Companies with a global footprint have much to think about when it comes to operating in multiple countries.
Although immigration laws and policies change frequently, there are some rules of thumb instructing what employers should do, as well as what actions they should avoid, to maintain a compliant and successful workforce.
For companies conducting business internationally, we've compiled a list of "do's" and "don'ts" that global mobility professionals should consider when relocating talent.
Relocating Talent: Steps Employers Should Take
Employers who are hiring foreign talent should have the following items on their compliance checklist:
- Check for work authorization options
- Consider entry requirements and restrictions for the destination country
- Work with a tech-savvy immigration services provider
DO Check for Work Authorization
No matter the location of employees, they must have proper work authorization before they can start working.
Global mobility professionals should know location-specific work and residence authorization requirements that vary by country. As you prepare for an employee to undertake work in a foreign country, you should ensure they complete all work authorization requirements before they commence their employment or assignment.
Starting the work authorization process as early as possible will help mitigate the chances of any immigration-oriented potential delays to the employee's start date.
DO Consider Entry Requirements and Restrictions
Entry requirements may also exist where the employee intends to take up employment.
In addition to the standard entry requirements and restrictions in place from country to country, there also exist additional restrictions stemming from COVID-19 in a declining, though still numerous, number of countries.
Employers and their employees should be aware of all legal entry restrictions and requirements and those borne by the pandemic and other geopolitical circumstances (for example, the Ukrainian crisis) well before travel.
These entry requirements and restrictions can change unexpectedly, so employers and traveling employees should watch for changes up to the employee's start date (and even after the employee commences work).
DO Work with a Tech-Savvy Immigration Services Provider
Although the requirements you must meet to have an employee start working across borders may seem daunting, you don't have to navigate the process alone.
Working with an experienced global immigration services provider like Envoy Global means employers have a dedicated team to help their organizations and employees get through each step of the immigration process. The team at Envoy Global can help your company understand and comply with all relevant requirements to have an employee work abroad.
Further, with a tech-savvy immigration firm by your side, you'll have access to technology that is increasingly at the heart of successful and efficient immigration and mobility programs.
Tech platforms, such as those afforded by Envoy Global, allow for transparent communication across the company. This platform also provides stakeholders with the organization and management of ongoing cases, as well as oversight over employee and company population data, billing metrics and a host of other analytics that help programs stay ahead of the curve.
Relocating Talent: What Should Employers Avoid?
While there are many things global mobility professionals can and should do to ensure they are operating successfully in other locations, there are also some pitfalls to avoid:
- Waiting until the last minute to get immigration proceedings underway
- Neglecting employee preparation
- Not enlisting help to facilitate relocation needs
DON'T Wait Until the Last Minute
One typical mistake to avoid is delayed commencement of required work authorization or other immigration processes early enough.
Clearing an employee to start working in a new location takes time. In many jurisdictions, government processing times for adjudication of work authorization and visa requests remain lengthy as countries and immigration agencies continue to recover from pandemic-related closures.
DON'T Neglect Employee Preparation
Suppose an employee needs additional training or support to acclimate to their new work environment or adjust to life in a new location. In that case, successful global mobility programs emphasize providing their employees with the resources they need for success.
If the employee has a family relocating, consider education and familiarization resources for accompanying dependents. Doing so will help ensure a positive employee and family experience through the immigration process.
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DON'T Forget That This is a Stressful Process!
The process of relocating is exciting and brings new opportunities for personal and professional growth. However, it can also be stressful- there is a lot to remember!
Global mobility professionals will benefit tremendously from working with an immigration services provider that understands all the components of relocating individuals and can confidently walk the company and its employee through the immigration process.
Having a reliable support network in place is also essential. Envoy's international presence, which includes coverage across all time zones, a worldwide staff of over 50 experienced immigration professionals, the ability to correspond in nearly 30 languages, and additional resources available to aid clients in navigating the globe, means your organization isn't required to navigate the complicated world of immigration alone.
A comprehensive support network will also provide your company with matters such as setting up an employee's bank account and searching for housing.
To build and maintain a successful global immigration program, employers must be aware of crucial considerations while remaining nimble to avoid the more common hurdles in the immigration space.
Originally published 25 January 2023
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.