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Artificial Intelligence

Can AI Be Used To Simplify Immigration?

Explore the impact of AI on immigration services, from the inception of ChatGPT to its potential future role in transforming the sector.

Can AI Be Used To Simplify Immigration?

ChatGPT changed the world on November 30, 2022. This “large language model” allowed humans and computers to have a natural conversation with an artificial intelligence (AI) based “bot”. But clearly this was different. Adoption to over 100M users was faster than anything else in history.

Sam Altman, OpenAI's CEO and creator of GPT predicted it would become a “supersmart personal assistant for work.”

You have to understand that it was not just capable of chatting, but the underlying GPT - where G stands for Generative - could create documents, poems, images in multiple languages and styles based on a vast knowledge base in a few seconds versus hours or days it would take a human.

A Personal Assistant or Replacement for Immigration Professionals?

Given GPT’s ability to comprehend dialogue and aid in content analysis and creation, it was clearly evident that GPT, alongside other generative AI systems, could revolutionize tasks traditionally managed by immigration professionals.

To understand whether AI will help or eliminate immigration professionals, we need to look at the traditional role of an immigration professional to:
  • Educate,
  • Advise, and
  • Advocate

Immigration professionals help clients understand their rights, options, and assist with the application process for various immigration based on their personal and professional circumstances.

They facilitate individuals' legal entry or residency and represent and advocate for their clients in immigration-related matters, ensuring adherence and the proper application of all relevant laws and regulations.

On one hand, it seems there are many problem-solving and strategic help provided by lawyers and consultants that will be hard to automate. However, when we look at many of the underlying tasks (mostly repetitive and boring) it is clear they can be made more efficient and accurate with generative AI.

Processes That Can Be Faster And More Accurate With AI

  1. Client Communication and Education: AI-driven chatbots and communication interfaces adeptly manage routine inquiries, schedule appointments, and update applications. Moreover, AI excels in distilling complex immigration procedures into comprehensible explanations, providing 24/7 support to educate clients thoroughly about legal processes and statutes.
  2. Eligibility Assessment: AI's analytical prowess is invaluable in evaluating client-provided information and documentation against the current tapestry of immigration legislation to ascertain eligibility for various visas, residency permits, and citizenship processes.
  3. Language Support: Given the multilingual nature of visa and immigration documentation, AI's rapid translation capabilities are instrumental in bridging communication gaps with clients of diverse linguistic backgrounds.
  4. Data Entry: There is a huge effort and focus required to transpose data from source documents into immigration forms. AI dramatically reduces the time and effort while enhancing accuracy by auto-filling forms with client data and highlighting discrepancies or omissions, thereby minimizing human error.
  5. Document Generation: AI technologies can produce intricate legal and support documents necessary for immigration procedures. By training the AI on a broad spectrum of precedents, AI can quickly generate tailored documents for clients, substantially reducing the time and effort traditionally required by both applicants and legal professionals.
  6. Application Preparation: AI systems streamline the compilation and organization of detailed immigration applications. AI can suggest enhancements, draft accompanying letters, and compile an exhaustive application dossier in alignment with the latest immigration guidelines and criteria.
  7. Petition Drafting: AI lends its capabilities to the drafting of petitions and legal submissions by utilizing established templates and proven documents, freeing legal practitioners to concentrate on more demanding tasks.
  8. Risk Assessment: AI's ability to sift through vast data sets empowers it to forecast case outcomes, thereby enabling lawyers to offer nuanced advice to clients regarding the risks and benefits of various legal actions.
  9. Legal Research: AI accelerates legal research by swiftly locating and summarizing pertinent statutes, regulations, case law, and policy memos essential to a client’s case.

That being said, we might not see AI take over the creative and the review tasks in the short term. Whether it’s coming up with new strategies that were not published before, or being the expert approving an application to be sent to the government, the current generative AI doesn’t seem to be up for these tasks yet.

Closing Thoughts

The transformative potential of AI stands to expedite, enhance precision, and expand accessibility with immigration services. Immigration professionals that use AI assistance will ultimately provide faster, more accurate and less expensive services while still adding key value to the process, especially compared to those who not embrace AI.

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Jie Chen
Co-founder & Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R#707585)Jie Chen
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