30 Under 30: Eva Li quit comfort to help fellow immigrants

Immisearch helps potential immigrants with their application forms.

Eva Li

Eva Li, 29

Co-founder + chief product officer, Immisearch

Life Story: Eva Li was raised in Hong Kong until the age of 16, when she left for Chilliwack and eventually UBC and SFU, where she built community through a science degree. She ended up spending just under four years at Vancouver-based Copperleaf Technologies.

But all of that almost never happened. When she originally applied for her extended permits, she made a mistake and it affected her status for both high school and university. Fortunately, she was able to make it work. But she didn’t forget the experience.

So she quit a comfortable position at Copperleaf last year to start Immisearch, an online immigration consultant platform. “Immigration, paperwork, visas, it’s always stressful,” says Li. “Lots of friends and family have gone through a stressful process with their permanent residency application.”

Bottom Line: Unlike traditional immigration firms, Immisearch—which has over 2,000 subscribers—is automated, with eligibility assessments done online. “The rejection rate on traditional applications is 26 percent,” says Li. “Out of that 26, seven out of 10 candidates get accepted on the second time. So it’s qualified candidates who just made an error on the application. That can have a huge impact on your personal timeline.”