OmanGBnews.com’s Ben Pinnington caught up with Antonio Lam and George Neofitou of specialist immigration firm Newland Chase at the recent Infra Oman trade fair in Muscat. The UK headquartered company, which has more than 50 offices in 15 countries, was exhibiting in the UK pavilion, promoting its highly specialised services which are gaining a higher profile in Oman.
When asked about what makes their company stand out from the crowd Antonio Lam and George Neofitou brim with enthusiasm. It is obvious to see why they are fronting the Newland Chase stand at Infra. Antonio and George are buoyed by the knowledge they have a very strong service already in serious demand worldwide, which is gaining traction in Oman.
Like all the best businesses Newland Chase solves a very big difficulty and very big headache – a head-banger. Just utter the words: ‘you need to get a visa’ to most people and the brow will furrow and beads of sweat will appear with the very quick realisation this task is going to be awkward, time consuming, bureaucratic and, quite likely, deeply frustrating. You probably do not have half the time available for it, even if you are a HR department let alone an individual, and you know if you have not done it before there will be blind alleys and cul-de-sacs to hurtle around before progress is made.
Antonio knows he has a solution, the kind usually reserved for superheroes and phone boxes. He explains that Newland Chase can erase those bureaucratic nightmares from clients’ minds. The company has offices and staff worldwide which means they have esoteric knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of many countries visa systems. And by having consultants on the ground they are bang up to speed with the latest changes and tweaks to the regulations. In addition, by having a presence in the country Newland Chase can visit the client and visa offices in person and speak directly to officials ironing out specific problems. “It is about understanding exactly how the rules work and what can be done to make a visa happen. It’s a diplomatic role and our job is to find a way to get a positive result. We have strong relations and experience of working with immigration officials in a lot of the major countries including the UK, the USA, Australia and Canada. Here we have built up trust between ourselves and the authorities in rigorously regulated territories.”
Antonio says Newland Chase’s customers range from individuals to multi-national companies as well as rapidly expanding start-ups in the technology sector. He says they are already working in Oman with large companies who either have their own legal entity or those working on joint venture projects or with clients. Their core areas of expertise include oil and gas, construction and engineering.
“We have a hub in the UAE and we have Public Relations officers in Oman who will undertake the liaison for clients within Government, continuing to build that all important understanding and rapport with Omani immigration officials. We see Oman as a big growth area with the huge amount of infrastructure investment. From individual visas, for white collar workers, to block visas for labourers, there is definitely a big demand for Newland Chase’s services in Oman.”
Antonio said Newland Chase separates itself from the crowd by offering a consultative approach to advice which is both bespoke and strategic. This service is managed by engaging with clients directly and understanding their needs and objectives rather than a “hands off” approach as with other firms.
“Even for an experienced HR department this is one job where employing a specialist will bring benefits,” he said. “When you consider the pressure that can be on companies to secure, say a block visa for 1000 assignees to start work ASAP on a time sensitive project, you can sympathise hugely with HR departments. We, however, can ensure a company can secure visas as quickly and efficiently as possible by using our knowledge of that country and its procedures. We can liaise between countries and clients’ global offices through our own wholly owned subsidiaryoffices worldwide. We can further look at a business’ strategy and examine it for potential visa pitfalls. We can also screen candidates beforehand to ensure any obstacles that may come up are flagged in advance.”
Another unique selling point of Newland Chase is the depth of its legal expertise with large proportion of its consultants being trained and qualified lawyers. The legalistic nature of immigration legislation means having this understanding of the law, and critically how it can be interpreted, is a major advantage for Newland Chase in supporting clients which may not have that expertise in-house.For more details on Newland Chase’s service in Oman contact Antonio Lam Email: Antonio.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.NewlandChase.com