The 'Ami Probashi' app was launched earlier in May by the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), and Bangla Trac's Thane Systems.
The app intends to digitalise the immigration process by incorporating legal procedures for 'aspiring migrants'.
During its launching, it was also reported in the media that the app would minimise cost in the migration process, ensure transparency in the system, validate documents, help register in BMET, etc.
However, in less than two months since its launch, the app's Play Store rating has been falling as users are increasingly complaining about various problems they are facing in using the app.
However, there are some positive comments and the effort behind creating the app is being appreciated.
The Business Standard recently talked to some migrant workers and some aspiring ones to learn about their experiences with the Ami Probashi app.
Based on this, we compiled the top five problems users are facing with the app.
Delay in verification
Many users we spoke to said that the app takes a long time to verify the information.
Although the app said it takes 72 hours to verify information, some users allege they waited for more than a week, but their information was not verified; hence they uninstalled the app eventually.
The name of the app, Ami Probashi, roughly translates as 'I am an expatriate'.
However, Bangla Trac told The Business Standard in an email that the app is actually for 'aspiring migrants'.
Some of the expatriate workers we spoke to said they installed this app and found it not worthwhile.
Tahsin Shakil, a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia, told The Business Standard that he installed the app with the hope that it would be useful, but he found no features of the app useful for him.
In reply to some of the users complaining on the Play Store, the app developer said that they built the app for Bangladeshis who want to go abroad.
"We are enhancing our app with features that are more relevant, effective, and easy for Bangladeshi migrants," they replied to one of the comments.
Some users find its document scanner poor.
A user named Md Hasan commented on Play Store that after scanning the documents, it "will be showing to (too) small, not so clear, needs to be updated, and my database had something missing. Events cannot be added. Please try to solve this problem (sic)."
It is hard to tell if the app creators take note of the user feedback from Play Store.
Almost every time someone alleges some problem, they advise them to email them instead, as if a note cannot be taken from the Play Store reviews.
However, in response to our queries on whether they are checking on the customer reviews on their platforms, Bangla Trac said, "Whoever is facing technical issues in the app and getting in touch with us because of such, is being responded directly to ease off any anxiety, concern, or difficulty in understanding/operating the app- this responding action is in effect in all podiums- Play Store/web/Facebook/help line."
If you are looking for mid or high-end jobs, this app will not take you anywhere.
Its finding job options will get you only low-end jobs like gardener, cleaner, construction worker, plumber etc.
Moreover, when we checked the app, we saw around 150 live jobs were posted in the last one month and nearly all of them required manual labour.
In mid-May, a user named Noman Sufian wrote on Play Store, "You have not given an adequate number of job advertisements. Only five recruitment notices are showing here in my app." The app developer, however, did not respond to him.
Creating a profile itself is a challenge
Some of the users we spoke to said they faced several challenges while creating a profile on Ami Probashi.
From verifying information to scanning documents, the user challenges they mentioned are abundant, especially considering that most aspiring migrants have little education and this app is meant to simplify the immigration process, and reduce complexities and challenges existing in the present system.
And suppose you made a mistake in your profile, and it got verified; you may have to live with the mistake, at least for now.
In response to our queries, Bangla Trac's Head of Group Brand Management Tawsiful Islam said, "Despite all our noble intentions and virtues, the app is yet to come to complete order, which means there are processes and functionalities that are in progress and yet to be completed."
"During the launching programme held virtually over a Zoom session, the status of the app's functionalities with work in progress was shared and even stated by the Honorable Minister of concerned ministry that the launched app is just one part of the whole process and complete functionalities of the app, although still in the development stage, have been introduced at mass to make our aspiring migrants aware about the podium," he said.
Tawsiful Islam added, "All have to bear with us for some time to experience the app working/operating with very little issues and technical complexities. With time and very soon, the app will project and bear more information and services in order to be functioning as an established platform in the immigration sector."