Henry Fan, CEO and Co-Founder of
IMI Official Partner
I always tell people that I have been in the immigration industry my whole life. Throughout these years, my understanding of “immigration” is quite simple: Help clients get what they want, namely another citizenship, a resident visa, or a work permit.
In the good old days, when passive investment was the mainstream immigration route, clients came to us with their decision in mind and their trust. We did not really have to think a lot for them because everything was simple and straightforward: Either you were fit for the program, or you were not. It was not until in recent years that I began to realize that immigration had a much broader meaning. And that comes at a cost.
What are the boundaries of an immigration practice?
Considering that Globevisa is the largest immigration firm in the region, I never knew we were vying for market share with Fragomen in the China work permit market until my team told me in their weekly report. I just couldn’t grasp that anyone could do better than us when it comes to business inside China. This first encounter with a truly multinational immigration firm taught me the lesson of corporate immigration. The firm’s website states:
At Fragomen, we are a firm of more than 6,000 immigration-focused professionals and staff spanning more than 60 offices worldwide. Immigration has been our sole focus for 70 years, and today we offer support in more than 170 countries.
This bitter encounter of mine sheds light on a new dimension: The inbound market and the outbound market. Globevisa is for sure doing a good job, as China is a significant outbound market. What about the opposite? Does anyone in the US or in Australia think of Globevisa when they consider getting a China visa? I am afraid the answer is a resounding “no”.
This led Globevisa to set off on a journey with no turning back to become a multinational immigration firm. A whole new world had unfolded in front of me.
What defines an immigration firm?
Few consider Deloitte an immigration firm. The firm refers to itself as “a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and legal, and related services.”
Despite the absence of the word “immigration”, that practice area is a means to an end in Deloitte’s discourse. In order words, the act of immigration is a tool consulting firms use to assist their clients in meeting certain goals.
In the Hong Kong expat market, Deloitte is our number one competitor. The same is the case with Centaline Property, which competes with us in Southeast Asia for the Canadian SUV program and the Portugal golden visa. Sansiri Group, one of the largest real estate developers in Thailand, shares the market of Thailand Elite Visa with us.
These companies do not start off as immigration service providers but with a large volume of clients. Demand for immigration services appears too great to be neglected, driving them to expand their business scope. By recruiting salespersons from the immigration industry, “experts” from different domains are introduced to clients, who enjoy a one-stop service from a single company.
Competition from companies of such a scale can be fierce. Everyone knows Deloitte, but few have heard of Globevisa. It may surprise you to learn that clients do not really turn to those big names at first sight. During clients’ decision-making process, they will ask a lot of questions regarding their life plan, and they find out that no matter what time they click “send,” we are always there to offer a prompt response.
What is the essence of immigration?
If you ask ChatGPT, “What is the definition of ‘immigration industry?’”, you will get the following answer:
The “immigration industry” refers to the collection of businesses, organizations, and professionals that provide services and assistance related to immigration and the process of moving from one country to another. This industry encompasses a wide range of services, including visa and immigration consulting, legal representation, documentation assistance, language and cultural integration support, job placement, and more.
Now, everything makes sense.
When I visit Y-Axis’ website, it is full of overseas education and job-seeking services in India. When I visit Asian Tigers Group’s website, it says, “Asian Tigers Group is a leading provider of international relocation services delivering comprehensive mobility solutions tailored to suit each client’s needs.” When I go to the banks, I see brochures about visa processing. When I meet financial advisors, they talk about tax residency and country of domicile.
All the above are aspects of immigration. The immigration industry, at its essence, has no limit or boundary.
I do not and will never have an answer for the definition of our industry. When I started my business, I didn’t know it would become so big and reach different countries. This shows how determined people are to make their dreams come true and have a better life, no matter where they’re from.
I realized something important: What we’re really doing is giving people more choices. This helps change their lives in big ways. We’re not only providing options, but we’re also helping people make important changes and follow their dreams. This can truly make a difference in their lives.
If you’d like to partner with Globevisa or become our client, visit our website today.