Daniela Lima started her career in 1999 and has extensive immigration experience in Brazil and Latin America. During her career, Daniela has set up and managed multiple offices including establishing, hiring and training immigration teams. Both individual and corporate clients benefit from Daniela’s outstanding leadership experience. Daniela has been a lawyer since 2004 in the OAB/SP (Brazilian Bar Association) and also has an MBA in strategic management and business economics.
How has the corporate immigration market changed since you first started practising?
The market today is very fragmented. On the one hand it is more professional but it is also less qualified. In the past we used to see fewer specialised companies offering immigration services to the corporate market and there were not many choices for companies to work with. Over the years, more and more companies have begun offering immigration services. This is a positive change for employers because there are more options to select from. This also puts a greater emphasis on compliance, security, efficiency, technology, staff training, etc. However, on the other hand this has also brought to the market many companies that do not provide a high level of service, experience or knowledge. Often when a client finds out, it is too late and they are out of immigration compliance and need to spend a significant amount of resources changing immigration partners, and aligning their population with current requirements.
What qualities make for an effective corporate immigration lawyer?
Planning and organisation – to think ahead and to anticipate any issues with thoughtful planning is crucial to have success in this career. Empathy – it is important to keep in mind that we are always dealing people and families and there is nothing more important than that. So, caring about others is also very important when working as an immigration lawyer.
To what extent has there been a significant change in the types of immigration service requested in the past five years?
In the past, long-term visas were the most popular immigration route for companies sending administrators and trainees to Brazil. Today we see short-term visas for technicians and real estate investors are very popular.
How do you seek to manage client frustrations when there are practical difficulties and delays at the application stages?
Communication, communication and communication. It is significantly easier to manage a client who is well informed, who knows that you are present and really tracking the application.
How has covid-19 impacted immigration? How have immigration practitioners reacted?
We had to turn the key from “quick reply” to “live demand”. What I mean by that is that due to the covid-19 situation we have had to monitor countries’ requirements and borders to provide live support to our clients. How can an expat come from location X to Y? What are the requirements? And so on… We have had to train our teams to work in an incredibly fast-changing environment.
How has covid-19 fast-forwarded certain processes which are central to your practice?
For most of the business, we were accustomed to having our offices as the central base for all employees. With covid-19 we have had to start working from home and to adopt a full home office regime. We are a web-based technology company so our employees can work fully remotely. Now our offices are only being used to receive documents due to security reasons, as a “PIT Stop”. For any services that we are having to use a hard copy or an original document our employees need to go to the office to have access to those documents and keep it there.
How does Newland Chase distinguish itself from its competitors?
One of the things I like about Newland Chase is that it has all the structure of a big company such as global technology to manage cases, online university for employees, global opportunities, policies, etc, but when comes to client decisions it is very agile as small companies can be. Newland Chase gives me resources and flexibility to exceed my clients’ expectations.
How would you like to develop your practice in the next five years?
Continuing investing in client experience. The client is already the main focus of our work today, but technology and training can make a difference when it comes to immigration services.