Founded by Sanwar Ali and James Dunlop, we officially started trading on 1 June 1988. In reality, we started earlier. Some clients were so in need of our services that we had to help them out before we moved into our first office - a tiny space in South London in the UK.
When we started, we had limited resources. We only had one second-hand Osborne 1 computer, one of the first commercially available "portable" computers. We also utilized a second-hand Nokia Talkman for a "mobile phone", a briefcase-sized device that looks today as if it belongs on the battlefield.
Despite having little or no promotional budget, the business grew quickly. Within a few years, we had hundreds of corporate clients; many of them were law firms interested in our innovative immigration processing services at the Home Office Immigration Directorate.
After some years, we moved to Mayfair and then the City of London. We have now been in Central London for about twelve years.
Over the years, we have diversified into a wider range of services. We started off by providing mainly UK immigration services under the trading name BCL Immigration Services. In the early 1990s, we were one of the first consultancies in the world to offer immigration services for a number of different countries such as the UK, Australia, USA and Canada. For many years we have also provided immigration services for a number of European countries.
We were one of the first consultancies to realise the importance of the internet. Our first website went online in 1996 and we changed our name to workpermit.com in 2000. For at least the last two years, the workpermit.com site, owned and maintained by SIA workpermit.com in Latvia, has been the most popular web-site of its kind in the world. No immigration consultancy or immigration law firm in the world is marketed via such a popular site.
Every year millions of people visit the workpermit.com site and other workpermit.com sites to read immigration news, watch immigration videos in both English and Russian, and get comprehensive information in several languages on immigration to many countries around the world. Currently we have over one thousand immigration-related videos on workpermit.com - more than any other immigration website. We have been producing Russian-language news videos for nearly two years. Our newsletter goes out to one hundred thousand people every week. We are an important source of immigration related news and have been interviewed by the BBC and other news media.
We have played a major part in making immigration information for many countries around the world available on the internet. We were first with an UK HSMP points calculator and we continue to innovate with new services. We have been producing videos for our website years before it became popular on the internet. Every week, many video news reports appear on the workpermit.com site.
In the future we will offer more and more immigration related services for companies and individuals. To celebrate twenty years in business, we will have special reports and competitions. Keep an eye on our site and our weekly newsletter for details. We also offer a version of our news videos and our newsletter in Russian!
The number of people living and working abroad is continuing to grow. We are certain the next twenty years in business will be just as exciting as the last twenty years!