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New year, new Immigration Services Commissioner


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A new Immigration Services Commissioner will finally be appointed in 2019 — over three years after the last commissioner stood down.

There has been no leader at the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, which regulates over 3,000 registered immigration advisers, since late 2015. Deputy commissioner Dr Ian Leigh wrote in the latest edition of OISC News that

we await the imminent appointment of the new Immigration Services Commissioner and their arrival in the spring and the changes that might bring.

An OISC spokesperson said that there was no more information available at this stage. The appointment is handled by the Home Office Public Appointments Team.

Suzanne McCarthy stood down after two terms as Immigration Services Commissioner in September 2015 and has never been replaced. Even by the department’s dilatory standards — see Expert immigration committee left understaffed for over a year — this is a pretty poor showing.

In January 2018, Dr Leigh lashed out at the Home Office, accusing it of an “unacceptable delay in decision-making on numerous fronts” leading to “needless uncertainty”. The lack of a chief executive was just one of the examples given.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.