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Immigration Advice and OISC

It is a criminal offence to provide immigration advice or services unless authorised to do so. This provision was introduced by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and came into force on 30 April 2001. The legislation applies to anyone providing immigration advice and services in the UK. This includes advisers and compliance staff based in the UK who are providing advice (for example, by telephone or email) to a client who is overseas.

Giving advice, which relates to an individual's particular circumstances in connection with an immigration matter, constitutes 'immigration advice' for the purposes of the legislation. This may also include employment advice when there is an immigration element to it or work during studies.

The provision of immigration advice is regulated by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). The OISC set the principles to which immigration advisers must comply with in the Code of Standards and Commissioner’s Rules. Higher Education Institutions are authorised under a Ministerial Order (Part V of the Immigration and Asylum Act, 1999) to provide immigration advice and services without the need to register with the OISC. Designated staff, responsible for the provision of immigration advice have an exemption from OISC registration and regulation by Ministerial Order under the terms of their sponsor licence. The exemption is not limited to advice on a particular immigration category; however, an advisor must be competent and equipped to provide advice in the area of immigration law at the required level.

The University of Northumbria Welfare, Immigration and Funding Team offers confidential, impartial immigration advice for:

  • University of Northumbria offer holders;
  • Current University of Northumbria students;

  • University of Northumbria graduates.

The University is permitted to offer such services under the regulation of the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and all advisers work within the codes of the regulator.

The Welfare, Immigration and Funding Team provides advice on a range of UK student-related immigration matters to prospective, current and former students of the University of Northumbria. These include:

  • What type of visa you will need to study with us.

  • How to apply for a Student visa.

  • Advice for Student dependants applications.

  • Visas for short-term study.

  • What to do if your visa is refused.

  • Your rights and responsibilities as a visa holder.

  • Lost passports and visas.

  • Changes of student status and how they may affect your visa.

  • Graduate visa.


Contact Us 

Please complete our enquiry form and a member of our team will be in contact with you.

Current students: Please submit an enquiry via the Help and Support section of your Student Portal.


If you have a complaint regarding our service, please let us know and we will do our best to resolve the matter swiftly and informally. If you are still unhappy, the university has a formal Complaints Procedure. You can find further details here.


If your complaint is specific to a piece of immigration advice you have been given, please note that you can make a complaint to the OISC irrespective of whether or not you have made a complaint to the University. Details of how to do this can be downloaded from the OISC’s website.

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