Josh is a Canadian Immigration lawyer and founder of Visto. He started this company because after spending a few years helping over 30 Canadian companies bring over 100 tech workers into Canada, he noticed that there was no reliable, affordable way for skilled workers to get their permanent residence (PR) in Canada.
Although it has become easier for companies to sponsor foreign workers, it’s still not as easy as hiring domestic talent. Josh’s goal is to help more skilled workers get their PR and find a job as soon as possible through Visto, a platform that helps skilled workers get their PR status by themselves. Not only is PR needed to stay in Canada longterm, it also makes finding a job much easier and Visto hopes to help with that process, as well as settling with a bank account, cellphone, finding your first apartment, and more!
Here’s our Q&A with Josh:
To be totally honest, I’m terrible with names and don’t have a creative bone in my body *laughs*. I wanted a short, memorable name with an immigration edge. So I Googled the word ‘Visa’ in other languages. Visto means Visa in Italian and Galician, and I thought it was really cool and the name just clicked. We’ve been Visto ever since I did that Google search.
First and foremost, Visto is not a law firm or a consultancy and we go beyond just immigration applications. We provide an end-to-end journey which includes immigration, help with the job search, and easing new residents into Canada. We’re also expanding to try and help with bank accounts, acquiring a phone plan, real estate and other services to make settling in Canada as easy as possible.
The biggest differentiator is that we don’t charge users to access our platform. Instead, we partner with companies and other service providers and focus on providing a ton of free value and building a community. We believe that immigration should not solely be a transaction between an individual and a company. Because of how personal and important the immigration process is, we want to create a supportive environment with the resources needed for a successful application, and where users can rely on immigration professionals and people who have gone through the process to get a better sense of what it’s really like in Canada.
There is a lot of information online that people use to navigate the immigration process. Unfortunately it’s difficult to tell which sources are accurate and it’s also hard to find reliable information in one place. The Government of Canada website is pretty good, but can be a little disorganized and doesn’t always have every answer because many applicants have questions about their particular case that may not be specifically addressed online.
Visto is a combination of the reliable information you need, plus access to lawyers and other users that you can rely on for more specific answers and support.
The greatest accomplishment would be establishing a community and giving people guidance that they haven’t been able to find themselves. A lot of skilled workers are very interested in immigrating to Canada but often get stuck or confused with certain parts of the process (understandably!). Hiring a lawyer or consultant can be very expensive and I think the greatest feeling of satisfaction comes from helping someone so they can continue along the process with confidence, giving them and their family the best chance at starting a new life here.
I want to make the immigration process and global talent market more efficient, and I believe it’s possible thanks to Visto. With more skilled workers getting help with their applications, we have more great people settling in Canada, working for our great companies and raising happy families!
If you’re interested in joining the Visto community, head over to our homepage here to sign up!