Immigration: An Increasing Challenge for Global Mobility

According to Cartus Corporation’s 2018 ‘Trends in Global Mobility: Biggest Challenges’ Survey, controlling the costs of assignments continues to be the most frequently mentioned challenge for global organisations. However, there has been a notable increase in concerns over immigration and the challenges immigration can cause. In fact, 70% of survey responders stated that immigration is a greater concern for their organisation than it was last year…

Why is Immigration a Growing Concern for Global Organisations?

Throughout the years, there have been various external political issues such as Brexit and US travel bans, which regularly cause apprehension. In fact, it has been argued that the Trump Administration in the US has created negative connotations for immigration and the UK’s decision to leave the EU has created a feel of uncertainty surrounding immigration.

Relocate Magazine has also recognised that there are some new internal challenges to immigration and mobility which have arisen in the past few years:

  • Growing Need for Overseas Assignments

“The global world of business is changing rapidly, and more and more businesses are beginning to expand their operations overseas” – IPM Global Mobility.

Rapid globalisation means that additional businesses are transferring assignees overseas. MSI support this by stating that “by building out a talented workforce abroad, you can bolster your company’s global influence and revenue.” Rising Global Mobility is increasing the need for reliable Immigration services.

  • Lack of Cultural Awareness

If transferring employees is new to a company, managers may not be aware of certain challenges assignees can face when on assignment. Working in a foreign environment can often take a lot of getting used to. Assignees everyday lives may now be completely different to what they’re accustomed to! For example, it is common knowledge that Brits are known for queuing and this everyday notion is often a rarity in countries such as China.

  • Visa Issues

Family visa issues can be a problem. This is likely to occur if the employee is relocating with their family as there is the possibility that spouses may not be able to obtain work visas, sometimes forcing assignees and their families to spend months apart. In addition to this, visa wait times and visa application complexities were noted as the main immigration issues that business managers face.

How can Organisations Overcome these Challenges?

  • Better Communication Between Managers and Assignees

One of the simplest ways organisations can overcome any issue is through communication, and this is no different for immigration issues!

In accordance with the Cartus 2018 Survey, 76% of employees have noted that they are engaging in better communication to overcome immigration issues. Assignees need to communicate immigration issues with their managers and managers need to regularly check in on the immigration process. It is also a good idea for managers to check that the employee’s personal and family life is not being affected by the assignment!

  • Adding an Expert to the Team

Relocate Magazine states that because of growing immigration concerns, 32% of organisations are “adding expertise to their team, either through internal staff or external partners.”

Adding an immigration expert to the team can be a great way to assist with any immigration concerns that may arise from assignments. Ensuring someone is onsite to provide immigration support and advice can be an excellent way to overcome immigration challenges fast!

  • Working with an Immigration Provider

Alternatively, companies can partner up with an immigration service provider to gain immigration support and expertise as and when needed. Immigration service providers can cover all the details of immigration processes, and have all the contacts, knowledge and experience to guide you through the immigration process.

Written by Katie Mooney – Global Recruitment Resourcer at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions