Staying One Step Ahead

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Christen Gause_Traveling with your family using Zoomlee

As a previous Manager of Business Immigration and years spent filling out visa applications for expats for countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil, Turkey, Schengen Countries and countless others, I know firsthand the amount of detail needed to complete these forms.  I have helped thousands of expats and business travelers navigate the complex and specific list of requirements that are needed to submit visa applications.  As with most busy c-level travelers, applications need to be done quickly, accurately and submitted successfully the first time.  Rarely is time a luxury.  When the CEO needs to travel to China he usually needs to be there in a few days.

Zoomlee is a fantastic resource for busy travelers.  The app allows the user to upload all of their travel related documents such as passports, visas, global entry ID information, frequent flyer memberships, paystubs, driver’s license, health insurance card, or any other piece of information that is required to apply for a visa.  A copy of the actual document can be uploaded along with all of the details such as number, issue dates, expiration dates, issuing consulate, etc.  Having all of this information available to you on your phone in a secure location makes filling out applications a breeze.  Gone are the days where you must delay filling out the forms and filing your application because you need to go home and get your important documents from the safe, shuffle through your emails to find copies of your paystubs, track down a copy of a utility bill to prove your residence location and ask HR for an updated copy of your health insurance benefits that prove you have coverage when you travel internationally.  You will have all this info stored in the app, organized and easy to access.  Having the ability to safely store document copies and data and leave your important documents at home in the safe until you need them to file the application will ensure you don’t lose them in the process. (I have had people lose their passports in between the seats in their car).Zoomlee Immigration Compliance App

 

Once the visa has been obtained the app continues to offer value to the user.  The new visa information is inputted into the app and the app will alert you when the visa is about to expire.  Travelers to the US can fill out and print the declaration form prior to travel.  This will save them from having to find a pen once seated in the comfy and roomy airline seat! After landing in the destination country travelers are able to use the “Be Safe” feature.  Actually, anybody can use this feature, even if at home!  The feature allows the user to click on “Police”, “Hospital” and/or “Consulate”.  If the traveler has GPS or Location enabled on their phone, the “Be Safe” feature will quickly show them were the nearest police, hospital and consulate facilities are.  Having traveled to China and India myself, I am very grateful for this feature.  You never know what local terminology is for police, hospital, and consulate and being unable to speak the local language makes it hard to ask for help.  This app will quickly show you where the nearest facilities are.  I walked around Shanghai for 14 days and only when I was downtown did I find a police station.  A city with 23 million people, the largest city in the world and I found only one police station!  I am married to a law enforcement officer and I was a 911 operator and police/fire dispatcher for 7 ½ years.  If I am traveling alone it is vital that I have the ability to find emergency help quickly to satisfy my husbands and my desire to ensure my safety. The “Be Safe” feature does just this.

 

Safer Travel with Secure Travel Documents

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When travelling abroad, things that are merely inconvenient at home become disasters in a foreign country. Expired documents, lost wallet, missing paperwork, on a business trip are headaches at the least, or can get you jailed or deported at the worst.

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Our immigration law firm Visawolf manages global travel and work visas for hundreds of corporate travelers every year.  We advise them to make copies of their physical documents for reference if needed during the trip.

Tips for safer overseas corporate travels include:

  • Saving a photo of the front and back of each credit card. Having the card data backed up is important for reporting a lost card and requesting a replacement.  The number of the issuer is on the back of the card, and the front has all the information you need to reference your account.
  • Pics of your driver’s license, visa, and passport is handy as well, in case your paperwork is lost or destroyed on your trip. It will be easier to report your case to the consulate or police with a back up of your identification.
  • Carry an emergency contact list of important numbers in-country, and back home. Too often we hit Speed Dial on our favorite numbers, and cannot recall the specific phone numbers. Also include contact info for your corporate travel booker, local office, hotel, and local friends.

The least secure way to back up your information is to make photocopies and carry paper printouts.  This is old-school, and can be helpful in a pinch, but storing paper copies in your luggage or wallet means they can be lost, stolen, copied, or misplaced.

Slightly more safe is to save the backups as files on your computer or smart phone.  The downside is that the data might not be secure, and the device itself can be lost or compromised.

The most secure and our recommended way to back up travel docs, as well as gain access to many other travel features, is to use the Zoomlee app.  Storing data and docs in Zoomlee’s encrypted service provides access to backups on your device, as well as in the cloud, with secure data protection.  You can access information on your local device, from the cloud, and even share data safely with your family, lawyer, authorities, and co-workers.

In addition to having your global travel docs prepared by immigration professionals, keeping backups of those and other docs will help keep you safe as you travel. Contact Visawolf for your work visa and global travel services, and use Zoomlee app to store your documents.

Jakob Lipman is a partner and attorney at Visawolf, an immigration law firm with years of experience with corporate visas and global travel. The firm uses tech solutions like INSZoom, Zoomlee, and other tools to expertly expedite your case. Let Visawolf help you travel more safely and for your business to prosper.

 

Jakob Lipman is an attorney at the California based immigration law firm Visawolf , www.visawolf.com, where he is one of the founding partners.  He has practiced immigration law for over fifteen years. Jakob and Visawolf specialize in employment-based immigration, and corporate global travel visas. Over the years, he has supported companies of all sizes and from every major industry, from tech start-ups to international conglomerates. Jakob has lectured on immigration-related subjects, authored articles on corporate immigration compliance, as well as the PERM labor certification process. He is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is an expert in automating immigration case flow with technology

Here’s why L-1 work permit may mean more visa trouble for India

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Concerned over the restriction of the L-1 work permit and high rejection rate, many Indian IT companies are hoping for discussions at the government level to ease out some of the problems when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Silicon Valley in September.

“L-1 is a category that allows people with managerial, executive or specialised knowledge to be moved to the US offices from their foreign country offices for taking up a position on a temporary basis. For the US, they need to reasonably protect domestic jobs over outsourced staffing and thus there is a grey area that is being challenged as misuse by IT companies,” said Pankaj Joshi, MD, NYSA Capital, a Delhi NCR-based advisory firm that specialises in the investment-immigration programme to the US.

Following a study by the National Foundation for American Policy titled ‘L1 Denial Rates Increase Again for High Skill Foreign Nationals’, which confirmed that Indian nationals face the highest refusal rate in the L-1B visa programme, there has been great concern among Indian IT companies and professionals on the matter. This is despite the fact that actual numbers for L visas issued to Indian applicants went up in 2014 (44,954) compared to 2013 (43,773).

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Expat to Expat Advice

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Expat, a blog from The Wall Street Journal, recently published an article titled, “Expat to Expat Advice: Global Nomads Tell All.” In this article they compiled advice from expats who provided their own top tips and tricks for people heading overseas on expat adventures.

Expat, Zoomlee App

Advice from Expats:

“Be really clear on work visa requirements before you set off to look for a job…”

Keep careful records and make copies to survive the bureaucracy.”

Sort out your taxes before, not after”

“Even international schools with U.S. college prep don’t do a great job getting high schoolers prepared

“That I was expected to file U.S. taxes.”

“Get a lawyer and an accountant right away.”

Instantly Track Case Status with USCIS Using Zoomlee App

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Tracking your case number doesn’t have to be complex. With Zoomlee you simply enter the USCIS case number or receipt number in the Work Permit documents screen and you can easily track the status of your case.

When you store the information in the app your case number automatically becomes a direct link to the Case Number Status on the USCIS official site.

Case Number Status, USCIS, Zoomlee App

 

 

Once you have entered this information, you can check your case status quickly and frequently for Work Permit approvals, extensions or approval of your Green Card.

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