HR Indaba Africa 2019: Fragomen is one of the world's leading immigration services providers

Fragomen has grown from a respected domestic U.S. immigration law practice to a truly global organisation.

Last year, over 3,000 attendees and close to 50 exhibitors and numerous thought-leaders attended the inaugural HR Indaba. Now, with less than two weeks before the 2019 instalment, Fragomen practice leader Lunga Mani, explains why they are looking forward to participating in the event.

What does Frogomen do and how long has it been around?

Established in 1951, Fragomen has grown from a respected domestic U.S. immigration law practice to a truly global organisation. Fragomen, with its affiliates, subsidiaries and branches is recognised as the world’s leading immigration service provider. Our expansion has been a direct result of our strategic decision to establish offices in the markets where our clients would benefit from our on-the-ground presence.

We intend to maintain our status as the largest and leading immigration services provider by extending our service capabilities and our global presence to meet our clients’ needs and market demands.

Over 60 years ago, we made a commitment to offer businesses of all sizes, and people and families from all walks of life, access to experienced immigration professionals and support around the world 

How do you differentiate yourselves from other competitors in your space?

Immigration is not just a practice area within our firm it is our only practice. Immigration is personal and therefore we ensure we provide comprehensive immigration services for short and long term international assignments, permanent transfers and the local hire of foreign workers. 

Our consultants have extensive and relevant immigration experience and have built long standing relationships with Government as well as government institutions in the 170+ jurisdictions in which we assist our clients. Our knowledge of international legal, regulatory and policy issues allows us to provide our clients with strategic advice and effective and efficient immigration solutions to assist them in achieving and maintaining a competitive edge in the global marketplace.

Furthermore we have received many accolades in recent years, some of which are listed below:

  • The Times named Fragomen best law firm in England and Wales, 2019
  • Who’s Who Legal Named Fragomen the leading global law firm, 2018
  • Our individual lawyers were recognised by Best Lawyers in the UK and worldwide, 2018
  • Chambers & Partners, UK and Global Ranked in Band 1, the highest possible ranking, 2018
  • National Law Journal #1 on “Women in Law Scorecard," 2018
  • Law360 Top law firm (of its size) for minority attorneys and minority equity partners, 2018
  • Forum of Expatriate Management (FEM) Immigration provider of the year in EMEA, 2012-2016

How have you incorporated technology into your business?

We have a market leading application process portal called Connect, which makes it possible to initiate cases by providing a small set of information for new or existing employees with access to questionnaires for supplying information needed for case processing. Questionnaires are pre-filled with data that Fragomen already has on file, as well as a to-do lists for  outstanding items such as questionnaires to be completed and/or government forms to be reviewed and/or signed.

With our Fragomen GO Mobile App the ease to access Information is at your fingertips. It allows you instant access to document checklists, so you know what has been requested and what has been provided. It also allows our clients to can also easily capture documents using mobile device camera using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology.

Why have you signed up for the HR Indaba and what should attendees look forward to seeing from you at the event?

We have signed up to the event as we feel we can add value to the HR profession by assisting them throughout the employee life cycle with their immigration and immigration related compliance needs:

  • Recruitment and Mergers & Acquisitions: Giving strategic and operational advice on the implications and advantages of hiring foreign nationals. Ability to check the work permits or identity documents they have to ensure they are valid as well as original to allow them to live and work in the required country. In terms of mergers and acquisitions this will help in terms of quotas as well as transferring current permits to new entities
  • Onboarding: Assisting with obtaining the relevant work permits and visas for employees to work within a specific country on the start of their contract as well as to attend training in various countries as required
  • Compliance checks: We have the ability to track the validity of passports and assist you should an employees permit or visa expires. We also provide strategic advice should the act, laws or regulations around hiring and employing foreign nationals change.  Furthermore, we assist organisations with immigration audits which focuses on the visas/work permits that already form part of the foreign population employee records. This ensures that all the employees are compliant with the visa/work permit conditions.
  • Resignation: Should an employee on a work permit leave we can assist by advising you on how and when the relevant government bodies need to be informed.

What would you say is the biggest challenge facing the HR profession?

The biggest challenge in my opinion is finding and then keeping good talent. There is a lot of competition between companies to find and keep good talent. With the international market being open to all, if one meets the visa/work permit requirements, the competition is now not limited to the local market.