OISC, Website Aim & Disclaimer and Client Care Letter

OISC, Website Aim & Disclaimer and Client Care Letter

The aim of the information contained within the UK Visas and Citizenship pages of the Naval Families Federation Website is to assist Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their families, the Chain of Command and Supporting Agencies to navigate their way successfully around the UK’s Immigration Rules and specifically Appendix Armed Forces of the Immigration Rules without making any costly errors or errors which could result in significant implications for future immigration applications.


The Visas and Citizenship pages of this site have been compiled with the support of Joanne Sullivan from GBS UK Immigration who specialises in UK Armed Forces Immigration Law.


The information contained in the UK Visas and Citizenship section of the Naval Families Federation Website is for general guidance only. The information is provided by the Naval Families Federation and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.


Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of the Naval Families Federation. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.


Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, the Naval Families Federation takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.

Client Care Letter

The Naval Families Federation (NFF) is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). The following member of staff is authorised to provide immigration advice and services at the levels listed below. Other NFF staff are not authorised and are therefore only able to pass on information from the authorised advisor or signpost to the website for further information.


Adviser: Peter Hawley

Level and Categories: Level 1 All categories


Who we offer advice to

NFF will only take on cases/enquiries from serving military personnel or their families. We will also assist veterans and their families who are still under the Armed Forces Immigration Rules.


Levels and areas of advice

Peter is authorised to provide immigration advice for all applications within the Immigration Rules within the following categories at Level 1:

  • Applications for entry clearance, leave to enter and leave to remain for visitors and family members
  • Nationality and Citizenship,
  • Some aspects of EU and EEA immigration law


He will not advise on enquiries relating to student or work visas as these are outside the scope of the NFF.


Peter is not authorised to provide advice and services at Level 2 for immigration connected to the Armed Forces Rules. If any Level 2 advice is required, this will be referred to one of two agencies dependent upon the circumstances. These are Katherine Houlston of the Army Families Federation (AFF) who is qualified to Level 2 and Joanne Sullivan from GBS UK Immigration. This advice includes:

  • Assistance and advice with applications for settlement on the grounds of domestic violence
  • Assistance and advice with applications to extend or settle under the Armed Forces rules
  • Assistance and advice with applications for settlement on the grounds of long residence
  • Human rights applications for spouses of soldiers
  • Representations to UKVI in support of cases
  • Drafting client statements
  • Lodging notices of appeal and statements of additional grounds


Both Peter and Katherine are unable to represent clients at the Immigration Tribunal or make applications for Judicial Review. Should the case require work to be undertaken which is outside the work permitted, you will be referred or signposted to a higher level adviser within 3 days.


Signposting and referrals

NFF is committed to giving people timely service from an appropriate source as soon as possible, if necessary by signposting or referral.


  • Signposting
    If, after initial assessment, we cannot provide the service needed, we will direct you as soon as is appropriate:

    • Enquiries not connected to the military will be signposted immediately to the OISC website or Gov.UK for a list of regulated advisers
    • Enquiries from veterans may need to be signposted to an appropriate RN or RM veteran’s charity depending on the level of service required and the length of time since discharge. Peter will suggest the appropriate RN or RM veterans charity and with your permission, consult with them to see if they can take the case on. If this is not possible, Peter will assist with finding a suitable local advisor.
    • Enquiries relating to specific areas of law not provided by Peter will be signposted to a suitable local advisor.
    • Enquiries beyond Level 2 advice will be signposted to a suitable local advisor.

Peter may recommend a suitable adviser but, the decision whether to choose that adviser will remain with the client.


  • Referrals
    It may not always be possible to continue with a case if it becomes too complex or it reaches a level outside Peter’s authorised level of advice. In such situations Peter will:

    • inform the client immediately
    • direct them to another advisor or organisation
    • contact the new adviser and make an appointment for the client; and
    • arrange for the transfer of the client’s file with the client’s consent.

Peter may recommend a suitable adviser but, the decision whether to choose that adviser will remain with the client.


Obtaining additional advice

It may be necessary to seek additional advice or opinions on some cases, this will be done only with consent and with no charge being incurred. All action taken will be documented on the clients file.



NFF is a registered charity and does not take any payment for any advice or information given.



It is NFF policy to retain complete confidentiality unless the individual concerned gives permission for disclosure, except in extreme circumstances. All information about individuals, which is recorded in any way, is kept secure. All conversations on the phone are conducted privately.


Report on progress

You will receive regular updates on the progress of the case and we will always try to keep you informed of any unexpected delays to the work. You may ask Peter at any time for a progress report using the contact details given to you.

Complaints procedure

If at any stage you have any concerns regarding the conduct of your case, please raise them to Peter or to Nicola Thompson, the Director of Operations and Families Engagement, preferably in writing.

Click for full details of the complaints procedure. If we are unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction or you wish to pursue your complaint through other channels, you are entitled to contact the OISC at any time. The OISC is the public body, which regulates immigration advice and services within the UK. Their address is: The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, 5th Floor, Counting House, 53 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QN.


Your file

The OISC requires us to keep a copy of your case file for up to 6 years after your case is closed. After that this maybe destroyed, unless you make arrangements to collect it from us thereafter. Unless you specifically tell us otherwise, your file may be reviewed by the OISC in the course of their duties. If you have any concerns about this, please discuss this with Nicola Thompson.


**Video filmed on: 27th May, 2020

Posted on: 7th September, 2020
Updated: 8th February . 2023