What is API and how can it help
with managing immigration
25 February 2022
Smith Stone Walters’ unique immigration case management software, Smarter Immigration Manager (SIM), is called smarter for a reason. One of its key benefits is its ability to work in harmony with your existing HR systems whilst protecting your sensitive data. This is achieved through Application Programming Interface (API).
What is API?
API is very much a buzzword in immigration of late. It is often used to describe when two systems are able to communicate with each other without the need for human input. SIM carries API functionality as standard, which enables it to ‘talk to’ other systems seamlessly.
The systems SIM can connect with are far ranging from off-the-shelf HR and Global Mobility systems such as Workday, or Equus Pro to custom built bespoke software that is used by specific organisations.
How does it work?
So how does API connection between SIM and another system work from the day to day perspective of immigration management?
Firstly, it allows visa applications to be instructed from within the existing HR system. Without API, HR teams (in this example) would normally need to input data into their internal system (employment start date, employee name, etc) and then repeat this process over email in order to provide the necessary instruction details to SSW.
With API, it is a click of a single button that shares pre-set data. Not only data, but also documents can be shared across this connection: CVs, passport copies and existing visas can all be seamlessly sent over API. As this data changes over time in the HR system, it also changes in SIM, thereby notifying SSW to push back a start date or include a family member in the application.
Similarly, the sharing of data or documents can occur in reverse – from SIM to the HR system. As soon as we upload a visa to SIM, it is immediately shared via API to the HR system. Any status updates, changes to drafts and more can also be shared. The final piece of data usually sent across is the visa expiry date, again making sure that all information that exists in one system is sent to the other.
What are the benefits?
So what is the benefit of all this? Most importantly, it drastically reduces the time it takes to manage immigration processes internally. Data is input into one system once and can then be filtered out to SSW with the single click of a button. Management becomes far more passive than active – there is no longer the need to log into multiple systems as the latest update will always be front and centre in the single system used by HR day in day out.
Furthermore, API reduces the risk of any data breach. As documents and data are shared over the connection, they cannot be emailed to the wrong person, nor can they be mistyped or miscommunicated. This is often seen as one of the biggest advantages of API – the security it brings to an industry that contains highly sensitive data.
So API is a means of managing your immigration programme in a more efficient and secure means. It allows technology to perform the administrative tasks, affording organisations more time for the more personal elements of a relocation, whether it be picking up the phone to the assignee to check how they are, or updating their new team on the various steps involved.
Learn more about SIM
If you have any specific questions about using SIM, or if you need training in a specific area, SSW is on hand to provide support. To find out more, please contact us today.