The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has been busy this month, announcing bans or convictions for three unqualified immigration advisers after pursuing them through the courts.
The OISC first secured an indefinite ban on Kalpesh “Bobby” Karia of Whizzlaw Associates, Barnet, North London. The First-tier Tribunal for immigration services found that Karia had given “negligent” immigration advice, misled the Home Office and demonstrated an “apparent willingness to fabricate asylum claims”. He must also repay a fee of £4,300 to his unhappy client.
On 13 January 2020, Alexandra Zernova of London City Associates, a former charity worker, was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs following an OISC prosecution. She had earlier pleaded guilty to seven charges of providing unregulated legal advice. OISC chief John Tuckett said “We are pleased with today’s result, and that we have been able to bring forward another successful prosecution. However the length of time Ms Zernova was able to operate illegally reinforces the importance of people or organisations like the SIHRG coming forward and reporting knowledge of poor or illegal immigration advice to the OISC.”
On 16 January 2020, Hamidali Musa Jiva of Visa and Appeal Services UK, Bolton, pleaded guilty to four counts of providing unregulated immigration advice. Recorder Ashworth sentenced Jiva to an 18-month community order and 180 hours of community payback, as well as ordering costs and compensation of £3,500. Passing sentence, the judge said that Jiva had allowed his OISC registration to lapse because he “didn’t want to pay the fee”.