Immigration advisers and agents
This page explains how you can find a qualified person to advise you on UK immigration law and your immigration status. They can also give you legal advice about your application for a visa (if you need one), and about extending your stay if you are already in the UK.
You can also choose to use an immigration agent to help you with your application.
Please be careful when choosing an immigration agent, and when looking for immigration advice online. Some independent companies claim to guarantee you a UK visa for a fee. The UK government has nothing to do with these companies and advises you not to deal with them.
Even if someone else completes your application for you, you are responsible for that application.
Where can you get advice?
UK Border Agency staff and our commercial partners cannot give you advice on how to complete your application, or what type of visa you should apply for.
If you need help with your application or advice about the UK's immigration law and requirements, you should seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser. This will ensure that your representative meets approved standards and is properly qualified to advise you.
In the UK, immigration advisers are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). If an adviser (or the organisation that the adviser belongs to) is regulated by the OISC, it should display the OISC logo. The OISC website contains:
- a list of regulated immigration advisers who do not charge for their advice or services; and
- a register of regulated immigration advisers who charge clients for their advice or services.
You can also obtain advice from legally qualified professionals regulated by designated professional bodies. A list of legally qualified professionals who can advise on immigration matters is available from:
- the Law Society of England and Wales
- the Law Society of Scotland
- the Law Society of Northern Ireland
- the Institute of Legal Executives
The Law Societies of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Institute of Legal Executives cannot provide direct help or advice on visa applications. They can only provide a list of law firms who can advise on immigration matters.
Assistance from friends, travel agents, immigration agents or consultants
You may decide to submit your visa application using an independent travel agent, immigration agent or consultant, or with the help of a friend. They can only help you complete the form and advise you which supporting documents to include. They cannot make the application for you or attend the visa application centre.
Remember that the visa application is your application. You are responsible for the information given and any supporting documents. You must check that the information is correct and sign the application.
A genuine agent should only charge you a small and reasonable fee for their services. If an agent makes unrealistic claims or charges high fees for their services, they may be overcharging you or supplying you with false documents and statements.
If you are approached by someone who claims that they can guarantee you success with your application in return for a fee, please inform staff at the visa application centre immediately.
This is our official website. We also operate online application and booking services through:
Our commercial partners (VFS Global and CSC WorldBridge Service) provide visa services and websites in some countries on our behalf. We advise you to avoid all other websites claiming to be in partnership with the UK Border Agency as they have no authorised affiliation with us or the Home Office.
We are aware that there are websites using similar names to the official ones operated by the UK Border Agency, and making false claims about securing UK visas for applicants. Please let us know if you come across such websites.
Reporting immigration fraud
If you think that someone is involved in immigration fraud or is operating illegally as an unregistered immigration agent, or if you are a victim of fraud, please report it to us.
To report a fake or fraudulent immigration adviser in the UK, please contact the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.