As the season of migration continues, many are leaving the global south for greener pastures in the northern hemisphere. The exodus is fraught with dangers, and sensible immigrants can’t be too careful to avoid ending up in sticky situations. Hence, the imperative to follow the prudent route of seeking professional help from immigration experts. The office of Global Investment Boss Ltd (GIB) is a mecca of sorts for those seeking to travel out of the country. In this interview with IFEOMA OKEKE-KORIEOCHA, Ngozi Obasi, the CEO of GIB, explains the nitty-gritty of the immigration process, how best to migrate to another country and why it is necessary to take advantage of professional assistance. Excerpts:
What are the red flags to watch out for when hiring an immigration consultant?
Hiring the wrong immigration consultant can seriously damage your chances of qualifying for immigration visa. I will strongly advice you run away from any firm that is reluctant to verify their authenticity or provide references you can contact, they may be running an unauthorised business.
Inability to fill and submit an application on your behalf.
Contract terms that seem too good to be true: For instance, if a consultant asks for a fee that’s much lower , it could be a scam. In some cases, fraudulent consultants may also misrepresent their services, such as by advertising immigration services as free or quoting a lower price and then asking for more money to complete your application.
Guarantees regarding your application: While immigration consultants and usually know from experience which applications are likely to get accepted, they cannot provide any guarantees.
Encouraging you to provide false information: Avoid consultants who ask you to misrepresent facts or provide false information or documents for your application. Lying on your application is a punishable offence and, even if your application gets approved, you can be denied entry into the foreign Country or get deported.
Refusal to provide a written contract: Do not make any payments to an immigration consultant before you’ve received a written contract and verified its terms. Any consultant who refuses to give you a signed contract may be trying to scam you.
Asking you to sign blank documents or documents you haven’t read: Never sign blank paperwork, documents you haven’t read, or don’t understand. If the documents your immigration consultant asks you to sign are in a language you don’t understand, ask someone you trust to translate them for you or hire an impartial translator.
Irregular payment terms: Not getting a signed receipt for payments or being asked to pay in cash, by wire transfer, Paypal, or other hard-to-trace methods can be signs of fraud. Legitimate immigration consultants should accept payments through bank transfers or cheques. It’s also a good idea to ask your consultant to clearly specify the application fee for the immigration program you’re applying to and for their services. You can then verify the immigration application fee online to ensure you’re not being cheated.
There are so many fraudsters out there these days pretending to render immigration services. How do we tell the real ones from the fake ones?
Due diligence can never be overemphasised, especially when there is a need to put your money into something. Proper research, both online and offline, on the company in question should be paramount before engagement.
Many young people usually migrate via the study abroad programme. Why is it the preferred route for migration?
The study route remains one of the legal pathways to migrate to different foreign countries because it gives double honour—that is, you get a degree or certificate and then residency and citizenship eventually through the right and timely process.
Why would anyone need the assistance of a firm to get a work visa, when you can make your way to the embassy and get on with the process at no extra cost?
Visa processing is a technical process that most often requires experience and a lot of expertise to get done. You need the assistance of an immigration firm to avoid errors and unnecessary mistakes that may eventually lead to a visa denial or ban, we help you avoid costly mistakes in your visa application. This is because we have a lot of experience and expertise in this process and know what information the authorities are looking for. Thus, helping you fill out your application correctly, which will greatly increase your chances of getting approved.
It also saves you a lot of time and hassle. If you do not know what you are doing, you can easily make mistakes that will delay your application or even lead to its rejection. An immigration consultant will handle all the paperwork for you and ensure everything is done smoothly. Inevitably it can save you a lot of money in the long run. If your visa application is denied, you will have to start the process again, which can be expensive and time-consuming. By hiring an immigration consultant, you can avoid these risks and ensure that your application is successful the first time.
What are the dangers inherent in a poorly processed study programme?
This is where you need the services of an expert. Not only will the application be rejected, but you also get to waste further time and resources on the process. Investment immigration is something that most Nigerians are not aware of, except for the extremely rich.
Many people are not aware of it, probably because, just like the name implies, investment immigration, it is a very capital-intensive pathway in which an investor financially invests in the host country. It was set up to improve the economies of the host countries involved and also provide employment for their citizens, which also rewards the investors with either instant citizenship or residency.
What motivated the founding of GIB?
I’d say real-life experience. At my previous jobs, I came into contact with a lot of people on a daily basis who needed help with immigration issues. I saw the need to bridge the gap by rendering the right service to people in a way that would make them succeed in their desire to move abroad.
And thankfully, at Global Investment Boss Ltd., we have been proudly providing exceptional immigration services through the study route for a couple of years now. We have diligently built a strong and loyal client base that has impacted our growth.
As an immigration Service consultant, what are some of your nuggets of advice for people seeking to migrate, either for a greener pasture or for the golden fleece?
Do it legally, no matter how long it takes you. Use the right documents that will not dent your immigration status. A legal immigration pathway will not only benefit you but also your generation to come.
What has been the most unfortunate story you know of people who have had bad immigration experiences that should serve as lessons to others?
I knew people who fell foul of travel ban due to a careless or fraudulent application. For a particular set of Nigerians, travel gambles and immigration risks have put them in either a permanent bad book or a total ban from certain continent due to their proclivities for ‘Sharp, Sharp’ process.
What makes GIB stand out among others in the same business? What is the scope of your activities?
We are thorough. We take you by hand and lead you from admission to visa process, an end-to-end service delivery. Our expertise lies in providing comprehensive support and solutions for individuals seeking international experience and opportunities. With a focus on study-abroad programmes, investment immigration, work visa, flight booking and insurance services; we guide and assist our clients every step of the way. Whether it’s helping students choose the right programme, facilitating strategic investments for citizenship or residency, arranging seamless travel for work visa holders, or ensuring comprehensive insurance coverage, our services empower individuals to explore new horizons, pursue educational and professional goals, and navigate the complexities of global mobility with confidence and peace of mind.
What are the current emerging immigration opportunities? What does the trend portend for those who might want to migrate or travel to study in the near future?
Just like in all seasons, there is a constant addition or change in the immigration system for everyone. The UK recently launched the Teacher’s Immigration Pathway. There is also a new change in the Canada Visitor-Tourist Visa that can enable a person to get a job while in Canada and eventually change visa status.
It has been said that it is important for a consultant to have a lawyer to solve any legal problems that might arise during the immigration process. Do you have lawyers in your team?
Of course we have a legal team who have been with the system from day one. I believe that being able to resolve dispute and checkmate excesses that may arise in the course of doing business is an essential part of any international business operations.