Tech and Automation in the Global Space: How combining your immigration needs with technology can set you up for success

HIGHLIGHTS
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Globalization has forever changed the way companies do business – that part we know. Now, more than ever, organizations are concentrating on global mobility, with a particular focus on the need to relocate staff and source talent from around the world.

According to both PwC and Deloitte, companies will increase their spending on global mobility by 50 percent by 2020; however, only two percent of companies believe they have a “world-class” global mobility practice. So, how can these businesses ensure they don’t fall behind when it comes to building a top global mobility program?

Easy: through technology.

It’s clear that HR practitioners and global mobility professionals face unique challenges and a variety of pain points when sourcing and hiring foreign talent, as well as sending talent to various locations across the globe. Bringing visa processing online and automating key steps solves many of these problems and gives a solid competitive edge. Here are two examples worth considering.

Transparency versus Unresponsiveness

The questions and anxiety inherent in visa immigration processing – Is it the right visa? Were questions answered correctly? What is the status? Will it be approved and when? – are exacerbated by a process that’s highly opaque. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides only guidelines and no information on individual applications. The lack of transparency, especially when dealing with a traditional law firm for answers, creates a burden for not only HR, but for the employee.

These challenges are only intensified globally when there are 190 countries all with differing regulations based on reason for the visit, length of stay, and even employee’s country of origin. Thirty-three percent of employers say understanding the difference between business travel and work permit is their biggest challenge in the global space. This coupled with the challenge of managing partners and in-country experts, creates a lot of opportunities for missed communication or misinterpreted direction and advice.

Secure, cloud-based technology can provide full transparency into all of the tasks, status, questions, answers and people involved in the process. When a system is integrated with experienced attorneys and in-country experts in real-time, information is always available, with set and measured responses times. It becomes possible to create a fully transparent experience and true collaboration between all stakeholders.

Instant information versus time-consuming file gathering

Given the sensitivity of the visa immigration process, and the potential for fraud, it’s not uncommon for companies of all sizes to be audited to ensure compliance with the U.S. and global immigration laws and work visa requirements. Sixty-six percent of employers have challenges with compliance and 39 percent of employers said maintaining accurate records was their biggest challenge. With all of the uncertainty surrounding inbound and outbound immigration at the moment, there may be an increase in audits across industries and countries – or maybe not, but why take a chance?

If a USCIS official determines that an audit is needed and request same-day information and proof of documentation but that material is stored at a law firm rather than in-house, it could lead to lost time and costly interactions. However, technology can enable the electronic archiving of countless forms that are instantly accessible, intuitively organized and more secure than traditional paper files. Compliance- and audit-related requests can be directed to the right system and addressed immediately.

Beyond the risk of an audit, which should be reason enough to invest in technology to ensure compliance, companies also struggle with the time spent on the process. Thirty-one percent of employers said gathering foreign national information and documents was their biggest challenge in managing U.S. immigration. By empowering your employees to own their application and collaborate in the same system, all stakeholders can see the progress of the cases and what is needed next, giving each person control of their own part of the process.

If organizations want to compete at a global level and ensure internal global mobility practices are an asset rather than a liability, automation is a key factor in achieving that success.

To see the Envoy platform in motion, contact us to request a demo today.