A woman who passed herself off as an experienced immigration adviser has been given a suspended sentence, after being found guilty of two counts of providing immigration advice when not qualified to do so.
Nidhi Walia, 41, of Tentlow Gardens in Southall, Middlesex accepted a fee of £9,500 from clients without progressing their case.
The clients involved complained about her services to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). An OISC investigation uncovered Walia as an unregulated individual providing immigration advice illegally.
On 18 September at the Old Bailey, Walia’s offensives were described as “serious criminal conduct” by the judge. Walia was sentenced to 12 months in jail suspended for 18 months on each count, and was given a Supervision Order for 12 months and a Community Service Order for 120 hours.
A Compensation Order in the sum of £9,500 was made in favour of the two complainants.
After sentencing, 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.”
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