Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
On 20 August 2015 Ms Nidhi Walia, 41, of Tentlow Gardens, Southall, Middlesex was found guilty, at the Central Criminal Court, on 2 counts of providing immigration advice when not qualified to do so.
Ms Walia purported to be an experienced immigration adviser to two clients in the Southall area seeking leave to remain in the UK.
Having paid Ms Walia a total sum of 9,500 without achieving any progress on their case, the clients lodged a complaint with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) whose investigations led to the exposure of Ms Walia as an unregulated individual providing immigration advice illegally.
Ms Walia appeared before Mr Recorder Aaronberg QC on 18 September 2015 who described her offences as serious criminal conduct.
He passed a sentence of 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months on each count, a Supervision Order for 12 months, and a Community Service Order for 120 hours. Additionally, a Compensation Order in the sum of 9,500 was made in favour of the 2 complainants.
Speaking about the decision, Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner, Dr Ian Leigh, said:
The OISC is here to ensure that people seeking immigration advice are treated fairly by people they can trust. We have clear standards outlining what we expect in terms of the fitness and competence of regulated advisers.
Walia chose to operate outside the law, and without regard for the protection of her clients. I hope that the outcome of this case sends a clear message to others who may be considering providing immigration advice, either act within the law or you will find yourself in court.