Before COVID-19, global mobility was on the rise. More and more employees sought international assignments, and companies facilitated them, understanding that they are a great way to keep employees happy, encourage professional development, and attract new talent. And while international movement has largely come to a halt due to COVID-19, it will eventually get back into full-swing, which means that the down time we’re experiencing today is the perfect time to survey and upgrade industry technology. Well, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing at INSZoom. On the heels of launching INSZoom’s case manager mobile app, we are incredibly excited to announce our shift toward utilizing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to connect our immigration case management platform with other platforms in the industry! Overall, the immigration and global mobility industry has a number of great technology platforms – from immigration case management and forms automation tools to relocation trackers and more – but they are, for the most part, separate from each other, require multiple log-ins and often even require entering the same data over and over. And that’s where APIs come in. So let’s dive briefly into what APIs are, how we believe they will positively impact our industry, and then shed some light on our very first API integration with Crown World Mobility. APIs: What are they and how do they work? Let’s start with the basics: what is an API? An API — Application Programming Interface — creates access between different applications and allows each app to share functionality or data between one another. When applied, the connection created by the API is often called an integration. Here’s an example: When you read an article on Forbes and click the “Share on Twitter” button, an API communicates with your Twitter account without you having to do anything more than click your mouse. APIs are incredibly important to developers. Rather than build something entirely from scratch, developers are able to use an API to borrow functionality from other apps. For example, vendors or service providers use Stripe, an online payments platform, to process payments safely and securely without having to build their own. With APIs, the possibilities are endless for developers, but perhaps more importantly, for the end users, enabling, say, access to multiple services at the same time through one app that connects them all and delivers the data in one place. Take personal banking as an example: if you’ve ever used the financial software Mint, you’ve experienced this firsthand. Mint connects to all your bank accounts and credit cards and, using one piece of software, Mint users can view and manage all their banking data across multiple external accounts on one interface. In the immigration industry, lawyers use case management platforms like INSZoom to manage files, draft and put together visa petitions, and communicate with clients or, in the employment immigration context, clients as well as the individuals actually moving to the US. But what happens after the visa is approved and the individual, and perhaps their family, begins their cross-border journey? The answer is: a lot. In fact, that’s when the work really begins. But this work isn’t handled by immigration lawyers, it’s handled by companies like Crown World Mobility, who help coordinate, manage and actually carry out the physical move. And guess what? Crown World Mobility has its own tech platform that tracks the very same individual that just received their visa. So doesn’t it make sense for relevant data that’s already in INSZoom to also be shared with their platform? We thought so, and so did Crown World Mobility, and thus, our API integration was born. The Crown World Mobility And INSZoom API Integration Crown World Mobility, headquartered in Hong Kong, provides household goods shipments, immigration assistance, and other move management services. Crown employs more than 4,000 people worldwide and, when it comes to immigration, is implementing INSZoom globally to manage client work permit and visa processes. Creating employee profiles manually in both the INSZoom system and Crown’s in-house HR system was tedious and time-consuming, so we partnered up and built an INSZoom integration as a way to easily capture immigration progress, status and documents for their Immigration Consultants. The integration allows Crown World Mobility to sync their employee data management platform with INSZoom, making it easy for their case managers to make immigration-related updates in INSZoom and automatically see the updates in their in-house system. Updating employee data in multiple systems is inefficient. So, with this API integration, there are no concerns about syncing important client data to INSZoom anymore. Crown has established a close working relationship with INSZoom, and now their team can more easily manage their clients and client data with greater ease and speed, and an enhanced user experience! INSZoom and the future of global mobility As the world continues to become more and more digital, APIs are going to play a powerful role in the growth of the immigration and global mobility industry. As new companies come up and existing platforms like INSZoom continue to grow, APIs will allow users and end clients to leverage the power of all these products and services without the headache of repeated data entry, hundreds of different log-ins and more. With this successful API integration, we are excited to work with more companies in the industry’s pursuit of collaboration, enhanced user experience and innovation. Want to learn more about INSZoom APIs or interested in exploring whether your company can integrate with our platform? Reach out to an INSZoom representative at sales@inszoom.com or contact me directly to discuss!

A few days ago, President Barack Obama voiced his full support for comprehensive immigration reform. The old system is “out of date and badly broken,” the president said at a high school in Las Vegas on Tuesday. A new one is needed.

This status, this broken nature of U.S. immigration policy, is well known by those of us who live and breathe in the industries of immigration and global mobility. We see it every day and we plan our business strategies around this broken system.

It’s a relief to hear President Obama strongly support immigration reform. In the business world, we’re ready for a fresh look at how immigration in its entirety is managed. This includes traditional work visas like the H-1B and L-1 visas, but it also includes how we manage student visas and the path to permanent residency and citizenship. Throughout history, immigrants have been the life and blood of innovation in the United States and the policies of immigration are either in the way of progress or support it.

