WHERE HELP WITH MY VISA! BEGAN
ABOUT HELP WITH MY VISA!
MEET THE TEAM
From working in the global visa and immigration industry for more than 10 years we saw the same situations play out again and again whenever we talked to visa applicants
It didn’t matter it we were in Cairo, Beijing or Johannesburg; London, Jakarta or Lagos, whenever we talked to people using visa application centres they always asked us the same things
“Will I get my visa?
“Is my visa application correctly prepared?
“Are my supporting documents in order?
And you know what, it was heartbreaking
Heartbreaking that people were so far down the line making a visa application – actually physically in a visa application centre while having this conversation – and they were still nervous and unsure if they’re prepared everything correctly
It wasn’t that people didn’t know where to find information or get help
They knew that supporting document information was available online, but it was also very complicated to understand how it applies to their personal situation
They also knew that immigration advisors and visa services companies existed, but they didn’t have time to ring around half a dozen firms to get quotes because no-one lists their prices online
And there was also the issue of trust. It’s expensive to get professional help preparing a visa application, but how could you be sure you could trust the company you’d just paid thousands of dollars/ pounds/ euros to help you
There was an issue with the entire system in every country we visited, and that’s why we’ve founded Help with my visa!
Help with my visa! is a digital marketplace that lets people get professional help with their visa application from vetted organisations who can assist
Kind of like an ‘Airbnb’ for visa and immigration services
We don’t provide these services ourselves directly, rather connect you with professional visa and immigration services companies who we’ve already vetted, and let you buy services from them – via us – entirely online
So no more ringing around and spending 20 minutes on the phone just to get a quote (you’re not back in the 1990s trying to buy car insurance!), you can book an appointment for an initial consultation and pay for your professional visa or immigration advice service online any time of the day or night… and using any device
The organisations selling through Help with my visa! have been vetted by us for their technical competence and financial stability. Many also offer independent quality reviews through organisations like TrustPilot.
Where visa and immigration services companies require accreditation (such as in the UK), we check these accreditations both at registration with us and at least once throughout the year to make sure they are maintained
To give you peace of mind that these organisations are well-run, we also perform an Experian credit check on the business and continuously monitor their credit score for changes. If it falls below a certain threshold, the organisation has its service offerings scaled back to match its creditworthiness
In short, we’ve built Help with my visa! to address the issues we discovered talking to literally 1000s of visa applicants around the world, and have made it easier to find and buy professional help preparing a visa application
So hopefully soon, when we speak to people at a visa application centre, they’ll no longer be worried if their visa application is correctly prepared
They’ll know for a fact it is!
The experience of running Help with my visa! has also taught us an important lesson – the ‘visa’ itself really is a means to an end. It’s what the visa opens up to you that’s important.
And common questions we receive are around how to come to the UK to work. The UK is a very attractive place to work for many reasons and while the new Skilled Worker visa has made it easier for overseas talent to understand exactly what they need to do to qualify, it was clear there’s room to support people before they actually apply for a visa.
From this experience, we’ve created How to Get Your Dream Job in the UK, an online course that shows you in 5 detailed steps exactly how to get a skilled job in the UK. Based on experience of landing multiple six-figure roles in many countries and multiple industries, this 10-week course teaches job hunters exactly what works in the UK… and why you’re wasting your time applying through ‘black hole’ job portals.
We hope to bring you more course like this in the future, so if you’re thinking about studying in the UK or moving to another country, join our mailing list to keep up-to-date on the latest developments.
The Help with my visa! team is super focused on bringing you the best visa application support there is. Please meet our Founder and CEO, Gareth Richards, and our Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jenn Milne.
I’ve worked in the global visas and immigration industry for more than 10 years and have setup visa businesses in more than 90 countries. Along the way I’ve had the opportunity to work with 10 national governments, including the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy the Netherlands and Switzerland.
From this experience, I saw the opportunity to improve the way people get help with their visa application, having witnessed the same issues the world over. With Help with my visa! I aim to build a truly 21st century way of letting people get the right help they need by connecting visa applicants with qualified immigration advisers and solicitors who can guide them every step of the way.
I hold an MBA from a top London business school as well as a postgraduate qualification in Economics from the London School of Economics. More recently, I’ve also completed executive education courses at MIT in Digital Transformation and Colombia Business School in Digital Marketing.
2020: founded Help with my visa! to make it easier for people to access qualified assistance from immigration advisors when making a visa application.
2019: advised two institutional investors on the global visa market dynamics and future developments during the aborted sale process of VFS Global.
2018-19: led the Sopra Steria product development team during the set up of the UKVCAS service centre network in the UK. The network processes 700k annual visa applications in the UK on behalf of UK Visas & Immigration.
2017: advised UK Visas and Immigration on ‘what good looks like’ for an upcoming procurement that eventually became the UKVCAS service centre network.
2015-16: developed operating models for TT Services (now part of VFS Global) and managed responses to public procurements from the governments of Canada, India and Spain.
2014-15: developed a global operational excellence programme at TLScontact for 98 visa application centres operating on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration and the Australian Department of Border Protection in Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Russia and the Middle East.
2013-14: managed the opening of 25 new visa application centres across 18 African countries at TLScontact on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration and the Australian Department of Border Protection while at TLScontact
2012-13: lead a global sales team at TLScontact responsible for winning more than £400m in new business to set up visa applications centres on behalf of the governments of Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK.
2012: authored a white paper for the Five Country Conference (working group of the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA) on how to improve efficiencies and customer experience by greater sharing of visa application centre facilities and systems.
2012: ran a global multi-milion pound procurement for biometric enrolment systems (hardware and software) for TLScontact.
2011-13: managed the account of a TLScontact visa application centre service in Algeria on behalf of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (then Citizenship and Immigration Canada).
2010: project managed the set up of a new TLScontact visa application centre in London, UK, on behalf of the government of France.
2010: supported the opening of a new TLScontact visa application centre in Cairo, Egypt, operating on behalf of the governments of France and Denmark.
2009-10: managed the TLScontact visa application centre in Wuhan, China, operating on behalf of the government of France.
You can find out more about Gareth on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
I’m an experienced marketing professional and have held digital roles with a number of successful e-commerce businesses in the B2C sector as well as delivering customer-centric products within the public sector.
I’d say I’m a marketer by trade, but I’m currently doing a product management role which is needs me to use all of my stakeholder management skills.
At Help with my visa! it’s my job to makes sure everything we do remains customer-focused and easy to understand. Gareth is very clear on my remit – if I think there’s a better way of doing something, I tell him and we look at doing it better.
I’ve got a bachelor degree from the University of Sunderland in Business and Marketing and you can find out more about me on Twitter and LinkedIn.