
OISC Competence Assessment: You will be considered competent if you can sufficiently demonstrate the requisite skills and knowledge to meet the needs of clients seeking immigration services or advice.
Starting Your Journey to the Immigration Service
To meet the above OISC fitness and competence assessment and become a regulated advisor, you need adequate prior preparation. This can be achieved through different means, which include attending OISC training, doing a required university or college degree, volunteering and experience, or apprenticeship.
OISC Training Courses
As explained above, undergoing OISC training will prepare you for the exams or assessment. The knowledge gained at the training will help you scale through the fitness and competence tests. It is about the fastest and easiest law training route to become an advisor.
University or College Course
You can train to become a legal executive by doing a university or college degree in law or a Graduate Diploma in Law. Other recognized college courses include CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice, and CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice.
You can start by attending and completing a paralegal apprenticeship. This will allow you to take a chartered legal executive higher apprenticeship.
Work or Volunteering
Experience gained in an organization working with immigrants and asylum seekers will help . You can work or volunteer to serve in any of the appropriate private or public organizations such as citizen Advice, refugee action, and refugee support network.
To specialize in Immigration advisor, it will best to find a job in an organization that deals with immigration and asylum issues during the training. You can find more information on the assessment at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Immigration Consultant?
As an individual without previous knowledge of the immigration-related services, becoming a certified immigration consultant begins with OISC Level 1 training. You do not need to have a law degree or any university qualification to apply for the training. It is the easiest, but highly recognized law training in the U.K.
How to become OISC Level 1 Advisor
The Level 1 training is offered by various authorized organizations in London and other parts of the United Kingdom. Many of these organizations offer it as a one- or two-day entry-level training courses. At the end of the training, you will have covered the syllabus as required by the OISC.
Alternatively, you can also get OISC Level 1 certification if you can prove that you have acquired enough experience in the immigration services. To be accredited at level 1, you must have experience in the U.K. immigration services and advice for at least 3 months. Another option is to have 6 months of full-time or the equivalent part-time experience providing non-immigration advice in a related service. This includes social security, debt, housing, legal or employment. You should also endeavour to be up-to-date about the relevant expertise in the area of immigration law that covers all areas of work for which you apply.
OISC Level 1 Consultants must demonstrate the following:
Knowledge: A level 1 OISC consultant must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of immigration and asylum law. You must clearly understand the limits of knowledge and skill of the level 1 OISC consultant and when to present a case.
Skills and Abilities: The OISC Level 1 advisor must be able to write letters and fill out application forms clearly and precisely in English, using the correct terminology and attaching adequate evidence or a clear explanation of the reasons why they do not exist. You must also have sufficient skills in verbal and interpersonal communication.
After your OISC Level 1 exam and accreditation, you can start working as a regulated immigration adviser in the capacity of the level of your training. If you wish to expand your service, you can undergo other law training and acquire higher levels of OISC training courses, which include level 2 training and level 3 training:
Level 2: Level 2 is more complex work, outside immigration rules – a minimum of 12 months or 120 hours of experience
Level 3: Level 3 includes having a minimum of 24 months or 240 hours of experience.
How to Book OISC Level 1 Exam
To become an accredited immigration adviser, you will need to complete and submit the application and competence statement. Ensure you fill the form correctly before sending it to the OISC by using the “Dropbox” on the submission webpage.
After that, you will be invited to participate in the Level 1 fitness and competence assessment by the OISC. You will receive an invitation usually by email, asking you to confirm you will attend the assessment. You will also receive details of the exercise, including the assessment centre. If you cannot attend at the scheduled time, you will need to notify your OISC caseworker. Your reason for postponement must, however, be an exceptional circumstance.
The Level 1 assessment involves 2 sections. In section 1, you will answer multiple choice questions. Section 2 consists of questions which require written answers. Passing the two sections in one or two attempts means you have passed the overall test. If you pass one section and fail the other, you will be asked to re-sit the section you fail.
OISC Level 1 Study Material
The British Immigration Service has developed OISC Level 1 training study materials to help applicants prepare for the exam. This resource book will likewise be of exceptional help to U.K. immigration professionals. You can book for the Level 1 OISC exam online. To get more information on what is covered, see the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the webpage. You can make a call or send an appointment, and a member of the OISC team will contact you to give you a date for the exam.