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Complaints
Introduction
The OISC is committed to raising the standard of immigration advice. We know that the majority of advisers are acting in good faith and in the best interests of their clients. But we need to ensure that examples of bad practice are brought into the open and any necessary action taken. The Immigration Services Commissioner has therefore published the OISC Complaints Scheme to help achieve that result. This section of the site gives an outline of that scheme. Alternatively, you may downlaod a copy of the complaints form and submit it to us for processing.
Who can make a complaint?
Anyone may make a complaint – a client or their representative, another adviser, a government official or a member of the public. In addition, the Commissioner can instigate a complaint if considered appropriate. You may ask someone else to make the complaint on your behalf, but they must have your written permission.
What can I complain about?
We are only able to accept “relevant” complaints. This means that a complaint must relate to:
  1. the competence or fitness of an adviser;
  2. the competence or fitness of someone employed by, or working under, an adviser;
  3. alleged breaches of the Commissioner’s Rules or Code of Standards.
Generally we can only accept complaints within six months of an incident, although this can be extended at the Commissioner’s discretion. Matters that could lead to a relevant complaint being made include:
  1. failing to carry out work as promised, or to represent a client at a hearing;
  2. practising as an adviser without being registered by the Commissioner or otherwise covered by the scheme;
  3. not giving a client written notice of any fees likely to be incurred; or
  4. withholding clients’ money without good cause.
This list is not exhaustive. You can call the OISC Helpline on 0845 000 0046 if you want to discuss a potential complaint.
Who can I complain about?
We can accept complaints about any person giving immigration advice or services, whether or not they are regulated by us.

We are unable to accept complaints against people who hold office under the Crown or government employees such as Home Office staff, when acting in that capacity. Nor against people acting under the control of a government department or who are otherwise exercising functions on behalf of the Crown.
How do I complain?
We have produced a complaints form for you to use. This form can either be printed out for completion later or you can complete it on screen, then print, sign and date it.

Please return your completed form to us at the address shown on the front of the form. Again, feel free to use our Helpline on 0845 000 0046 if you want any advice.
What happens after I make a complaint?
We will wherever possible acknowledge your complaint within five working days. If the complaint is one that we can investigate then the person or organisation complained against will be notified. They will be invited to send us any representations they wish to make.

We will notify you, and the person complained against, of the result as soon as possible. If the complaint is upheld the case may be referred to the Immigration Services Tribunal, who in more serious cases can order an organisation to cease giving immigration advice.

If the complaint is against someone who is regulated by one of the designated professional bodies, such as the Law Society or the Bar Council, we will normally refer it to that organisation for investigation. The Commissioner will report yearly to the Secretary of State on the effectiveness of those bodies in investigating such complaints.