“When it comes to immigration compliance today, going 60 in a 55-mile per hour zone is enough to get you in real trouble”
CHICAGO, August 10, 2017 – Today’s American political landscape has put more focus on immigration than ever before. This scrutiny, however, is not limited to individuals in the country illegally. Indeed, evidence suggests that enforcement scrutiny is increasingly targeting businesses – even large multinational companies – that employ foreign nationals in the U.S.
Immigration compliance, once an afterthought for HR departments, now needs to be top of mind for any business employing foreign nationals. To help these companies ensure compliance with changing immigration laws and manage new enforcement priorities, Envoy, the technology leader in global worker immigration services, today released “Compliance Best Practices for Talent Mobility and Global Immigration Programs.”
In the report, Envoy offers best practices to address four important immigration risks facing employers today:
Risk 1: Changing Immigration Enforcement Priorities
Most companies run into immigration problems not because of willful disregard of immigration rules, but from failing to keep up with changes to laws and in how they are applied. The Trump Administration’s focus on immigration compliance shows how compliance risks can increase when employers fall short in this area:
- To date, there has been a 38% increase in deportations from the same period in 2016.
- The Trump Administration has requested an additional $4.6 billion for the enforcement of immigration law and regulations.
- More than $300 million has been requested to hire 1,500 new ICE officers and 40 new immigration-focused prosecutors.
Risk 2: A Distributed or Transitory Global Workforce
While much of the focus on worker immigration issues has been on the excesses of the giant outsourcing companies that employ thousands of immigrants, any company with a mobile or distributed workforce may be at risk. Changes to a foreign national employee’s work status – e.g., location, title or compensation – should be reviewed by an immigration attorney. Risks most often occur when status changes go undocumented, or information is delayed getting to the right person overseeing immigration, which is especially common in large complex organizational structures. As a result, employers need to make sure they have real-time access to every employees’ immigration status, geographic location and job details.
Risk 3: Corporate Restructuring
In North America and Europe, the first half of 2017 saw almost 9,000 mergers and acquisitions for a combined value of almost $1 trillion (Pitchbook). Each of those transactions represents a risk of falling out of compliance with immigration rules. Any due diligence process should include an evaluation of foreign worker status both before and after the transaction.
Risk 4: Law Enforcement Site Visits – The Knock on Your Door
Employers can expect to see an increase in site visits and audits during the Trump Administration. These visits are said to be random, but it is widely believed and anecdotally evident that companies with more known foreign national employees are at a greater risk of investigation, and from a veritable “alphabet soup” of federal agencies, including the DOL, DOJ, DHS, ICE, CBP, FBI and USCIS. It will be critical for every company location to have up to date and compliant files of required government documentation and a plan for who to contact and how to access relevant information about foreign nationals working there.
“When it comes to immigration compliance, going 60 in a 55-mile per hour zone is now enough to get you in real trouble,” said Envoy CEO Dick Burke. “Regardless of your opinion about how immigration laws are enforced, companies that don’t take steps required to ensure compliance expose themselves and their employees to real risk.”
To download a complete version of “Compliance Best Practices for Talent Mobility and Global Immigration Programs,” click here.
Founded in 1998, Envoy is a global immigration services provider. Envoy combines expert legal representation — for both inbound and outbound immigration — and proprietary technology, making it seamless for companies to hire and operate an international workforce. This technology empowers companies to acquire the best talent regardless of where they are in the world, mobilizes employees around the world to take advantage of business opportunities, and enables the management of entire global workforces. Envoy has handled more than 30,000 cases and served more than 2,000 customers in a broad range of industries. For more information, please visit www.envoyglobal.com