A Portsmouth-based specialist in UK immigration law has expanded to deal with a growing caseload as Brexit looms.
The firm helps nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) navigate the regulations that will allow them to continue to live and work in the UK.
Victoria Girsa, a director and OISC-accredited immigration adviser, explained GBS UK Immigration had taken on two new support workers to deal with the increased workload at their office based at Portsmouth Technopole.
The window sill in her office is crammed with thank-you cards and they illustrate the gratitude Victoria’s clients feel.
She said: “As you can see from all the cards we have received, our clients are very grateful for the help we are able to provide.
“There is still a great deal of confusion over what paperwork needs to be completed and some confuse EU law with UK immigration rules.
“It can be difficult to navigate the guidelines and policy changes – it is vital that you make sure the information you are looking at is up to date.”
Victoria, an Eastern European with Latvian and British dual citizenship, has provided concerned employees with immigration status advice in dozens of sessions in Poole, London and Dusseldorf, Germany.
GBS UK Immigration, which moved into Portsmouth Technopole two years ago, has advisers that are accredited to OISC Level 3, which is the highest level of accreditation, enabling the firm to assist in matters from basic immigration advice to more complex matters including appeals. The firm can also assist with judicial review matters.
Victoria has been working with Lush, a global producer of ethically-sourced handmade cosmetics; more than half of its 1,000 workforce at its factory in Poole, Dorset, are from overseas.
She has also been working with an initiative to bring teachers in from overseas to work in UK schools to overcome a reported shortage of teachers.
“We are certainly living in fascinating times, we need to keep on our toes to ensure we are up to date with all the information we are sharing.”
Robin Sheppard is centre manager at Portsmouth Technopole, home to 38 companies, with up to 350 people on the site, which is by the M275 and opposite the international port.
Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, manages Portsmouth Technopole on behalf of the University of Portsmouth, which owns the building.
Robin said: “It’s great to see the GBS UK Immigration team doing so well and has expanded onsite to meet the growing need for help and advice as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
“Victoria and her talented team here at Portsmouth Technopole are able to offer advice and reassurance to EEA nationals at a time when there is a great deal of uncertainty and confusion about what the outcome of Brexit will deliver.”
GBS UK Immigration also has an office in Halifax, West Yorkshire, which provides a range of services to businesses and individuals as well.
Portsmouth Technopole is one of the University of Portsmouth innovation centres, supporting businesses within the region and helping to develop stronger working relationships between students, academics and business.
Other University of Portsmouth centres are Cell Block Studios, Innovation Space and The Future Technology Centre.