The last few decades have seen immense rise in immigration due to rise in globalization, foreign direct investment, willingness of countries to hire technocrats and professionals from other countries in their firms, interconnected economy of countries all across the globe and due to many other reasons.
Millions of people all across the globe migrate to another countries for better job opportunities, wealth creation, better livelihood, etc. The United States alone is home to the largest immigrants numbering at 47 million people who live as immigrants in the USA as of 2015.
USA since the last many decades has been very liberal in accepting legal immigrants who come to USA for better job opportunities and in return have made the US a global superpower by providing the best minds across various fields.
When such huge number of people migrate from their homeland to USA it becomes a very hectic job to ensure their work visa, verification, legal status, legal framework for such immigrants, etc. USA has a separate department known as the department of homeland security which has a service department known as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which is responsible for all kinds of immigration services.
For an immigrant residing in their home country it becomes a difficult job to get the formalities done in the USA and that is where the need for immigration consultants arises.
Immigration Consultants and their Job
An immigration consultant is someone whose job is to guide you and help you in becoming a legal immigrant in US by getting done all the legal formalities by providing all the needed documentations. Though such things can also be done by you alone but navigating through all these legalities become a very technical and tedious job for someone who is a complete stranger to the USA. Consulting an immigration consultant solves your bigger problem and helps you in focusing on the job for which you are in the United States.
- Having one to one conversation or interview with your client where you discuss the issues your client has over immigration
- Advising your client on the country’s visa and immigration programs with respect to the country from where you client belongs
- Asking for all the relevant documents necessary to file in the department from your client
- Filing these necessary documents, well stamped and filled as necessary with the required fees. These documents will be filed in the respective immigration offices.
- In case your client needs a representation in the immigration office you may also need to refer your client to an immigration attorney.
- Hiring and supervising your staffs that have to do research, documentation and other works
- Briefing your client on local prevalent laws related to immigration laws.
Generally these are the jobs that an immigration consultant has to do.
Corporate Immigration Consultancy and their Job
Immigrations that happen due to business or corporate reasons can be basically classified as corporate immigration. Those who counsel their corporate clients on such immigration basically deal with corporate immigration consultancy. Here issues generally pour from business visas, longer duration of stay, various exemptions on such business visas, various privileges when investing higher capital and investing in particular sector, temporary stay turning into permanent stay and citizenship of the USA.
Most of the immigrants visit US for business purpose or as professionals. USA has various programs to admit such professionals and eventually handing them citizenship. Such process takes time and has procedures where you require counseling from consultants.
How one can become an Immigration Consultant
To become an immigration consultant it is necessary that you have the necessary qualifications and knowledge related to the subject. Immigration depends on various factors. Some arises out of education, business, labor, profession, etc. Each of such professions have different types of visas and rules. One needs to be well read about these rules, laws, by-laws, notifications, documents, etc.
Most of these applications are filled online therefore you must have experience in filling those forms with perfection. In most cases, there needs to be a representation to the concerned authorities on behalf of your client where an interview takes place. You need to brief your client well to ensure he is able to answer all questions. Apart from these you also need to have good terms with the concerned authorities for smooth work. Some other qualifications.
- There are institutions that impart education related to immigration laws and also handout certificates of qualification.
- Such certificates help you in getting jobs or establishing your own immigration consultancy
- Also get certified from the concerned immigration authority as genuine immigration consultancy as there are many fraud consultancy that dupe their clients for money.
Some general Skills necessary to be a good Immigration Consultant
Some skills that one should harbor in order to be a good immigration consultant. They are:
- Active listening skills
- Speaking in a clear way and being specific by sticking to the facts
- Good skills for acquiring information
- Analytical skills
- Good in research and preparing draft and notes
- Problem solving skills
- Being well read and updated related to laws, rules, notifications and circulars related to immigration policies.
- Good in computer, web and word
- Having good organization skills
- Smart and flexible in order to work with clients from different social environment and cultural background.
Establishing your Immigration Consultancy Office
Reserved to the required rules necessary to establish an immigration consultancy, you can open your office at a suitable place. Choose a name for your consultancy and get it registered by the rules provided. Get all the necessary license, approvals and certifications necessary to start. The next step is to hire professionals and advisors who have command over their subject.
There are various types of immigration visas related to corporate visa. Your advisors should be expert in them and have good experience in the same. Hire other experts, interns and office staffs who will do the research, documentation and filing work. There should also be someone smart and professional in dealing with your client on first hand basis.
Creating Contacts in the Immigration Department
Despite all the knowledge and expertise what really comes to your rescue at the time of urgency in connections within the authority. You should also have networks with all the embassies and consulates of the USA and other countries with who you are going to deal in future. A call from yours can make things work which in general would require several time taking protocols.
You may call it immoral or whatever you prefer but consultancy works at such important juncture requires you to have good connections in the immigration department, authorities that grant permissions, deal with form submission, etc.
A good connection can help you in the time of emergency without getting into all kinds of formalities. Basically, your client expects you to be troubleshooter who can make things work when nothing works. This is what improves your credentials as an immigration consultancy.
Connections within your own Fraternity
Some of the jobs may not be in your domain or you may be lacking expertise in it. Declining to help your client has negative results. The best way is to ask help from people in your fraternity who are also dealing with immigration or other types of consultancy. Such relations should always be quid pro quo where both of you can help each other out with their expertise when needed. Being pragmatic and smart in dealing with works really helps you in expanding your business and satisfying your client.
Immigration Consultancy and beyond
Never limit yourself with the immigration consultancy only. You can also go ahead and counsel your client on various necessary steps he would be taking after getting cleared from the immigration department. Either it can be related to establishing business, getting a residential apartment, clearance for business from authorities, sanctioning of loans, etc.
If you are able to help your client in various subjects, they will completely rely on you and that will help you in long term client relation. A satisfied client becomes your best tool of advertisement and marketing as he can recommend his friends for consultancy to your firm.
Professional Approach and Ethics
In consultancy what you are doing is basically providing service. All such service should have the client in center. Your services should satisfy all the necessary and possible needs of your client. Professional approach requires you to be diligent, honest, going beyond the line of duty, and having the welfare of your client in mind. Somewhere while consulting you may have to do things that may not be in your domain or for what you don’t generally offer service or charge money.
Sometimes doing such little work beyond the duty not only satisfies your client but also generates goodwill for you. A happy client rewards you not only monetarily but also indirectly. So never be rigid while rendering your service. You need to be pragmatic and flexible in your work making your client satisfied. This is the best way to ensure that your client base expands.