By Mathews Theruvapuzha, Manager - Global Immigration, RapidValue Solutions
An important function yet always neglected by most of the employers got the attention because of the stringent immigration policies of the US government, which was slowly followed by many other countries. Most of the employers, especially the startups realize the importance rather complexities, when they need to place their workforce onsite for effective project implementation.
A seasoned immigration professional always understands the business model and advices the business on right categories of visa, which will also be focused on the immigration regulations of the guest country. It is a common mistake that business process wrong visas without considering the kind of work the employee has to take up in the foreign country and this will end up in a visa denial or employee working on a wrong category of visa which is more damaging than a visa denial.
During the IT boom, the onsite employee requirement for IT companies significantly increased and India started seeing enormous flow of expatriates to India either to start an Indian subsidiary or to take over senior positions at Multi-National companies. This resulted in the growth of immigration practice in India. Many larger firms which had large mobility movements started in-housing the immigration practice to reduce the cost involved in the process and to give personalized services to the employees. Larger immigration firms started their subsidiary offices in India to address the Indian market and also to reduce their operational cost. The recession in 2008 did slowdown the immigration industry, however post-recession immigration market gained the momentum and continues to be an integral part of the industry.
Being a larger market for the software business the demand for Immigration consultants are always high in India. Initial days of software evolution immigration were managed by the Human Resource department for most of the companies. The experienced immigration consultants that we see today are mostly from HR background.
The Future of Immigration Industry
Future looks progressive for the immigration industry with the growth of Information Technology and other related industries. The availability of talents is attracting the immigration law firms around the world to outsource their work to India; thus immigration has become a key component in the Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) industry in India. Indian lawyers good at legal writing can make a good career with the LPO industry as an Immigration Consultant. This will also give them a chance to work with reputed Immigration law firms around the world. Major IT firms are always in the hunt for a good immigration consultant to manage their immigration functions.
Nightmare for any business is not able to run its operations in the targeted foreign markets. A wrong move in immigration can invite a ban from the labor department or from the immigration authorities. While setting-up a business, onsite recruitment or during an intra-company transfer, organizations has to be vigilant about the relevant immigration policies of the particular country. An immigration expert not only advice on the immigration matters but also guide the firm on right HR polices, labor polices, prevailing wage and several other factors. Every country has framed their immigration polices without disturbing the jobs opportunities of the citizens in that country and it is very essential that an immigration consultant should advice the company on the type of job, knowledge and education qualifications that qualifies for each category of the work permits or visa. Certain categories of visas can be filed only during particular period like the H-1B visas issued by the US. This kind of visas need very early planning considering the onsite requirement for a year, cost factors etc. One of important task of a consultant is to make the business understand the timeline involved in each process since most of the work permit based petition take significant time for processing. This will significantly help in project planning and getting an employee onboard at the right time. Immigration Consultants plays a vital role in an organization’s growth especially for those firms which are already established in different foreign markets and those companies who are hoping to make it big in the international markets.
Every company should understand that it is the sovereign right of any country to approve or reject a visa based on the petition filed and it is not the privilege of the business. So it is very important that our request for visa is very clear and genuine and can be clearly approvable under the permissible limits. The kind of specialized knowledge required for the job and non-availability of any specific academic program in India to gain immigration knowledge makes the immigration consultants in India a rare category. Frequent change in the immigration law and the uncertainty revolves around the process makes immigration consultants dearer to the industry.