Corporate Immigration Compliance
Corporate immigration compliance is essential when it comes to moving a workforce fluidly across borders. Remaining compliant with a country’s immigration law is important not only for the individual who is moving, but also for the employer. By not being compliant, you put yourself at risk of heavy fines and even employment tribunal action.
Immigration laws vary from country to country, and any immigration specialist needs to be aware of the differences to ensure their clients statutory compliance. Many countries around the world have developed sophisticated methods for tracking business travelers, both to ensure that they do not outstay their welcome, and to restrict the work they do that could be offered to a local workforce. As a result, all business travelers, whether travelling to another place permanently or temporarily, need to ensure that they are fully compliant – or they could find themselves being turned away at the border.
Any employee undergoing corporate immigration must ensure above all that they have the correct paperwork, including visas and any certification and work permits. It can be extremely helpful to provide specific in-depth training on immigration compliance to any employee who is undergoing corporate immigration. Insights from immigration attorneys, who can provide insight and assurance on all legal aspects of the immigration process, are a fantastic resource. It’s also a good idea for any corporation to have a form of online self-help resource for immigrating employees. These resources can contain various immigration rules for individual countries, and outline the most pertinent immigration issues that can be faced. If there’s any policies on immigration that are particular to an organization, this is also a helpful place to store and present that information.
Employers also need to ensure that they are compliant in their documentation, including any certificates of sponsorship, that are a part of the recruitment procedure. Most important for employers, however, is to ensure that a strong immigration management system is in place. This system should allow real time tracking and reporting showing all steps in the process workflow; if there are any steps missing, or any paperwork incomplete, these should all be highlighted to the relevant department or person. For any business traveler who doesn’t need a work permit, this system also needs to include full details of visitor visas, healthcare, money, passport validity and many other different parts of the immigration process. For travelers who do require permits for international assignment, however, this system enables all relocation and global mobility specialists to gain full insight into the process as a worker crosses an international border.
There can be issues that arise with immigration law if a company is restructuring, whether there is a merger, acquisition or asset purchase. In any case, both buyer and seller should address any immigration issues early in the process to establish if a new legal entity is being created, who has control of that entity and whether an employee’s job duties have had any substantive change. It may be that new immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions, or other documentation depending on the country, need to be filed for.
Failure to comply with corporate immigration law can extend beyond fines. In certain countries, including the US, penalties for noncompliance can include imprisonment, asset forfeiture and prohibition from government contracts or sponsoring any more foreign employees. HR staff and business managers and directors are all liable. With appropriate guidance from a competent team of immigration specialists, however, such issues are unlikely to arise. These teams can conduct a full analysis of any global company and their business transactions to ensure full corporate immigration compliance, and help companies all over the world to navigate the complex world of immigration law.