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Charities advising on EU settled status warned to refer complex cases on

Charities advising on EU settled status warned to refer complex cases on

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. 

CJ McKinney

CJ is Free Movement's deputy editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering submissions. When not writing about immigration law, CJ covers wider legal affairs at the website Legal Cheek and on Twitter: follow him @mckinneytweets.

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