1. Patience is paramount in the visa process.
We all know someone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them. But Immigration laws apply to everyone equally and the process takes time. In only very exceptional cases, fast tracking visas is possible, but in most cases, the visa process must run its set course. Make sure you plan well head, allowing plenty of time for the visa(s) to be granted.
2. Don’t book a flight until the visa has been issued.
This may sound like obvious advice, but even the most straightforward cases can be delayed. Recently we had a client who booked a flight thinking the case visa would be issued in ample time. Unfortunately the employee's passport was expiring within six months and this prevented a visa being granted. The visa would have taken 24 hours to secure. His passport took six weeks to renew.
3. Visa restrictions last longer than you think
Every visa comes with rules and conditions that must be adhered to. And that means even after your employee has arrived in ther host country. Your company must continue to track and manage their visa status any changes to their role, leave your employment, or extend their stay beyond their visa expiry date, then such changes must be reported to the relevant authorities and the visa amended. A visa only ceases to be an issue after your employee has returned back to their home country.
4. Be prepared for others’ mistakes
It is not uncommon for a government employee to misread a form and then reject a perfectly acceptable case, or for a busy line manager to forget to sign a box. Don’t panic! Immigration decisions made in error are common and there are procedures to correct them. Managers in host countries often do not recognise the importance of just one form but with a close eye these things can be picked up early enough not to affect the case.
5. Keep it simple
Your business maybe rocket science or even dealing with complex brain surgery. But that should not make securing your work permit any more difficult. Immigration laws are the same regardless of what your company does. The law is blind to certain details even if they are critical to your business. When dealing with visas, keep it simple and only focus on the laws and what they are asking for to administer that law. Ensure your explanations on visa applications meet the requirement of the Immigration law only. Offering explanations of how complex your business is will only confuse the officer charged with dealing with the case. Stay focused on the rules.
6. Protect your brand
Governments the world over need to show they are no pushover when it comes to enforcing Immigration law. Do not allow your brand to become that 'six o clock news' example. Always aim to ensure your staff remain compliant with the Immigration law at all times in all countries. Immigration audits which show up any negative issues can have an adverse impact on a business’s reputation and should be avoided. Even if you make a mistake but tried your best that will go a long way in your favour.
7. Use a reputable Immigration consultancy
Make sure any immigration consultancy you use is up to the job. Do they have registered offices? Do their staff have the experience and, most importantly, are they qualified to address Immigration issues for the host country that you require? In many regions across the world local “immigration advisors” operate with no supervision or control. Their limited resources and knowledge can lead to difficulties and should be avoided. Aim to secure the services of a company that is able to assist pre-departure and has offices in the host country.
8. Understand dependents
Dependents of employees often want to study or work in the host country. Usually it’s a straightforward process to make the necessary arrangements or to explain why they are unable to do so if restrictions apply. Whatever the outcome, dependents are as important to the main applicant as his or her own visa. The visa process may change depending on when the dependents apply for their visa. Polygamous marriages are banned in many countries but acceptable in others, as are gay marriages and the maximum age a child can be a dependent. Make sure you take into account all the issues before confirming a secondment the expat declines later due to family reasons.
9. Localised staff can bring you benefits
Many on expat benefits find it hard to give them up, but a company can make big savings if they localise their expats quickly. If a person elects to stay in a host country, you should be ready to arrange residency and even citizenship in that country. It will mark the end of expatriate status and localise the employee in a supportive way.
10. If in any doubt, ask
Immigration law tends to be one of the most complex areas of any country’s legislation. Our team are always happy to answer our clients’ questions and we would prefer they confirmed facts rather than assumed them. Our reputation is attached to the success of our clients international mobility programs and we want to get it right 100% of the time. Whatever your question, we want to hear about them because you are important and so is your business
For all your work visa needs, let IXP Visas be your one stop immigration advice and solution finder.
Work in the US
Work in the UK
Work in Australia
Work in Canada