RESPONDING TO THE GROWING TIDE OF MASS MIGRATION
Migration is a large and complex issue brought on by countless factors. It was necessary to conduct interviews and workshops with emigrants to identify opportunities for innovation within the migration process. This required sensitivity due to the nature of the project.
Through conducting user research with people at varying stages through the migration process, it became clear that the greatest impact that I as an individual could make was to streamline the process of legal migration.
I identified a key opportunity - although national residency applications can differ greatly, there are several constants: they are time-consuming, expensive, intentionally obstructed with bureaucracy, take months to receive the results, and do not offer any feedback. In contrast to this, I created a database which standardised the process of permanent residency applications with about 85% accuracy, enabling the user to instantly identify what countries they’re able to emigrate to through one single application.
The project developed from a single residency application test into a multifaceted service to help people decide where the can move to, and where they should move to in 3 core steps.
The eligibility test allows the user to quickly find what countries they’re likley to pass for, allowing them to save time and focus their efforts.
It provided feedback and advice on how to improve your chances of a successful application, such as referencing your profession against national job shortage lists.
Through a process of prototyping and user testing with emigrants, I developed and refined a mobile site which curated this data into an interactive infographic. This enabled the user to compare their options and make informed decisions about what country was best for them to move to.
This was powered by APIs from the United Nations Statistical Division, OECD and the Social Progress Index.
If the user is near an application pass mark, they are informed that securing a job in said country will ensure eligibility, lowering the bar for entry. EmiGo provide links to job sites and to the official residency application of the country in question, to make taking the next steps that bit easier.
Being an entirely digital project, it was important to create a physical presence to exhibit. The UK’s residency requirements are exceptionally high (less than 20% of the UK populace would meet the requirements needed to move to the UK).
Exploiting this information, I built a fake border crossing complete with officer, and made people take the UK eligibility test; raising awareness of how high the standards are and how they act as a barrier for people across all backgrounds, such as doctors and lawyers, not just unskilled workers as is common belief. The few who passed received a spoof blue passport, satirically detailing more information on the situation.
The name emiGo was chosen for its friendly and positive implications. Similarly sounding to amigo (Spanish for friend). It is an amalgamation of emigrate and go, lending both positivity and ease respectively to the identity and in turn, the subject of migration.
It was important to use the word emigrate rather than migrate, as migration has become so negatively loaded, whereas emigrate is positively loaded.