The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has released guidance for charities accredited to advise on the EU Settlement Scheme only. The light touch accreditation scheme, which allows not-for-profit organisations to give immigration advice limited to the Settlement Scheme without jumping through the usual OISC hoops, was apparently a bit too light touch.
The OISC notes a number of “red flags”, or issues in a case that will make it too complicated for an adviser accredited only for Settlement Scheme work. Such issues include:
- derivative right to reside cases
- Surinder Singh cases
- missing documentation
- “where you need to prove something that is open to interpretation”
- where the suitability criteria might apply
The document says that it “incorporates advice issued by Refugee Action as part of their training programme and matters raised by Rights of Women”. Free Movement understands that the regulator was pulled in opposing directions by the two organisations, with Refugee Action keen to allow Settlement Scheme advisers to do as much as possible and Rights of Women concerned about encouraging people with limited training to go beyond straightforward cases.
In particular, Rights of Women argues that Settlement Scheme-only advisers should not touch retained right to reside cases at all, given the legal and practical complexities. It also thinks that various other types of case should be listed as red flags, including Lounes family members, excessive absences, refusals and children who may have a claim to British citizenship.