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Topic: Alert: Immigration Advisory Service  (Read 1400 times)

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Alert: Immigration Advisory Service
« on: January 14, 2012, 11:28:17 PM »
The Immigration Advisory Service was a charity organization in the UK that helped poor people and/or vulnerable people with their immigration problems.  They had a very good success rate with appeals, and they were well respected in government policy units.  I was fortunate enough to count their former director, Keith Best, as a personal acquaintance; and Keith is now the CEO of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (MF), and that's a different story.

Some people will remember my advisory last year that the Immigration Advisory Service had gone bankrupt and been placed out of business.

Everybody was saddened by this event because the IAS had always been a safety net for vulnerable immigrants.  Even here in UKY, there have been Americans who used their legal expertise.

Now it turns out that some immigration advice firms are exploiting the absense of the IAS in questionable ways...

1.  Purchasing Google's advertising slot for 'Immigration Advisory Service' for their own site so as to get the top page rank

2.  Salting down their key words with 'Immigration Advisory Service' to get a top ranking.

3.  Contriving a company name like 'Immigration Advice Service' so as to bamboozle unsuspecting enquirers into thinking they are contacting a charity.

This horrible situation becomes WORSE because people contacting these firms to get their records or to get a case update are bamboozled into disclosing confidential information to somebody that they have no prior confidentiality agreement with.

Of course in the US these firms would be publically denounced if not closed down altogether, but the UK takes these things a bit differently so it's not always that easy.  This is a small island and we all have to get along; there are unfortunate niches and byways in our rules that allow these things to take place.

So if you have used the IAS and want your files back, don't go using Google.  If you know somebody that has used the IAS, tell them what's going down.

And most importantly, if you are looking for a charity that helps vulnerable immigrants, PAY ATTENTION to their name and/or their domain.  Run a 'whois' on their domain and see if it really belongs to a registered charity.

Remember that if you are an immigrant, there's a lot of people out there who see you as nothing more than a way to pay their next month's rent, including those with an OISC certificate.  You can get bamboozled really quick.

It's a god damned *SHAME* I have to write an advisory like this.  But there ya go...
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 08:21:21 AM by Transpondia »


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Re: Alert: Immigration Advisory Service
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 11:26:21 AM »
Thanks for posting this Transpondia do you think it should be a sticky so more people will see it.

Love pads x


Re: Alert: Immigration Advisory Service
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 11:44:00 AM »
Let's see what the Commissioner makes of it first.   My guess is she'll be annoyed, but unable to do a whole lot.  She read my email and then this advisory yesterday...
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 11:45:39 AM by Transpondia »


Re: Alert: Immigration Advisory Service
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 07:16:53 PM »
Update.

Email from the Commissioner's Legal team...

In short it says that people should be paying attention to their client care letter and to the terms and conditions.

And they are going after one particular company in the North East...


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Re: Alert: Immigration Advisory Service
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 11:06:26 PM »
I'm from England and very interested in reading the news that these charities existed or exist. Do you know if there are any of these companies still running that I could contact to help with visa questions? The forums a great starting place but I like the human touch. From Jonathan.


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