Expanded Network Addresses a Rapidly Closing Immigration Window

Published: 04 January 2019

Every relocation is unique, requiring close attention to all details to ensure our clients’ satisfaction, a positive experience for their employees, and our mutual success. Some, however, stand out as particularly challenging. During these situations, our employees take great pride in providing innovative, caring and customised solutions. The following is one of those stories.

Expanded Network Addresses a Rapidly Closing Immigration Window

When Nicolai was asked to relocate to China, he thought all of his documentation was in order. As required by the Shanghai Pudong New Area Overseas Talent Bureau, he had submitted his German medical reports to the Beijing Medical Centre via Deutsch post for verification, since they would need to be processed before his work and residence permit applications could be filed. Timing was tight, but the sequence of necessary applications appeared to be running on schedule. That is, until it was discovered that the German executive’s paperwork never made it to its destination. Unfamiliar with China’s address protocol, Nicolai had inadvertently omitted an important address detail on the package. The simple oversight threatened to cause delays – delays that might stonewall his immigration altogether. Nicolai had been charged with specific goals and milestones to accomplish upon his relocation; delays would set him back by months, something his global company just couldn’t afford.

As soon as they heard the news, SIRVA employees, Sophia Hu and Sue Ding (Immigration Manager and Specialist, respectfully), knew they needed to act quickly. Utilising their knowledge of the immigration process and their contacts within the vast immigration system, they began a targeted effort to get Nicolai’s immigration application back on track.

First, they reached out to their established contacts at both the German medical centre and Beijing Medical Centre to coordinate the expedited delivery and approval of a second set of medical records. Representatives at each location agreed to make Nicolai a priority. While German administrators worked quickly, gathering and resending a new set of official medical records (complete with signatures and the medical unit’s seal) contacts in Beijing stood by, ready to expedite approvals. Simultaneously, Sophia and Sue began preparing any paperwork related to Nicolai’s work and residence permits that they could ahead of time, obtaining signatures and company stamps, and holding them until the moment Nicolai’s medical papers were approved.

Thanks to many years of experience within the relocation industry, knowledge of immigration processes that vary from country to country, and their positive relationships with a vast network of industry professionals, Sophia and Sue were able to expedite Nicolai’s immigration approval process, completing a task that normally takes 1 ½ months in just one week. As a result, Nicolai began his assignment on time and his employer’s goals for growth were met, as planned and on schedule. 

The Faces Behind the Story:

Sophia Hu, Immigration Manager, SIRVA

sophia-huSophia Hu joined SIRVA Worldwide Relocation and Moving in 2015. With over 14 years of experience within the relocation industry, she brings extensive knowledge and expertise, but also a deep understanding of clients and their employees’ needs. As Immigration Manager of SIRVA’s Immigration Division, she is responsible for all immigration applications and relevant activities for China Destination Service delivery, with specific a specific focus on Shanghai.

Sophia holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Dong Hua University and has obtained a Global Mobility Specialist Certificate from Worldwide ERC. When she’s not busy helping employees relocate she enjoys playing the piano, painting and dancing to every kind of music imaginable, from jazz and hip hop to swag and urban.

Sue Ding, Immigration Specialist, SIRVA

sue-dingAs an Immigration Specialist for SIRVA Relocation Asia Pacific, Sue acts on the behalf of clients, processing visa/work permits for relocating employees and their families quickly, accurately, and with care and attention. She is dedicated to identifying and implementing process improvements within the internal and external client

Sue holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing. When she’s home, she enjoys reading great historical or suspense novels. When she can get away, she makes it a point to travel. So far, her favourite places include New York in the United States and Yangzhou in China, but she dreams of travelling to South Africa in the future.