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Not-for-profit status

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Regulations 2008, advisers are not required to pay a licence application fee or immigration adviser’s levy if they:

  • act on a not-for-profit basis
  • are employees of, or volunteers working for, organisations operating on a not-for-profit basis.

This policy outlines the circumstances in which an immigration adviser can apply for not-for-profit status with the Immigration Advisers Authority (the Authority).

Individuals who work or volunteer for a not-for-profit organisation

A not-for-profit organisation is:

  • an organisation in its own right
  • one that does not return profits to those who own or control it
  • one that does not charge more than a nominal fee for services provided
  • institutionally separate from government
  • self-governing
  • one that has voluntary membership and participation.

Applicants who work or volunteer for a not-for-profit organisation should contact the Authority to request recognition of their not-for-profit status before they apply for a licence.

Applicants will need to provide the following information to assist the Authority in assessing if they work or volunteer for a not-for-profit organisation:

  • A summary of the context in which the applicant will provide immigration advice for the organisation. This includes a description of the organisation they represent and their role and responsibilities within the organisation.
  • A statement confirming whether and to what extent the organisation the applicant works or volunteers for meets the not-for-profit criteria listed above.
  • A letter signed by an official, on the letterhead of the organisation the applicant works or volunteers for, dated within the last month, confirming that the applicant intends to provide immigration advice on a not-for-profit basis (when licensed) and confirming the applicant’s role and responsibilities within the organisation.
  • A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Constitution or other founding documents of the organisation.
  • A copy of the certificate of incorporation for the organisation (if applicable).
  • A copy of the last annual report or financial accounts for the organisation.
  • The name and contact details of an authorised officer of the organisation they represent who can verify the information provided by the applicant.
  • Authorisation to contact the person detailed above.
  • A statutory declaration confirming that the information provided to the Authority is true and accurate to the best of the applicant’s knowledge and belief.

The Authority will assess all the information provided by the applicant.

The Authority will contact the applicant to inform them whether it is satisfied that they will provide services on a not-for-profit basis. If satisfied, the applicant will be able to apply for a licence online without submitting the otherwise required fee and levy.

Once the applicant has completed the online application form up to the point where they are asked for the fee, they must call the Authority and provide the reference number given to them when their not-for-profit status was approved, to be permitted to submit the online application without paying the fee.

The Authority will assess the licence application in the same manner and according to the same competency standards as a fee-paying applicant.

Individuals seeking not-for-profit status

Applicants who wish to act as an immigration adviser on a not-for-profit basis outside of an employment or contractual business relationship must meet the following criteria:

  • The adviser must not be going to profit financially from the immigration advice activity.
  • The adviser must not be going to charge more than nominal fees for services provided.
  • The adviser may recover actual expenses, but may not charge for their time.

Individual applicants should contact the Authority to request recognition of their not-for-profit status before they apply for a licence.

Applicants will need to provide the following information to assist the Authority in assessing whether they will be providing services on a not-for-profit basis:

  • A summary of the context in which they wish to provide immigration advice.
  • A statement confirming that the applicant will not profit financially from the immigration advice activity, will not charge more than nominal fees for services provided, and will not charge for their time.
  • The name and contact details of a person who can verify the information provided by the applicant.
  • Authorisation to contact the above person.
  • A statutory declaration confirming that the information provided to the Authority is true and accurate to the best of the applicant’s knowledge and belief.

The Authority will contact the applicant to inform them whether it is satisfied that they will provide services on a not-for-profit basis. If satisfied, the applicant will be able to apply for a licence online without submitting the otherwise required fee and levy.

Once the applicant has completed the online application form up to the point where they are asked for the fee, they must call the Authority and provide the reference number given to them when their not-for-profit status was approved, to be permitted to submit the online application without paying the fee.

The Authority will assess the licence application in the same manner and according to the same competency standards as a fee-paying applicant.

Renewal of not-for-profit status

Advisers who wish to have their not-for-profit status recognised for renewal purposes must provide the information required below two months prior to their licence expiry date to ensure that they can apply to renew their licence without paying the fee prior to their licence expiry date.

Advisers who work or volunteer for a not-for-profit organisation

Not-for-profit advisers who work or volunteer for the same not-for-profit organisation should provide the following evidence to the Authority two months before they apply to renew their licence:

  • A statement confirming that their role and responsibilities within the organisation have not changed, or if they have, describing in what way they have.
  • Confirmation that the organisation continues to meet the criteria in this policy.
  • A letter signed by an official, on the letterhead of the organisation the applicant works or volunteers for, dated within the last month, confirming that the applicant provides immigration advice on a not-for-profit basis and confirming the applicant’s role and responsibilities within the organisation.
  • The name and contact details of an authorised officer of the organisation they represent who can be contacted to verify the information provided by the applicant.
  • Authorisation to contact the person detailed above.
  • A statutory declaration confirming that the information provided to the Authority is true and accurate to the best of the applicant’s knowledge and belief.

The Authority will contact the applicant to inform them whether it is satisfied that they will provide services on a not-for-profit basis. If satisfied, the applicant will be able to apply for a licence online without submitting the otherwise required fee and levy.

Once the applicant has completed the online application form up to the point where they are asked for the fee, they must call the Authority and provide the reference number given to them when their not-for-profit status was approved, to be permitted to submit the online application without paying the fee.

Advisers who work or volunteer in an individual capacity

Not-for-profit advisers who continue to work or volunteer in an individual capacity should provide the following evidence to the Authority two months before they apply to renew their licence:

  • A statement confirming that the context in which they provide immigration advice has not changed, or if it has, describing in what way it has.
  • A statement confirming that the applicant does not profit financially from the immigration advice activity, does not charge more than nominal fees for services provided and provides immigration advice on a charitable and non-commercial basis.
  • The name and contact details of a person who can verify the information provided by the applicant.
  • Authorisation to contact the above person.
  • A statutory declaration confirming that the information provided to the Authority is true and accurate to the best of the applicant’s knowledge and belief.

The Authority will contact the applicant to inform them whether it is satisfied that they will provide services on a not-for-profit basis. If satisfied, the applicant will be able to apply for a licence online without submitting the otherwise required fee and levy.

Once the applicant has completed the online application form up to the point where they are asked for the fee, they must call the Authority and provide the reference number given to them when their not-for-profit status was approved, to be permitted to submit the online application without paying the fee.

Changes to not-for-profit status

If an adviser’s circumstances change, they must contact the Authority immediately in writing as per section 26 of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007. Advisers who do not maintain their not-for-profit status must immediately pay the licence application fee that would otherwise have been payable and the immigration adviser’s levy that is in proportion to the unexpired term of the licence the adviser currently holds.

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