Canada: Have Laptop, Will Travel: Effective Immigration Strategies For The Global Economic Elite

"The world’s my home… When I’m mobile": ‘Going Mobile’ by The Who, 1971

A glance around the business class lounge at any airport lounge will bring you face to face with numerous varieties of that modern day creature, "The Mobile Worker". Logging in the available workstations, checking email on their BlackBerries, or using cell phones to speak with their assistant at the home office, these travelers are the modern incarnation of the "Global Economic Elite" ("GEE").

WHO ARE THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC ELITE?

There are two general archetypes of GEEs. The first are individuals who bring their universally transferable skills to various locations around the world. This group includes pilots, doctors, nurses, financial analysts, management consultants, engineering and computer consultants, artisans, musicians and actors, and skilled-trades people.

The second group is individuals who are able to operate from any location, which has sufficient technological infrastructure. They include money managers, remote business operators, and mail order or on-line service providers. This group also includes internationally orientated lawyers such as the author. A significant number of GEEs are a hybrid of the two archetypes and find their need to travel varies according to their personal or professional career life cycle. However it is the rare GEE who never engages in at least some type of business travel.

In order to be competitive in the modern global economy, every country must have a critical mass of GEEs operating within their borders. This truism was explained by Professor Ian Angell of the London School of Economics in his landmark book, "The New Barbarian Manifesto" (Kogan Page 2000).

"The income of these owners of intellectual and financial wealth will increase substantially. They will be made welcome anywhere in the world, no matter what their age, race, sex, colour or creed. In an attempt at ‘right-sizing’, companies and countries will be scouring the globe, competing with each other to attract this top quality ‘people product’, dragging them off the planes if necessary. Knowledge workers now have a choice. They can stay with the nations of their birth, providing of course that the price is right, or they can join the new barbarian hordes of ‘economic mercenaries’ somewhere else, thereby ransacking the old order." (p. 55-56)

Unfortunately while I agree with the theoretical soundness of Prof. Angell’s statement, I find that the ‘on the ground’ reality is often quite different. GEEs don’t deal with Finance and Immigration Ministers at the arrival counter of airports. Rather they deal with front-line bureaucrats who may be ignorant of the economic benefit that GEEs bring; feel that they are the protectors of the domestic work force or simply jealous of the obvious prosperity of the GEEs in front of them. As a result GEEs themselves or the organizations which are seeking their presence must plan ahead to ensure their smooth and timely access to all of the jurisdictions in which they hope to reside or operate.

THE PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF THE HIGHLY MOBILE ELITE

If you are a GEE or are the Human Resource Manager responsible for attracting or retaining external and/ or internal mobile workers, then you need to have a proper immigration strategy in place long before the plane touches down on the tarmac. As in most effective problem solving exercises there are four basic steps that should be followed. In short they are:

Step 1 Investigate and Evaluate: Review the individual professional and personal necessities/preferences of each particular GEE. This step would include determining the following:

  • Existing citizenship(s) and residence status(es)
  • Breakdown of frequency of travel to various countries (i.e. occasional day visits, short-term assignments, long-term or permanent relocations);
  • Nature of activities during travel to various countries (i.e. meetings at hotel, site visits for discussions, ‘hands-on’ work or direct involvement with locally based workers, senior administrative duties);
  • Economic impacts if unable to enter or remain in a given country;
  • Local presence requirements (i.e. operate out of hotel room or customer’s location or need to establish a permanent physical base of operations);
  • Accompanying family members (i.e. will they be working or attending school);
  • Employment/ labor standards regulation (employee vs. contractor);
  • Minimizing global tax burden (e.g. restricting time in a given location); and
  • Medical or minor criminal complications.

Step 2 Analyze and Strategize: Work with qualified immigration counsel to determine ‘best practices’ for travel for business meetings; determine means of acquiring required ‘work permits’ (also study permits for children); review advantages and means of securing ‘permanent residence’ and citizenship (including reviewing related tax and dual citizenship issues).

Step 3 Execute: Work with qualified immigration counsel to determine what elements of the strategy can be completed directly by either the GEE or the Human Resource Manager; and what elements are so complicated or important that outside counsel should be involved.

Step 4 Monitor: The immigration counsel should monitor and advise as to on-going changes to immigration laws and administrative practices which may present difficulties or opportunities to GEEs or the organizations that they deal with. As the immigration counsel is dealing with a number of cases, across a variety of situations and over an extended period of time, they should have a more accurate understanding of current trends than a given GEE who may have had a single negative (i.e. refusal) or positive (i.e. no questions asked) experience.

Given the cost of a missed business meeting or the ability to operate in a chosen market, proper immigration strategies are a ‘mission critical’ requirement for GEEs. Furthermore increased scrutiny in a post-September 11th world, which is also struggling with the shift of economic power away for fixed local workers to mobile GEEs means that it is even more important for individuals to not rely solely on their ability ‘to talk their way in’. This is especially true when claiming that you are just here ‘visiting friends’, could result in a long-term bar for misrepresentation.

The turn of the millennium is a time for unbounded potential for the Global Economic Elites. However that potential can be frustrated or even severely curtailed if you believe the myth that the world has no borders.

Copyright © David S. Lesperance

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions