If there is a sector that has seen a boom in Punjab in the last few years, it is the immigration sector. There are as many as 946 licensed immigration companies, visa consultants, IELTS centres and air ticketing companies in the NRI hub of Jalandhar alone, with at least three times more people illegally engaged in the work in the city.
An ever-increasing number of immigration firms has led to stiff competition, forcing them to innovate with their offers, the most popular being ‘Pay fee after visa approval’. Social media too has become an important tool with video testimonials of new and successful aspirants being flashed on a daily basis. Central city area near the bus stand houses most immigration firms, their windows decked up with LED screens shouting out: ‘Apply UK study visa, with or without IELTS, no old funds required, spouse can go along’.