Whitepaper: Evaluating an Immigration Case Management Solution? Questions you Should Always Ask
Top Questions to Ask an Immigration Case Management Vendor
Choosing the right immigration case management system for your organization can be a daunting task, especially considering the wide variety of software solutions on the market today.
Fortunately, there are well established due diligence questions that reveal the most important factors to consider when choosing an immigration case management solution – achieving greater productivity, decreasing overall costs, and improving client experience.
If you’re in the market for a new case management system or simply re-evaluating your current software, take note of the following key factors to ensure the long-term success of your immigration practice:
1. Collecting Data
In order to successfully prepare an immigration case, practitioners must often collect a wide variety of information, including: biographical data, address and work history, and immigration status, etc. A well-designed immigration case management system will facilitate this process by enabling your foreign nationals and your employer-clients, if applicable, to login to the system and enter information which can be used to help initiate and process the case – and even populate directly onto the immigration forms. Not only will this reduce data entry time, but it will also increase accuracy and enable foreign nationals to complete intake questionnaires when it’s most convenient for them.
2. Accuracy, Reliability and Compliance
Immigration petitions and applications require a high-level of accuracy and attention to detail, particularly in relation to the submission of required forms and letters. Busy practitioners must also keep up-to-date with the latest form revisions, which are being introduced by the USCIS at a dizzying rate. In order to ensure accuracy and reliability of filings, organizations should look for an immigration case management solution that carefully examines new form requirements and provides tools and communication to ensure you’re always using the latest version of the form.
3. Workflows and Standardization
Most immigration cases consist of a series of defined steps and tasks, which must be performed in a sequential and efficient manner. A best-in-class immigration case management solution can synthesize these various steps into predefined, customizable workflows that are tailored to the specific case at hand. Workflows also promote standardization and accountability by letting everyone in your organization know exactly which tasks have been performed for a pending case and which tasks require attention.
4. Reporting and Oversight
One of the most difficult aspects of managing an immigration practice is staying on top of pending cases while also monitoring the various deadlines that could significantly impact a client’s ability to stay and work in the US. Case-tracking spreadsheets and journals are tedious to maintain and are susceptible to human error. An exceptional immigration case management solution can automate this entire process through detailed reports and dashboards that notify you well in advance of upcoming expirations and important milestones. In particular, experts recommend looking for a system that allows you to design your own ad-hoc reports, define search filter settings, and control who has access to the information.
5. Keeping Clients Informed
Clients often expect and demand immediate responses and status updates with respect to their pending immigration matters. Managing these inquiries can be difficult, particularly for the busy immigration practitioner who may have both individual and employment-based cases. A leading case management system will facilitate your overall communication plans through specialized foreign national and employer/HR interfaces. Therefore, it’s key to look for a system that enables you to share timely case updates with your clients and other important news that may impact their immigration plans.
6. Decreased Costs and Increased Return on Investment
When considering an effective immigration case management system, it’s important to consider the true costs of your current processes. For instance, the cost of workflow inefficiencies, reduced new case throughput, and intangible costs like reputation and client satisfaction. When evaluating a new system, immigration practitioners should be able to easily calculate time saved per case and ROI achieved through optimized staff productivity and case management software performance capabilities. Robust use of a best-in-class immigration case management solution can produce tangible results such as a 50% increase in cases processed.
While the search for a best-in-class immigration case management system can be overwhelming, the key considerations above disclose the most important aspects to consider when choosing a solution – achieving increased productivity, decreasing overall costs, improving client experience and setting up your immigration practice for longterm success.