OISC Level 1

Advice and Assistance

Work Permitted at Level 1

Level 1 advisers are permitted to make applications within the Immigration Rules, as listed below. Where a case becomes complicated or an application is refused, such an adviser must refer the client as soon as possible to an adviser authorised to practice at a higher Level. A case may become complicated, for example, where a client has entered or remained in the UK at any time in breach of their conditions of entry or leave to remain. Level 1 advisers can work on Leave to Remain applications only where the client has extant leave.

Asylum and Protection

No substantive asylum work, such as making applications or appeals, is permitted at Level 1. The only limited assistance permitted in this category of work at this Level includes:

  • notifying the Home Office of a change of address
  • extension of Temporary Admission
  • applications for permission to work
  • travel document applications for someone granted Humanitarian Protection/Exceptional Leave to Remain
  • settlement (protection route) applications


Level 1 advisers can do the following work in this category:

Applications for entry clearance, Leave to Enter or Leave to Remain

Basic applications that are within the Immigration Rules in the following categories:

  • visitors
  • students
  • spouses/unmarried partners
  • other family members
  • immigration employment documents
  • all applications under PBS, visitors, diplomats, their family members and domestic staff and non-asylum Case Resolution/ Legacy Cases
  • other applications such as au pair, postgraduate medical/dental training and private medical treatment.

Nationality and citizenship under UK law
Basic applications for:

  • naturalisation as a British citizen
  • registration as a British citizen.

EU and EEA immigration law
Basic applications for the following:

  • residence permit for an EU/EEA national
  • family permit for a non-EU/EEA family member
  • entry clearance for non-EU/EEA family member
  • Workers Registration Scheme
  • A2 Accession Scheme.

Work Not Permitted - for both Immigration and Asylum and Protection

Level 1 advisers are not permitted to do the following work:

  • Illegal entrants, overstayers, removal or deportation from the UK
  • Family reunion
  • Detention, applications for temporary admission, CIO bail and Immigration Judge bail
  • Appeals, Tribunals and Court Work

A Level 1 advisers client must as soon as possible be referred on to an adviser who is regulated at a higher Level in cases involving detailed representations and follow-up correspondence such as:

  • applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the grounds of long residence in the UK (14 years continuous residence)
  • applications for settlement on the grounds of domestic violence
  • applications for further leave to remain/ settlement in respect of adopted children
  • applications that are not within the Immigration Rules.

Competence Requirements

Level 1 advisers must demonstrate competence in the following:

Sufficient knowledge of immigration and asylum law to identify:

  • that a client is subject to immigration control
  • possible immigration categories that might apply
  • relevant forms and procedures that apply
  • the requirements of the Immigration Rules that must be satisfied in respect of a particular application
  • relevant time limits
  • urgent situations.

The adviser needs to have a clear understanding of the limits of their knowledge and competence, and an understanding and sensitivity as to when a clients case has to be transferred to another regulated adviser.  This means that a Level 1 adviser will need to have:

- General knowledge of immigration and asylum work and procedures, particularly in relation to illegal entrants and overstayers, to ensure that a client is referred appropriately.

- Knowledge of the types of evidence needed to support cases and how to obtain such evidence.

- Awareness of the European Convention on Human Rights, particularly Articles 3 and 8, and the Human Rights Act 1998 in order to identify cases that should be referred on.

- Awareness of European Union regulations not covered by the Immigration Rules.

Skills and Aptitudes

1. The ability to draft letters and complete application forms clearly and accurately in English, particularly with the Home Office and other agencies, using the correct terminology and enclosing the appropriate evidence or a clear explanation as to why it has not been provided.

2. Sufficient verbal communication and interpersonal skills to:

  • identify to whom an enquiry relates, establish their wishes and intentions and the relevant facts of the case
  • communicate advice clearly to a client, giving reasons and explaining all options
  • inform the client of what steps they and the adviser need to take, including urgent action

3. The ability to identify appropriate resources (e.g. textbooks, internet) and use them effectively.

4. Awareness of, and a commitment to follow, established good practice.

5. The ability to act with an appropriate sense of urgency.

6. The ability to maintain clear, comprehensive, accurate and structured records.