We choose to support progress and we build technology solutions whose primary goals are to support progress. For over a decade, INSZoom’s software has powered the migration of professionals, spouses, children, students, parents, artists and more from nation to nation. Our software has tracked them and made sure they stayed compliant with the laws of the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Germany, China, India and more than 80 other countries across this world.

We’ll continue to do so. We’ll continue to expand our software offerings. And we’ll continue to support legislation and policy amendments that help us all progress and innovate, now and in the future.

Welcome to our new blog and our new website and, hopefully, welcome to the future of immigration reform in the U.S. We’ll be here to build the technology to support it, whatever it becomes.

Umesh Vaidyamath has more than 22 years of proven senior technology and management experience in the software industry. As Chief Executive Officer of INSZoom, Umesh drives the overall direction of the company and oversees the company’s engineering, marketing and sales divisions. Follow Umesh Vaidyamath via Facebook, Twitter and Google+

I often read on blogs or websites about the kind of questions individuals with immigration cases under process ask for themselves or for their family members. One question that stands out is ‘What is the status of my case?‘ On hearing this I reminiscent back to the time I started my career as an immigration professional, when our mailboxes and telephone lines would be flooded with these questions. I used to think Why!!! Why can’t we have a simple way of getting this information other than having to call the USCIS and then sending the information to the employee?

Just over a decade ago the Online Case Status Check was introduced by the USCIS, in October 2002. A long time has passed since, and today there is a significant difference in the customer experience while dealing with the USCIS. Today they have multiple online options like Case Status Check, My Case Status, the portal released by USCIS in April 2004 with email and SMS capability and the recent e-Request feature, to inquire or learn about processing of cases.

With the Department of State introducing the Visa Status Check, they seem to be taking a leaf from the experience of the USCIS in improved customer experience, a move I strongly believed was long overdue.

I am excited to be a part of the team at INSZoom, that takes another step, to continue being the forerunner in providing technology solutions by integrating with the Visa Check Status. This cool and intuitive feature will enable checking the status of the DOS Case directly from the INSZoom system. This in addition to the existing USCIS case tracking features. To learn more about this cool new feature feel free to contact our customer service representatives.

Well it’s more than clear now that scores of people around the world want to migrate to the US, after all it is rightly titled “The land of opportunity.” While the doors to limitless dreams may present itself to the people of America, getting through Uncle Sam’s front door in the first place always poses to be the biggest obstacle for all those trying to convert these dreams into reality. Just being a hardcore Yankees fan isn’t enough to make the cut, is it? Well, fear not as we have found this interesting and highly enlightening “guide,” if I may call it, which describes in simple representation and language the permutations and combinations required to help you open the doors to this land of opportunity.

Credits/References:

The article is a creation of Mike Flynn and Shikha Dalmia in association with Reason Foundation and National Foundation for American Policy and was part of the Reason Magazine – October 2008 issue.

To celebrate the festivities of Diwali, an Indian festival equivalent in fervor and spirit of Christmas, a group of us decided to go into town and have some fun. Conversation topics during the celebration ranged from family and friends to politics and what all expatriates in the U.S. love to discuss – immigration and the pitfalls of the current system.

During this discussion one of the people present (lets call him John) mentioned a call he got from someone who said he was a USCIS officer. This person knew John’s personal information as well as his immigration status.

The “officer” was initially polite and courteous and took additional information from John. But then, the “officer” turned the tables. He referred to a series of inaccuracies and fallacies in John’s immigration documents and records. He then indicated that these could be quickly corrected to ensure that John would not face any problems with the USCIS.

Obviously, John was eager to correct these “errors”. The so-called officer then dropped the bombshell indicating that there would be a hefty charge to have these records updated and corrected. This request set off warning bells. John questioned the officer.

The discussions quickly turned ugly. The “officer” used threats and strong language to attempt to get John to pay the fees.

John made a wise next choice. He asked the “officer” to send him a written notice. If the fee was legitimate, John said he had no problem with paying it.

John, however, was now convinced that this was a scam. After the “officer” hung up, John tried to call back the number, but it was a spoof number.

Since then I have heard numerous similar stories. Some people have even paid these scam artists.

Like all governments, the U.S. government has its fair share of positive and negative aspects. But this country excels in its commitment to be fair and impartial to any individual. People have the right in this country to be heard and clarify their positions before any action is taken. To do this, the U.S. government gives individuals written notices and gives them the opportunity to respond.

If you are ever a recipient of such a call, ask for the officer’s credentials, write down his or her contact number and insist that a written notice be sent to you on the allegations and the course of action available to you to remedy the issue. Never make payments over the phone unless you have initiated the process and there are specific provisions to make phone payments. Remember, the U.S. government never requires any particular payment method; they provide you with multiple payment options, including checks, which provide a complete trace of the transaction.

Last but not least, seek advise from a legal representative or corporate immigration team before acting upon any such request you receive.

Inszoom Academy