What Advice and Assistance a Level 1 Immigration Adviser can and cannot do as stipulated by The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)

Work permitted at Level 1

Level 1 advisers are permitted to make applications that rely on the straightforward presentation of facts to meet a set of qualifying criteria. Such applications will not be discretionary or concessionary in nature and applicants will not have an immigration history which is likely to adversely affect the application in question.

Where a case becomes complicated or an application is refused an adviser must refer the client as soon as possible to an adviser authorised to practise at a higher Level. Level 1 advisers can work on Leave to Remain applications only where the client has extant leave.

All work at Level 1 will be within the Immigration Rules or Nationality Law and EEA Regulations. However, some applications that fall within the Rules or Nationality Law are not classified as Level 1 work (see later in this Guidance). This is because they require the presentation of additional representations or legal argument which are not Level 1 competencies.

Asylum and Protection

Level 1 advisers authorised in Asylum and Protection can undertake the following work:

  • notifying UKVI of a change of address
  • straightforward applications to vary the conditions attached to leave granted, including conditions attached to bail granted by the Secretary of State, for example the right to work or study, restrictions on residence or reporting requirements
  • travel document applications for someone granted Humanitarian Protection/Discretionary Leave to Remain.

No substantive asylum work, such as making applications or appeals, is permitted at Level 1.


Level 1 advisers authorised in Immigration can undertake the following work:

Applications for entry clearance, Leave to Enter or Leave to Remain

Basic applications that are within the Immigration Rules in the following categories:

  • visitors
  • spouses/unmarried partners
  • fiancé(e)s
  • other dependent relatives
  • Points Based System
  • diplomats, their family members and domestic staff

Level 1 advisers making the applications listed above should satisfy themselves that their clients do not have relevant human rights grounds that should be raised at this application stage. Where such grounds exist it will be important that the claim is comprehensively argued, explained and documented and as such the case should be referred to a higher level adviser.

Level 1 advisers may deal with FLR (FP) applications based on Family Life as a parent under the five year route and may also deal with ILR applications made under the 10 year lawful residence route.

Level 1 advisers may deal with out-of-time applications made within 14 days of the client’s leave having expired, where there is good reason for the delay that was beyond the adviser’s or their client’s control.

Nationality and Citizenship under UK law

Basic applications for:

  • registration of a child as a British Citizen
  • naturalisation as a British Citizen
  • confirmation of British Nationality status.

EEA Regulations

Basic applications for the following:

  • residence permit for an EU/EEA national
  • family permit for a non-EU/EEA family member
  • entry clearance and residence documents for non-EU/EEA family member, including an extended family member but only where they clearly meet the definition as such
  • Schengen Visas
  • Accession State casework.

Administrative Review

Lodging and dealing with an application for Administrative Review for any Level 1 type application with the exception of applications refused on the basis of credibility or a fundamental issue of genuineness of documents, or relationships.

Varying conditions of leave

Straightforward applications to vary the conditions attached to leave granted. For example, an application to remove the condition related to ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’. Level 1 advisers may also apply to vary the conditions already set for clients on bail granted by the Secretary of State, for example the right to work or study, restrictions on residence, or reporting requirements.

Work NOT permitted at Level 1

Level 1 advisers cannot undertake the following work:

  • applications related to illegal entrants, overstayers (excluding those applying within 14 days of their leave expiring where there is good reason for the delay), removal or deportation from the UK. Only applications for an amendment to the conditions of bail are permitted
  • family reunion applications
  • Settlement (Protection Route) applications
  • retained rights of residence for non–EEA nationals
  • derivative rights of residence applications and other complex EEA applications (e.g. Surinder Singh route)
  • detention and applications for bail
  • appeals, tribunals and court work, including Judicial Review Case Management.

A Level 1 adviser’s client must as soon as possible, be referred on to an adviser who is authorised at a higher Level in cases involving detailed representations and follow-up correspondence such as:

  • applications for Leave to Remain on the grounds of 20 years’ residence in the UK
  • applications for Further Leave to Remain on the basis of Family or Private Life under the 10 year route
  • applications for settlement on the grounds of Domestic Violence (DV). An application under the Victims of Domestic Violence Concession to vary leave in order to gain access to public funds may be conducted by Level 1 advisers who are aware of the requirements for a DV application
  • applications for further leave to remain/ settlement in respect of adopted children
  • applications that are not within the Immigration Rules
  • applications in which human rights grounds should be raised
  • applications for Judicial Review or any form of representation related to Judicial Review, including issuing a pre-action protocol letter.

Competence requirements

Level 1 advisers must demonstrate competence in the following:


  1. Sufficient knowledge of immigration and asylum law to identify:
  • that a client is subject to immigration control
  • possible immigration categories that might apply
  • relevant forms, procedures and fees that apply
  • the requirements of the Immigration Rules that must be satisfied in respect of a particular application
  • relevant time limits
  • urgent situations
  • published UKVI practice in the consideration of cases including UKVI Operational Guidance
  • mandatory and discretionary general grounds for refusal within the Immigration Rules
  • the operation of the statutory extension of leave to remain when an application is made
  • the operation of extensions, variations and curtailments of leave and the conditions of leave
  • processes available to challenge negative decisions related to Level 1 applications.

2.The adviser must have a clear understanding of the limits of their knowledge and competence, and an understanding and sensitivity as to when a client’s case has to be referred. This means that a Level 1 adviser will need to have:

  • general knowledge of immigration and asylum work and procedures, particularly in relation to illegal entrants and overstayers, to ensure that a client is referred appropriately
  • knowledge of the types of evidence needed to support cases and how to obtain such evidence
  • a good awareness of the European Convention on Human Rights, particularly Articles 3 and 8, and the Human Rights Act 1998
  • awareness of European Union regulations not covered by the Immigration Rules
  • awareness of the general grounds for exclusion or expulsion of EEA Nationals.

Skills and Aptitudes

  1. The ability to draft letters and complete application forms clearly and accurately in English, particularly when corresponding with UKVI and other bodies, using the correct terminology and enclosing the appropriate evidence or a clear explanation as to why it has not been provided.
  2. Sufficient verbal communication and interpersonal skills to:
  • identify to whom an enquiry relates, establish their wishes and intentions and the relevant facts of the case
  • communicate advice clearly to a client, giving reasons and explaining all options
  • inform the client of what steps they and the adviser need to take, including any urgent action.

3.The ability to identify vulnerable clients and to make appropriate provision (including referral) for such clients.

4.The ability to identify the range of evidence needed to support an application.

5.The ability to identify appropriate resources (e.g. textbooks, internet) and to use them effectively.

6.Awareness of, and a commitment to follow, established good practice.

7.The ability to act with an appropriate sense of urgency.

8.The ability to maintain clear, comprehensive, accurate and structured records, in line with the requirements of the Code.

 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.