Non-practising barristers and the provision of immigration services

Non-practising barristers and those barristers who are registered under paragraph 206 of the Code to offer legal services to members of the public, are reminded that should they wish to offer immigration services they must register with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Section 84 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 provides that only individuals registered with the OICS shall be permitted to offer immigration advice unless they are authorised to practise by a designated professional body or/and under the supervision of someone so authorised. The Bar Council is an authorised professional body.

Barristers in self employed and employed practice are therefore authorised to practice for these purposes under the same conditions that they are entitled to offer legal services generally and do not need to register with the OISC. Where required, failure to register with the OISC could amount to a breach of the Act and leave the barrister open to prosecution by the OISC.