Immigration Services: What You Need to Know
Like most other areas of the wider mobility supply chain, immigration services are currently being significantly impacted by demand and COVID-19 restrictions. Stringent entry requirements, COVID-19 testing, and quarantine measures are some of the key challenges impacting business travel today. Local authorities and national governments also continue to implement restrictions to protect the spread of the virus, often at short notice. Here, we discuss the specific immigration challenges around the world, as well as key recommendations that organizations can follow to help reduce the impact these may have on mobility programs.
- Immigration policies include special concessions for essential workers (these are granted by the relevant government authorities, with evidence often required).
- Extended wait times are still commonplace when trying to secure consular appointments. Document legalization continues to take a significant amount of time as staffing levels within government offices remain low.
- Health questionnaires and health assessments are now standard requirements for international flights, and the deployment of traveler tracing mechanisms, such as apps and bracelets, has outpaced expectations.
- Travel bubbles continue to expand, exempting travelers from countries with similar infection rates (often neighboring countries) from quarantine requirements.
- Global immigration policies focus on stimulating economic recovery by protecting local workers and supporting unemployed local and foreign workers’ re-entry into the local job market, occasionally in different roles and capacities.
To keep up to date on immigration developments, Cartus works closely with Fragomen. Here is an outline of their key recommendations:
Recommendations to Clients
- Stay informed: Understanding the landscape and the current challenges in a given region will help manage the expectations of all involved.
- Anticipate delays and be flexible: Give ample time to research and prepare for upcoming travel or international assignments. Try to be as flexible as possible. Projected start dates may need to be fluid.
- Consider alternatives: If immigration challenges delay an assignment in a host location, consider other possibilities like residing in a neighboring country or working remotely.
- Plan ahead: In order to prevent a delay from derailing an assignment, start the immigration and overall relocation process as early as possible.
- Ensure compliance: National monitoring could lead to employer compliance issues in countries that hold employers accountable for their foreign employees’ compliance with entry rules.
- Review your policies: Employers should periodically reassess their remote work policies to ensure they comply with the ever-changing rules and standards in different countries around the globe.
© 2021 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved. The blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or give rise to an attorney-client relationship between you and Fragomen Worldwide. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Worldwide.
Find Out More
Download our Mobility Supply Chain Guide to find out the specific challenges impacting the wider industry, what Cartus is doing to mitigate them, and key recommendations to help companies reduce the impact these challenges have on their relocation programs. Our guide looks specifically at:
- Destination services
- Temporary housing
- Rental assistance
- U.S. household goods
- Global household goods
Look out for more blogs over the coming weeks, which will deep-dive into specific areas of supply chain and the innovative solutions we are providing to help clients navigate the current challenges. Read our previous posts:
Cartus will continue to work closely with our supplier partners to ensure we minimize the impact this situation may have on our clients and their relocating employees.