Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Big news at Free Movement: new Editor and new live OISC level 1 training course


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Some big news at Free Movement. Two bits of big news, in fact.

New Editor

Firstly, I am delighted to announce that Sonia Lenegan is joining Free Movement as the new Editor in August. She will be replacing me, although I’ll still be lurking in the background and contributing from time to time.

Josie Laidman will continue in her role as the Deputy Editor working on the public-facing parts of the website, with a particular focus on business immigration news and analysis. Jasmine Quiller-Doust will carry on as Deputy Editor working on the training side of things. Faye Clowes will continue to manage customer queries.

Sonia is stepping down as the Legal and Policy Director at Rainbow Migration (they are now recruiting to replace her). Before that she was the Legal Director at the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and she remains a practicing solicitor. She has also been my co-host on the monthly update podcast for the last few months, which it turns out was basically the longest recruitment interview in history. 

So, we’ll be increasing our internal capacity at Free Movement quite a bit. That will enable us to increase our output as well. We should be able to turn around case reports more quickly. We hope to have more business immigration news and analysis for you, but with no diminution in our coverage of asylum and human rights. Older reference articles will be updated a bit more frequently. Our social media feeds will be a bit more active and engaged. We’d like to start publishing interviews with leading figures in the sector.

New guided learning course for OISC level 1

The second major bit of news is that we’re planning to launch some live online training. As some of you will know — literally hundreds of members have taken the course since it launched — we have an online introduction to immigration law course which is commonly taken by aspiring OISC level 1 advisers. We’ve worked hard to make the course as engaging as possible with videos, infographics, worked examples, online quizzes and more but we’ve never previously provided tuition for it.

The plan is to run a series of eight tutor-led short online seminars for a small group of trainees. These will take place in the late afternoon or early evening over the course of a month, taking place twice per week. The maximum group size will be eight trainees. The approach will be ‘guided learning’, where the trainees study the online materials in their own time and then come together (virtually…) after each module to go through key learning points and discuss some additional exercises. The first seven seminars will focus on law and practice and the final one will be on regulation, ethics and exam preparation. There will be a chance to sit a mock OISC Level 1 exam after the course concludes and receive marks and feedback.

The course will only be available to Free Movement members and will cost an additional fee of £400 per person plus VAT. Non-members can of course sign up as members in order to take the course.

We’ve been giving a lot of thought on how best to approach live teaching and we think this guided learning approach matches well with our traditional method of just letting people do it in their own time. It imposes some structure and deadlines and offers regular contact time with other trainees and a tutor, all of which some learners will find helpful. The existing course will continue to be available for existing and new members who cannot afford the premium we’re charging for the live version or just prefer to do it all in their own time.

We’re planning to run the first one on Mondays and Thursdays between 4pm and 5.30pm, starting on 27 June and ending on 20 July, in time for the following OISC level 1 exam on 27 July. It will be led by Jasmine Quiller-Doust, our training editor. Before joining Free Movement, Jasmine worked in private practice as an immigration solicitor. She has years of experience working in the field of immigration law and has represented clients in a wide range of cases.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.