Immigration is a notoriously tricky problem to navigate whichever country you’re dealing with – systems tend to be archaic and complex, making it difficult to know what’s even an option.
The situation is no different in the US either, according to Bridge US, an immigration startup that wants to simplify the process by making it easy for individuals or businesses to find out which options are applicable to them.
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As well as aiding discovery of possible entry routes, the Web platform will also help users manage their applications as they pass through each stage of the process.
“Immigrating to the US is an incredible opportunity, but too often the obstacles involved in the process make these opportunities unachievable. By democratizing access to high quality information and legal services, we put the power back in the hands of hard-working people looking to live their own American Dream,” Romish Badani, CEO of Bridge US, said.
In order to do that, the company has built a “Turbotax-like” interface to help users understand which immigration paths are a viable option based on their specific circumstances.
Depending on what the result of these suggestions are, there are then a range of other services to help complete the application – from DIY tools to “affordable legal representation” from specialized immigration lawyers.
It’s certainly not the most crowded space in technology right now, although there are basic chargeable apps like US Immigration FAQ for iOS for finding out about possible entry options. Clearly the idea resonated well enough to raise an $800,000 seed round that included backers like 500Startups, Ulu Ventures and a number of other investors.
The company said the platform should be ready to go live on April 1, although it’s partially up and running already. By launch day, there will be live chat, a dynamic FAQ and a few other features that aren’t there right now, we’re told by the company.
The most basic plan, which includes eligibility assessment, an application wizard and 24/7 customer support, is free. There are then a range of options up to around $400 for the standard plan, and a premium plan where pricing varies by lawyer.
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