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What is tomorrow’s compliance?

Compliance is the buttress of all businesses. To comply with applicable rules and laws in our day-to-day practice, especially when Globevisa’s clients are dispersing in the global market, safeguards our clients’ wellbeing as well as the reputation of our industry. After years of development and accumulation, our compliance system has included program approval review, internal systems, data and privacy protection, financial taxation, labor rights protection, et cetera.

The U.S. immigration law system is based on the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Congress has complete legislative power over immigration matters; therefore, the Immigration laws are federal bases, and state governments have no authority on immigration issues. The complex legislative system, numerous provisions, and inadmissible in the Courts, it is difficult for clients to manage immigration-related matters on their own. In this situation, immigration lawyers play an especially key role in American immigration service. Therefore, Globevisa employs a team of experienced immigration lawyers to ensure that clients’ applications comply with both substantial and procedural laws.

Canada had been cracking down on undocumented immigrants for years. The amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Bill C-35) came into effect on June 30, 2011, and it provides that immigration consultants without a license may directly cause their clients’ applications to be rejected. Failure to obtain an immigration license shall be liable on conviction of a fine not exceeding CAD 100,000 for each illegal immigration case, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years for individuals. Thus, every consultant who enters the Globevisa Canada office must hold a license.

In the UK, it is an obligation to register with the Office of Immigration Services Commissioners (OISC) when providing advisory services. Also, a practice lawyer must be employed when conducting immigration activities. The UK is extremely strict in the supervision of company’s good standing and taxation, and lawyer’s licenses and certification of the company are reviewed each year. The certification will be revoked immediately if any tax issues are raised, even the company will be liable for criminal responsibility. During the service period, all the records need to be documented, and those records need to be kept for six years. Therefore, we are supposed to be compliant in every aspect.

The immigration industry in Taiwan adopts a strict regulatory model with specific rules. Taiwan’s Consumer Protection Law has detailed regulations, and which including the definition, scope, interpretation, and terms of service contact. The Executive Yuan has therefore specifically formulated the Sample Contract for Immigration Services, requiring that consumers shall be given at least 30 days for reasonable review; The service fee needs to be paid in five installments. If the client’s application has been denied officially, the refund ratio shall not be less than 20% of the service fee. If the customer’s rights are violated or restricted, the authority may order it to make corrections and impose a fine of up to 300,000 NT dollars. For serious cases, it may even impose a fine of up to 500,000 NT dollars per violation. This requires us to strictly enforce those rules when serving clients in Taiwan, and clearly stipulate them in our contract terms.

While there are only twelve reference behaviors released by Hong Kong SAR Consumer Council, and the interpretation based on cases in China mainland, there are twenty-seven “Specific Unfair Practice” clearly listed in Second Schedule of Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act 2003 in Singapore. For example, not using small print to conceal a material fact from the consumer, no fabrication competing buyers, and no false representation to constitute malicious competition.

In addition to the most basic services, financial service, real estate referral services and electronic currency transactions involved in the transaction process are derived from immigration services in recent years. To keep Globevisa on a compliance track, we will comply with the laws and regulations in those fields as well.

For fund investment, Hong Kong SFC requires licenses or registered for Type 1 regulated activity for any advertisement, invitation of unlisted securities. In the UK, it can only recommend and sell overseas funds that have been mutually recognized by the FCA. In Canada and Australia, both counties require to apply for special licenses from security authorities to provide advisory services or sell financial products. Singapore requires authorization or recognition from the MAS for overseas funds, and the entity need to obtain a CMSL license for selling capital market products.

Real estate developers in Greece and Spain are in small scale, and the developers will buy from the property owners only when customers need to buy the house. Based on this situation, we need to pay close attention to the title of property, and focus on whether the property has been transferred, and whether the mortgage has been released. In Korean, there are regional restrictions on immigrant properties, only the property located in Jeju Island, Incheon, and Busan having Immigration qualification. In Dubai, clients who apply for a Dubai Gold visa through a real estate investment model must have completed at least 50% of the purchased property and paid an amount of two million dirhams or more before applying.

Electronic currency is legal and recognized in Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other regions around the world. However, due to the elevated risk of its nature, the regulation of its transactions is still strict. For example, the Consumer Council of Hong Kong SAR issued a high-risk warning for virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, and the Central Bank of Taiwan and the Financial Supervisory Commission of the Executive Yuan stated that electronic currencies do not have legal effect and cannot be regarded as currency; The US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a “Regulation” for the management of virtual currency.

A mature and complete compliance management system is one of our core advantages of us, and complying with the laws and regulations of various markets where we expand is also our basic requirement. All these will lead Globevisa to be healthier and develop sustainably in the future.

In the future, regulation will become increasingly strict, not only may the immigration bureaus of various countries conduct supervision, but also the supervision of real estate, finance, electronic currency, and the law itself involved in immigration will further increase the requirements for corporate compliance. Therefore, in terms of the immigration industry, if we want to develop in the long-term and stay top tier in industry, we must comply with regulations and pay all the costs for compliance. This is the only and right way for Globevisa.

The picture for future compliance is clear. We are willing to pay high compliance costs and accept the supervision of immigration by various countries. At the same time, we must achieve full compliance in areas which have close link to immigration, such as finance, real estate, taxation, and human resources. I’m confident to say that Globevisa group can be a good firm that is able to achieve leadership in this industry in the future.

 

(Edited by Christina Li)

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