Exeo Law, which specializes in immigration and international mobility, has launched Immigration Virtual Assistant (IVA), a free, AI-powered virtual assistant which was designed to provide answers and guidance to some of the most common questions asked by people applying for immigration to Canada.
Through a five to 10-minute interaction with IVA, individuals can obtain answers and guidance, which they might otherwise require several hours of research, according to Marc-André Séguin, a partner at EXEO and co-founder of IVA.
“We witness daily the first-hand stress induced by the immigration application process,” said Séguin. “It’s very tedious and can become complicated depending on the potential immigrant’s country of origin… Our solution was to offer them a tool that simplifies the initial steps of the process.”
Each month, there are about 180,000 people looking to immigrate to, according to Exeo.
Applicants often refer to multiple sources to understand which programs they are eligible for and how to start the application process.
IVA is the first tool to cover more than 25 permanent and temporary Canadian immigration categories, said Séguin.
The tool is accessible via Facebook Messenger.
IVA uses a Q&A format to provide users with information regarding the possibilities that are open to them.
IVA covers more than 25 immigration program categories, from work permit applications to student visas to permanent residence programs.
The AI tool’s contents are vetted by lawyers and researchers who track changes to the Canadian regulations. Updates are done in real time, using adaptive programming.
More than 1,000 hours of research and programming, as well as work by a multidisciplinary team of lawyers, researchers, copywriters, programmers, graphic designers, Web designers, and AI specialists, went into building IVA, said Francis Tourigny, Séguin’s partner and co-founder of IVA.
He believes there is a real need for such a tool in Canada today.
“Canada is growing more popular overseas, and applications are pouring in daily,” said Tourigny. “We were getting more and more calls from people having trouble making sense of the information available on the Internet.”
Currently, IVA interacts with users in English. Capability to communicate in French will be introduced on August 8.
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