One application tracks another

11/08/2014 - 12:46

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FEATURE: A Perth migration services business has found an innovative way to overcome the uncertainty often associated with the visa application process.

VISA TRACKER: James Clarke has overseen the development of an app that keeps clients in touch with their visa applications. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A Perth migration services business has found an innovative way to overcome the uncertainty often associated with the visa application process.

Global Enterprises Group, whose clients are mostly Perth-based construction, higher education and mining businesses that hire overseas workers, has developed an app to help applicants stay connected with the status of their visa applications.

Managing director James Clarke said the app, which went live on iTunes and Google Play last month, was a first for the industry and would allow clients to feel more in control over what he said could often seem a secretive exercise.

“It’s trying to get rid of that layer of silence or secrecy about what is actually going on,” he said.

Mr Clarke said after applying for a visa in Australia, most applicants faced months of little or no contact with the Department of Immigration.

“It’s a waiting game, you have no idea,” he said.

Following initial consultations between clients and Global Enterprises Group, Mr Clarke said information gathered would be fed into the app, which would then become clients’ first point of reference.

“The app actually allows the clients … to keep in touch with their case on a daily basis if they want to,” he said.

It provides a personalised checklist that takes users through lodgement, payment, case officer allocation, and processing steps and alerts them to updates and new requests from the department in real time.

If users have any questions they are encouraged to use the app’s chat function to ask and receive information from Global Enterprises Group.

The app does not interlink with the government’s systems, although Mr Clarke said this was the eventual aim.

“I have had initial conversations with senior information systems managers in the department in Canberra to encourage them to look at something similar and possibly that we might be able to engage with that,” he said.

Mr Clarke said he also wanted to use the app to grow clientele in new areas, specifically in China, where Global Enterprises Group plans to target individuals applying for student and significant investor visas

He said the business currently fielded a lot of enquiries from people in China wanting to apply for significant investment visas, but interest fell away when it was made clear to them that the sources of their income required verification.

“We could be doing a lot more if they could prove where their funds come from,” Mr Clarke said.

Global Enterprises Group plans to hold road shows in China to attract students and significant investor visa seekers and explain the processes involved.

The consultative approach builds on Mr Clarke’s strategy of providing a limited amount of free advice to everyone who enquires, something he said not many competitors did, but in his experience often led to converting casual contacts into clients.

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