As immigrants throughout the country struggle to get their hands on an official UK work permit, or indefinite leave to remain in the UK, the demand for qualified UK immigration consultants is rising.
One man, Eugene Byass, was recently arrested and sentenced after he tricked and manipulated vulnerable people in search of UK visas, by posing as an official UK immigration consultant.
Mr. Byass offered unregulated services and advice about the UK work permit and British Naturalisation, earning more than £11,000 from refugees that he met with in social centres.
Recently, Eugene was sentenced to 8 months of imprisonment, 12 months of suspension, and 100 hours of unpaid work at Nottingham Crown Court. Mr. Byass was also ordered to pay full compensation to all of his victims.
Eugene Byass, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to eight courts of providing unregulated immigration advice between November 2015 and December 2017. He met his British Naturalisation victims at refugee centres across the Nottingham area, where he offered guidance for their immigration issues, however, he was not qualified at a UK immigration consultant at the time. The offences against vulnerable immigrations and UK refugees took place around Nottingham for a period of over 22 months.
During sentencing, the judge at Nottingham Crown Court said that Mr. Byass had taken advantage of vulnerable people who "cling to people" who they believe can help them. He noted that matters of UK immigration are serious, and that the people seeking information on UK visas deserve proper guidance and representation.
The Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner commenting on the crime noted that it wasn't a victimless offense, as vulnerable people in the UK are often unable to handle their cases regarding immigration on their own. He urges people seeking help from UK immigration consultants in the future to check the status of their advisor with the appropriate regulatory body and make sure that the individual has the right qualifications.