Visa Team Aims to Help make Life Simple for Overseas Travel
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26 January 2016
An Aberdeen businessman has highlighted the resilience of oil and gas industry professionals by launching a new venture to help companies export some of their most valuable assets – their people.
Neil Thomson, 41, was until August working as a global offshore crewing manager in the north-east operations of energy service giant Subsea 7.
But, like thousands of other people amid the post oil price slump industry downturn, he needed a new job after Subsea 7 announced it was cutting its global headcount by 2,500 workers in a move which led to the consolidation of offices at Westhill.
Mr Thomson, who had worked for the firm for 12 years, looking after the formalities of overseas travel for thousands of employees, decided to turn the industry’s efficiency drive to his advantage by setting up a business he believes can streamline operations and reduce spend for clients.
Called The Visa Team and run out of an office in Arnhall Business Park, Westhill, the new enterprise aims to remove bureaucracy and cost from the process of obtaining visas for workers travelling from the UK to deliver projects around the world.
There is also a London office, managed by a man, Clayton Prior, with more than 10 years’ experience of working closely with embassies to smooth the process of visa applications.
Mr Thomson said: "Obtaining visas for people to work around the world can be costly and time-consuming.
"Getting it wrong can impact on project or service delivery to clients. I believe there is a gap in the market for a prompt, cost-efficient service from our bases in Aberdeen and London.
"We are also investing in online system which will offer a number of advantages to our clients, including an application tracker so they can plan for their project needs and deadlines.”
The former Cults Academy pupil added: "Initially our goal is to support oil and gas companies in and around the north-east of Scotland with their visa requirements.
"Beyond that we hope to expand into shipping, construction, financial services and the UK leisure market.”
"Early feedback from clients has been positive and I am hopeful that The Visa Team can grow and provide career opportunities for others.”