Another year is in the books! For employment-based immigration, 2022 was busy from start to finish. Many pandemic-related travel requirements were still in place at the beginning of the year, but governments worldwide, including the U.S. government, eased their travel restrictions and entry requirements as the year progressed.
Other changes affected employment-based immigration, too. U.S. voters cast their votes in mid-term elections in November 2022, and they're waiting to see what impacts the latest political changes in the country will have on immigration. Federal agencies continued to resume normal pre-pandemic operations throughout the year, including tackling growing backlogs and processing delays that started during the pandemic, giving companies and employees a sense of relief that the world is returning to business as usual.
While HR teams can't predict or control what changes may happen next in employment-based immigration, they can at least be prepared for success moving into the new year.
Work With an Immigration Services Provider to Navigate Policy Changes
Government policy changes continued to shape immigration in 2022. For example, in August, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule to protect and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program, as evidenced by Envoy's Immigration Trends Report 2022, is valuable for employers. Over half of those surveyed (57%) supported granting citizenship to individuals in the DACA program. Even more respondents (76%) said they relied on DACA and other programs, including asylum and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), for their business needs.
In October 2022, USCIS automatically extended green card validity to 24 months. This policy change was mutually beneficial to employers and employees, as it provided more employment security to employees and, in turn, their employers by permitting workers to stay and work in the U.S. for two years at a time.
Lastly, midterm elections occurred in November 2022. While Congress has yet to pass legislation that affects employment-based immigration following the elections, businesses are watching out for potential policy changes at the federal level that may impact their employees and immigration programs into 2023 and beyond.
In the new year, potential immigration changes will have varying levels of impact. Luckily, immigration specialists and their HR teammates can stay informed of policy changes, no matter their scope.
Companies should work with a customer-oriented immigration service provider to keep up with the latest policy changes. Dedicated customer service teams can help share updates with HRs. Then, if the HRs have legal questions, they can ask the immigration legal teams for the next steps.
Stay Compliant with Immigration Technology
Since immigration is an ever-changing field, HR teams may be uncertain about how policy changes affect their immigration programs. Staying compliant should especially be top of mind.
For HR teams, it's important to work with an immigration services provider with the technology needed to navigate immigration challenges. An immigration services provider can help facilitate all aspects of hiring foreign talent through robust technology that reduces cost, time and headaches for employers.
For instance, one valuable feature that the Envoy Global platform provides is the Workforce Compliance Tool.
The workforce compliance tool will help you securely store sensitive and vital immigration documents, such as public access files. You will also benefit from this tool because it will be the central location to manage critical documentation.
A workforce compliance tool is a logical replacement for paper files and spreadsheets, which HR teams historically used to manage immigration cases. Compliance technology will save you time and money.
Another advantage of a workforce compliance tool and immigration technology is that it makes managing talent much easier for companies with remote work environments. Technology bridges borders and time zones to help employees and stakeholders stay connected and communicate more effectively.
Since it's a centralized location for communication and storing information, immigration technology can also help employees work through time-sensitive processes such as applying for a green card or preparing for the H-1B cap season.
Work with Top-Tier Legal Representation
Immigration can be complex and confusing. Thankfully, employers don't need to manage their immigration programs independently.
Working with top-tier immigration attorneys in the new year can help you navigate the changing immigration landscape. Immigration attorneys have experience handling different situations that employers and their employees may encounter.
Envoy works with two independent immigration law firms, Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (GIA) and Corporate Immigration Partners (CIP). Both firms utilize Envoy's cutting-edge technology that will provide a holistic and comprehensive approach to your company's immigration program.
The firms combine the four pillars of strategic communication, legal excellence, efficient processes and a tech-forward approach to effectively help clients.
With all the changes that immigration experienced in 2022 and the changes that are bound to come in 2023, HR teams will need an effective communications platform that improves efficiency and organization. Without a central platform, emails between HR teams, foreign nationals and attorneys could get lost in the inbox.
In the new year, you can strengthen your immigration program by utilizing an immigration platform that provides transparent communications between all parties. With Envoy's Communications Center, you can empower foreign national employees with direct access to attorneys to ask their questions. You'll still have complete visibility, so you aren't left in the dark.
As 2022 winds down, it's time to start thinking about where you want to take your immigration and mobility program in 2023. To navigate a constantly changing landscape, utilize an immigration services provider that seamlessly integrates cutting-edge technology, robust customer support and top-tier U.S. legal representation.
Originally published 06 December, 2022
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.