Expression of interest to participate:  Increasing access to immigration advice for Londoners Programme

November 21, 2022
Julie Mansfield
Posted by
Julie Mansfield

Refugee Action has partnered with the Greater London Authority to fund and support up to six organisations in Greater London who are looking to initiate or grow their immigration advice capacity.

Refugee Action’s Frontline Immigration Advice Project (FIAP) offers support, advice and training to enable organisations to provide quality legal advice to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.  We know that many organisations face barriers to gaining and raising their levels of Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) registration.  That's why we want to invest in organisations and provide wrap-around tailored support to give them the best chance to succeed, and to grow the capacity of the immigration advice sector.

We welcome applications from organisations that are led and/or informed by people with lived experience of the UK immigration system.

What we are offering:

The 6 partner organisations will receive:

  • Funding towards engagement and capacity building costs, including staff time and the maintenance of service provision during the OISC training and exam period.  The amount available per organisation in Year 1 is £14,981 and in Year 2 is £17,893.  
  • One-to-one needs assessments, with support to develop a sustainable advice model and action plan
  • Help to register with the OISC
  • OISC training (Level 1 and Level 2)
  • Study support for OISC assessments
  • External legal supervision 
  • Continuous professional development to progressively increase the quality and complexity of their advice provision
  • Awareness raising sessions to enable anyone who is unregistered to work within their legal boundaries
  • A quarterly Community of Practice meeting bringing together newly qualified and experienced advisors, the formal legal sector and other support organisations. This will promote an information, skills and learning exchange, as well as helping to ensure effective utilisation of local capacity.

Funding available per organisation:

Year 1 (Jan 2023 - Aug 2023*): £14,981 

Year 2 (Sept 2023 - Aug 2024): £17,893

*Year 1 time frame is shorter due to our mobilisation phase

What we will fund:

The funding is available to cover the 6 partner organisation’s engagement and capacity building costs, including:

  • Resourcing staff time to train and study for OISC assessments (including backfilling staff time to enable them to attend OISC training)
  • Costs associated with maintaining service provision during the training and exam period(s)
  • Organisational expenses related to OISC accreditation
  • Casework costs associated with delivering immigration advice, such as interpretation.

What we will not fund:

  • Activities that are already funded by the GLA or another funder (i.e. we are unable to duplicate or ‘double fund’ work that is already funded).

The Criteria


Organisations must be:

  • Working with Londoners in the Greater London area.
  • Planning to increase the complexity of the immigration advice that they are able to give by registering at OISC Levels 1, 2 or 3. 


This section covers the criteria that we will use to prioritise applications.  Every single point does not need to be met by your project, but we will use this list to score your application. 

We are looking for organisations who are (or would be as a result of this project/ funding):

  • Led and / or informed by people with lived experience of the UK immigration system.
  • Committed to investing in their own existing staff / volunteers to develop their immigration advice skills - taking a ‘grow your own’ approach.  
  • Expanding to cover new and emerging populations, or where there has been a stepped increase in need.
  • Covering a geographic desert or an underserved client group.
  • Focusing on developing advice services in the OISC ‘Immigration’ category.
  • Offering in-depth casework support (e.g. completing forms and gathering the evidence, to progress the cases). 

In prioritising applications, we will consider the balance across different areas of immigration law, OISC Levels, beneficiary groups and geographical locations.

What we ask for:

Successful partners would also commit to participating in the project to gain full benefit from the support that we are offering, including:

  • Attending one or more FIAP online OISC courses. See our events page for examples of the training we offer on a rolling programme.
  • Attend an initial one-to-one support and action planning meeting, plus any follow up sessions, as required.
  • Actively participate in the Community of Practice immigration advice group (quarterly meetings)
  • Engage in 6-monthly monitoring and evaluation, such as providing budget information on how the funds have been spent, returning questionnaires, sending case studies and quotes etc. 

Find out more and apply:

Deadline for applications: 21st November, 9am - NOW CLOSED


  • You will hear our decision by 8th December 2022
  • Invoicing and associated documentation to be completed partners by 31st December 2022
  • Funding to start from January 2023

Suggested further reading:

Contact details:

Julie Mansfield, FIAP Partner Development Project Manager: juliem@refugee-action.org.uk

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