IMI Official Partner
Henry Fan, CEO and Co-Founder of Globevisa, answers questions on his firm’s international expansion through the development of a big partner network.
Could you provide a brief introduction to Globevisa?
In terms of immigration application volume, Globevisa is likely the largest immigration agency in the world. Our headquarters is in Singapore, with 37 offices globally and a team of over (800+) employees serving clients from (96) countries or regions.
We are the leaders in many immigration programs in terms of application volume. Our mission statement is “Globevisa, Your Gateway to the World” and our vision is to make the world barrier-free for travel and worry-free for settlement, a goal we’ve been aiming for over the years.
What does the partner structure of Globevisa look like?
When referring to partners at Globevisa, we mainly mean partners in the consulting firm aspect, not the project provider aspect. Our local partners in the consulting firm are primarily responsible for marketing, client acquisition, and maintaining customer relationships. The headquarters is primarily responsible for the legal service aspect.
The profits are shared based on the partnership agreement. It’s worth noting that the new partners developed by Globevisa do not need to share headquarters expenses but only share the expenses of the local firm, which is a form of direct support for new partners.
How does the decision-making system of this partnership work?
Major decisions are made by various committees, such as the Policy Committee, Program Development Committee, Recruitment Committee, and so on. The local policies of each firm are decided by the local head. In brief, there are certain fundamental principles that committees decide on, such as partners exclusively using the Globevisa brand and only selling immigration programs approved by the Program Development Committee. Other operational matters are highly flexible.
Why was this idea conceived?
This idea wasn’t conceived but rather emerged from the market. Initially, Globevisa attempted to relocate teams overseas to operate their own offices, but this approach failed because the relocated teams were unfamiliar with the local culture, and work couldn’t be conducted effectively.
Thus, we adopted the approach of finding the best local partners to establish consulting firms, and this approach was highly successful. This is now the primary way we’re expanding in the global market.
How is the operation of Globevisa’s partners currently?
The operation is going very well. We have 12 partners, each representing a different region. The partners are present in every region, with Melvin Sun as my partner for the Singapore headquarters and the China region. Other regions have various partners, such as Ivan Yam for Vietnam and Hong Kong, Mesut Guney for Turkey, and so on.
What kind of partners is Globevisa looking for? What value is expected from these partners?
Personally, I'm very passionate about immigration because I genuinely believe that providing choices and changing lives through immigration is a remarkable endeavor. So, the first requirement is that potential partners must share the same passion for immigration; this is a prerequisite.
Another requirement is that they should be familiar with the local market and have the capability to acquire clients locally.
Lastly, partners should possess a long-term and compliance-oriented mindset. Other aspects, like whether they are lawyers or not, aren't absolute criteria. The main value partners offer is their local know-how, which is highly valuable.
In which regions is Globevisa seeking partners?
There's no limitation on regions. We have a long list of regions where we are looking for partners, including South Asia, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and more. In essence, wherever there is demand, we are there.
Globevisa has officially announced that our Dubai office, where we partnered with Irina Kush and Dennis Guttig Jr., had a grand opening in September 2023. Irina and Dennis both worked in the immigration business for more than ten years, and they have deep roots and resourceful connections in the UAE and the Middle East more broadly.
Partnering with Globevisa combines program variety with local knowledge to enhance both parties' advantage and create a win-win scenario. Globevisa Dubai will not only provide the CBI programs that are fiercely competed-for in the Middle East but also US/Canada/Singapore/Hong Kong and business/investor immigration solutions for more than 40 countries.
Other than the Dubai partnership, our Thailand office in Bangkok also launched this month. Our partner there is Jimmy Wang, a man of Chinese origin who has been living in Bangkok for more than five years.
Globevisa Thailand covers Southeast Asian countries nearby including Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Laos, where both local people and Chinese expats have displayed great demand for immigration to developed countries seeking better education and health care, as well as second citizenship to ease their traveling.
What kind of value can Globevisa provide to its partners?
The main value we provide comes in four areas:
First, access to the highest number and best quality immigration programs. Due to Globevisa's sales volume and reputation, we have researched over 1,000 projects in more than 40 countries and introduced over 300 immigration programs, all developed in collaboration with the best lawyers or providers globally. This is Globevisa's greatest value proposition, unique on a global scale.
Second, access to top-notch legal and hosting services. Thanks to Globevisa's immense scale, we've established in-house lawyers and hosting services in immigration destination countries that other firms can't provide.
