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Introduction to UK immigration law and becoming an immigration advisor
Introduction to UK immigration law and becoming an immigration advisor

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10 What is the OISC?

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The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) was created by the Immigration Act 1999 and regulates immigration advisers who are not solicitors or barristers, or supervised by them. The OISC also regulates the provision of immigration advice in the not-for-profit sector.

You will explore the competences and standards set by the OISC in Session 4 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Here, we explore the work of the Immigration Services Commissioner.

Activity 4: Finding out more about the OISC

Timing: Allow 15 minutes

Use an online search engine to find out the name of the current Immigration Services Commissioner, and explore their role and responsibilities.


At the time of writing, typing ‘Who is the Immigration Services Commissioner’ into a search engine produced more than 400,000 results; the first one reveal that John Tuckett was appointed to the role of Immigration Services Commissioner on 3 May 2019, and that he began his role in summer 2019 and would remain in post for five years.

You may have found that the OISC originates from three key acts:

  • Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002
  • Immigration Act 2014.

Its powers include the ability to:

  • limit or vary levels of work advisers may undertake
  • lay a disciplinary charge against a regulated adviser
  • apply for a restraining order or injunction
  • prosecute for illegally providing immigration advice and/or services
  • prosecute for illegally advertising immigration advice and/or services
  • enter an adviser’s premises
  • seize an adviser’s records

Its responsibilities include:

  • publishing a code of standards and other guidance for immigration advisers
  • maintaining a register of regulated advisers
  • refusing entry to, or cancelling, advisers who don’t keep to the OISC’s required standards of good practice – the OISC can discipline, restrain or prosecute advisers as appropriate
  • maintaining oversight of the designated professional bodies.

The OISC’s website includes a structure chart, as well as information on its latest campaigns, policy papers and featured news (OISC, n.d.).