We can expect more countries to move towards Digitalisation in the coming years, allowing globally expanding companies to make faster hiring decisions.
The Digital Transformation
With the immigration backlogs in some countries, including the UK, there is a growing appetite for digitalisation to facilitate visa and work permit applications across all visa application centres.
Around the world, governments have spent the past few years moving towards online services for visa applications.
Canada implemented a platform to support the IRCC in 2021, whilst Sweden launched the Kraftsamling in December 2022. South Africa has also undertaken a digitalisation project and is looking to implement self-service kiosks to help citizens and residents obtain official documents in a more streamlined manner.
However, in many countries, tech advancements for immigration procedures are lagging behind the need for more streamlined processes, and there are also concerns about whether digital technology will create new challenges of its own.
Considering Immigration Rules and Document Collection
Shifting away from manual paperwork collection and submission, in many jurisdictions, digital technologies enable employers and employees to submit online application forms to the official processing bodies.
Depending on the type of application, some countries have already started taking steps to eliminate the requirement for providing hard copies during in-person appointments. In New Zealand, temporary permit types can be lodged with digital copies, though permanent residence types still require originals to be presented.
However, one of the greatest challenges is that in many countries, existing “wet-signature” requirements on certain documents add considerable time to the application process.
In one example, a Russian National living in Thailand and moving to Luxembourg is required to order their Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) from Gosislugi, have the document posted to a friend, family member, or POA within Russia, and have the document forwarded to Luxembourg via a third country (e.g. Georgia), due the shipping ban from Russia in the EU member states.
The complete process often takes 2-3 months to procure a single document. In an effort to move away from cumbersome processes, more countries are taking steps to accept scanned documents.
Concerns with Digital Innovation Risk
Even with the digitalisation movement, immigration is still challenging to navigate, and officials can sometimes request unnecessary documents, original copies, or other details before making a final decision. In these circumstances, it is helpful to have an expert provide guidance and support along the process and liaise with the public authorities on behalf of the applicant.
Further advancements in the digitalisation of immigration consider the biometric data collection and storage of applicants through passports, ID cards, and permits. The digital biometric collection is susceptible to “spoofing”, in which applicants sometimes remove blemishes or other distinguishing marks from digital images that can impact the validity of the identification document at a later stage.
When biometric photos are collected during office appointments, this risk is mitigated. In even more advanced processing centres, facial recognition software has been found to be disproportionately biased towards people of colour – misidentifying them as individuals with criminal backgrounds. In the immigration process, this technology error could have a devastating impact on the success of an application.
The AI Summit in London: A Personal Note on Global Mobility’s Future
The AI Summit in London has emerged as a beacon for senior decision-makers, HR professionals, and Global Mobility leaders to understand the future of global mobility and digitalisation. With immigration trends playing a significant role in business decisions, leveraging AI can shape the future. Here’s how;
The AI Summit isn’t just another tech conference; it’s a convergence of the brightest minds in both the AI and business spheres. Designed with senior leaders in mind, the event provides valuable insights into how AI, or artificial intelligence, is redefining global mobility and digitalisation.
The AI Summit in London will take place on June 12-13, 2024, and serves as an important reminder that the intersection of immigration and AI is not just the future—it’s the present. By capitalising on the advancements showcased at the summit, senior decision-makers can drive their organisations towards unprecedented growth.
Businesses ready to embrace the power of AI in reshaping immigration strategies will undoubtedly be at the forefront of global mobility. Learn more about the event here.
How AI technologies are transforming the immigration process
By eliminating manual paperwork where possible in the application process, creating platforms for tracking the status of applications, and loosening restrictions on the format of the accepted documentation, government departments around the world are enabling a higher processing capacity for applications and reducing immigration backlogs.
We expect more countries to move towards modernisation in the coming years, allowing globally expanding companies to make faster hiring decisions. However, the digitalisation process has its limits (for now). It doesn’t eliminate the need for humanitarian assistance, and some experts are concerned that too much dependence on technology can negatively impact the immigration process.
If you want to hear more about this subject and the legislative considerations with deep-tech advancements, watch our Centuro Global Expansion Conference panel discussions on “Revolutionising Technology: Bridging Privacy, Security, and Borders” here.
In conclusion, the latest trends and regulations in immigration technological advances are transforming the global expansion landscape. With the use of AI technological innovation, Centuro Global can guide clients with an improved grasp of legal compliance and obligations for internationalisation or growth and scale our services to meet cross-border demands. If you want to take your business global, we are prepared to help you navigate the complex world of immigration laws and regulations.