Third, operational expertise. Globally, there are very few firms with teams exceeding 800 members, and even those that do exist typically serve corporations. Among firms that offer individual services, Globevisa is far ahead in terms of scale. This scale results in a mature operational system, including top compliance and legal service teams, excellent sales training systems, and exceptional market experience sharing. Our internal ERP, CRM (HubSpot), and real-time communication tools like Teams also provide substantial support to partners.
Finally, brand value. As a global brand, Globevisa's intangible market value is immeasurable. We offer partners a larger platform for learning, networking, and showcasing. Joining Globevisa essentially means joining a global learning, networking, and showcasing club. Through this platform, partners gain firsthand insights into global immigration consultation and practical experience.
Interviews with international Globevisa partners
Can you briefly introduce your background before joining Globevisa?
I graduated from the London School of Economics, majoring in Maths and Economics. I hold a Master's degree from Imperial College, which is currently ranked in the top 10 in the world, where I specialized in science, engineering, medicine, and business.
I have rich experience in the investment banking industry with over ten years doing business in markets such as London, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Besides, I have also been holding strategic management roles in real estate and immigration businesses in the UK, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In Vietnam's market, I have helped many clients optimize the value of their properties, successfully invest abroad, and achieve their immigration plans. My leadership role at Globevisa Vietnam will continue to focus on these goals, helping Vietnamese clients diversify their investment portfolios and find opportunities to live, work, or study anywhere around the world.
How did you learn about Globevisa? How did you meet Henry?
We got to know each other through a mutual friend. This friend is a developer from Europe and has known both me and Henry for many years. Last year, he introduced us to each other, thinking we could collaborate, and that's how we met.
When we first met in Hong Kong, we instantly connected. Given my strong connections and team in Vietnam and Hong Kong, we reached a collaboration agreement within just two hours of meeting.
How is the development going?
The development is going very well. We've established firms in Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong, and both are progressing smoothly. Leveraging the Globevisa brand and projects, we've become one of the top firms in Vietnam. This month, we've expanded to Hanoi, establishing our second firm in Vietnam. The company in Central Hong Kong is also thriving, with high recognition in the local market and among expats.
What are your future plans?
To establish more firms in Southeast Asia and become the best and largest immigration firm in the region. This was a consensus Henry and I reached during our first meeting, and now we're working together to achieve this goal.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I bring 14 years of experience in the legal field not only to our Istanbul office but also to our 30+ global offices, since the Turkish market is both outbound and inbound.
After graduating from Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Law in 2008, I started to work as an in-house lawyer in the legal department of a group company operating in the Renewable Energy and Automotive sector under Koç Holding, one of Turkey's most rooted and largest holding companies.
I established my own law firm in 2012, and a year later, after Acun Ilıcalı bought the TV channel named TV8, I started to work as the chief legal counsel of TV8 and ACUNMEDYA Holding upon its offer. During my duty as general counsel for nearly ten years, ACUNMEDYA has turned into a giant media holding company and become a global broadcaster/producer organization that produces content in 10 countries around the world, especially in the USA, Mexico, and Greece, with more than 3,000 employees.
In this process, I took on the role of global director in addition to being the chief legal adviser and contributed to the growth of the holding in addition to legal and commercial contributions. My global work was also appreciated by the international legal community and rewarded by Legal 500 by being selected for the General Counsel Powerlist in 2019.
How did you get to know about Globevisa and meet Henry?
We met in Istanbul. At the time, Globevisa had a program for Turkey, so Henry came to Turkey to understand the real estate market and meet local lawyers. That's how we got to know each other, and we collaborated on some immigration projects in Turkey. After a year, Henry asked me if I was interested in joining Globevisa as a partner. I thought for a few seconds and said, "Why not?" That's when our collaboration started.
Why did you agree so quickly?
The quick agreement was based on the trust we built during the past year of collaboration. We both felt that we were decent people.
How is the development going?
Very well. Through my connections and the advertisements we placed on social media, we quickly signed up many clients.
During this time, how has Globevisa helped you the most?
Mainly in terms of projects and the brand. Regarding projects, for places like Greece and Portugal, Henry accompanied me on site visits, where we met many project providers and Globevisa's in-house lawyers and hosting teams.
During these visits, I conducted interviews with Globevisa's lawyers and project providers, and I created videos based on these interviews, which I posted on Instagram. Everything was authentic, and this approach attracted many clients.
What are your future plans?
As the Turkish firm was established recently, we can't yet claim to be the best and largest in Turkey, but that's our initial goal—to become the best immigration firm in Turkey. Henry and I both believe that within the next year, we can achieve this goal.
Become a Globevisa Partner
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