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Frequently Asked Questions
We show below some of the questions that we have been asked. If you have a question that is not listed please contact us for further information.
How do I find an adviser in my area?
The site includes an Adviser Finder function. This enables you to search our register for a list of local advisers. You can choose whether you want the search to give priority to for profit or not for profit organisations. You can also search for a specific organisation or adviser. If you want to view a complete list of all the organisations that have been registered or exempted by the OISC then you should also look under 'Show All' at the Adviser Finder. This lists in alphabetical order all the organisations that currently hold a certificate of registration or exemption. The information in both The Register and Adviser Finder is updated every day.
Can anyone else give immigration advice?
Not everyone who gives immigration advice is regulated by the OISC - see Who we do not regulate for more details. But every adviser has to abide by our Code of Standards, whether or not they are regulated by us.
Can you help me with an immigration or asylum question?
We cannot give advice ourselves. If you have a general question about immigration or asylum you may find the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) website useful.
What are you doing about unscrupulous advisers?
The immigration advice industry was unregulated until the OISC was established. This meant that anyone could set up in business as an adviser, with no checks being made on their competence or fitness to provide that service. Unscrupulous advisers took advantage of that situation. The arrival of the OISC has made it compulsory for advisers to apply for a certificate of registration or exemption if they are to continue in business. An organisation displaying our "global tick" logo has met our standards of fitness and competence.

We have established an investigations unit to track down any organisations that are charging for advice without being registered with us. These advisers are now operating illegally and risk being fined or jailed.

If you have any information about an organisation that may be operating illegally please phone our Helpline on 0845 000 0046 or see the Making a complaint section of the web site.
What happens if I'm given bad advice?
If you believe that you have been treated unfairly by your adviser, or that your adviser was incompetent in some way, then you can lodge a complaint with us. See the Making a complaint section of the web site for further details.