Immigration law is already a complicated field, and with Brexit looming, it’s about to get a lot more complex. The end of free movement within the EU has implications for both EU nationals already living in the UK and any potential immigrants.
However, for lawyers and those needing to navigate immigration law, a new wave of legal technology is helping to simplify and speed up the immigration process. Legal tech is also assisting employers hiring immigrants to stay compliant with mandatory Home Office Right to Work checks.
Legal tech: the rise of AI
Artificial Intelligence is at the heart of all immigration legal process automation tools, bringing a range of benefits. AI automates mundane tasks, improves productivity and reduces errors. It can also carry out research much faster than a human, saving time for lawyers and money for their clients.
AI can review documents, source relevant paperwork and add information to case files. It improves efficiency by highlighting relevant clauses for contract revisions and creates contract templates which ensure consistency.
Some law firms are using legal chatbots to deal with immigration queries on their websites or via messaging services. If the chatbot can’t resolve the question, they signpost people to an immigration solicitor to help with their applications.
A chatbot is a virtual assistant which uses both natural language processing (NLP) and AI to answer questions or provide information to website visitors. Chatbots reduce the number of repetitive queries lawyers have to deal with and free them up to work on more complex issues. They also have a positive impact on the customer experience, as they are available outside regular office hours and offer faster response times.
Immigration case management software
Immigration case management software handles all aspects of immigration, from immigration and asylum applications, to work permits and visa applications. It allows firms to streamline procedures, standardise documentation and set up automatic reminders for hearings and appeals. Some also have an electronic bundle creation option and the ability to access relevant immigration websites from inside the software.
Using this kind of legal tech saves users vast amounts of time, and clients benefit from cost savings. It also reduces error rates as there is far less human intervention.
Some companies, like LexSnap, use an algorithm-based online questionnaire to provide information about immigration. Instead of having to see a lawyer face to face, customers can ask a question and receive standard free advice from their legal database. If users have a more complex query, they can submit a form and a lawyer will provide a reply. Finally, if someone needs to hire a lawyer, the online platform can match people with experienced immigration lawyers in their area.
Right to work apps
Employers are under a legal obligation to make sure each employee they hire is entitled to work in the UK. An employer must complete these Right to Work checks on an employee’s first day of work. Companies like PWC are providing employers with Right to Work apps which use facial recognition and biometrics to perform the checks. They are then automatically uploaded into the HR system, ensuring compliance with the law. The apps also reduce identity fraud and improve record keeping.
With legal tech advancing so quickly, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest IT news and updates. Visit our Intelligence Centre to find out how legal tech can help grow your business.