HRO Today Global Summer 2017 - 33

Mobility
unexpected headaches, often during an assignee's or a
dependent's travel. Knowing in advance where employee
are and the exact status of their visa and work permits
can put HR ahead of these issues.
HR managers need to stay on top of their foreign
nationals' visa and work authorisation statuses. They
should also clearly communicate upcoming milestones
and corresponding next steps to leaders. Staying ahead
of important deadlines and events and preparing for
them appropriately can help ensure compliance with
current regulations and an organised approach to
potential changes. Likewise, this preparation allows
HR managers to better provide strategic planning and
guidance as it relates to their company's global talent.
2. Find reliable sources of news and information. It's
imperative to stay up-to-date on the latest policies
that impact skilled global workforces, paying particular
attention to any changes to tax and immigration laws. HR
professionals need to understand not only the proposed
changes and their impact, but also how and when they
will be enforced. They must be aware of penalties of
noncompliance and how these penalties might apply to
their company and situation.
The ability to find impartial, reliable information that
discloses the impact on skilled workers is also essential.
HR managers need to be objective referees that help
their senior leaders navigate their company's talent
strategy. In order to stay knowledgeable, HR and mobility
managers should seek out quality content that deals with
facts, milestones, and action items related to proposed
changes. Relevant organisations such as Worldwide
ERC and the Council for Global Immigration are good
sources for accurate information. Additionally, joining
an immigration provider's alert and update email or
blog subscriptions can often deliver critical, fact-based
information.
3. Assume that immigration policy will make things
harder. Change is inevitable, especially when it comes
to immigration regulations that impact a skilled
workforce. Programmes that are most likely to change
include H1B and F1 visas for those planning to study or
work in the U.S. because they are subject to availability
and applicants must meet specific criteria. To be safe,
HR professionals should assume that immigration
requirements will get tougher and that government
audits and oversight will become more stringent. For
example, United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) has stepped up its site audits of
companies with H1B visa holders. Companies with
more than just a few H1B holders can expect auditors
to visit unannounced and should plan to validate their
compliance with existing rules.
One way to prepare for any impending changes is to
review the organisation's foreign student hiring practices.
IT and engineering roles are often attractive to foreign
nationals studying in the U.S., and that won't change
any time soon. But having a clear strategy in the face of
potential reductions and restrictions in the F1 student
visa programme is a smart approach. In addition, the
operational aspects of immigration require plenty of
resources; relying solely on outside counsel is costly
and not always practical. Companies may need to hire
additional personnel with a solid understanding of the
immigration process, particularly for inbound U.S. skilled
foreign nationals. It's likely that companies will need
more bandwidth to manage the impacts these changes
will have on their global mobility programmes as well.
4. Leverage immigration partners. Credible, objective
legal counsel with international capabilities is crucial
when dealing with cross-border moves as well. A
qualified immigration firm knows hard and fast facts
about the constantly changing immigration situation
in the countries in which a company conducts business
and provides guidance around immigration laws and
how they're enforced. When an organisation plans
to expand into new territory, they will also be able to
immerse themselves in the laws of new host countries.
It's common for companies with large U.S. workforces
to select a U.S.-based immigration partner to manage
the varied and complex U.S. immigration landscape;
simultaneously, they will also work with a more global
partner on cross-border immigration.
Despite all the uncertainty facing the HR world today,
the forces of the global economy will continue to churn,
and companies will need to expand throughout the
world no matter how regulations tighten. This will only
make HR managers' jobs more critical and require them
to get ahead of potential issues and changes by planning
thoughtfully, offering sound counsel to senior leaders,
and guiding the company's global mobility strategy.
Tim O'Shea is vice president of worldwide consulting services at
Graebel Relocation.
SUMMER 2017 | www.hroglobal.com
[33]
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