What does the visa immigration process look like for a relocating employee?
There is a lot that goes into the immigration process. Vice President of Global Services, Chris Pardo, has all the details in this Relo Tip Tuesday.
Complete transcript: “Hey there and welcome to another episode of Relo Tip Tuesday! My name is Chris Pardo and I’m the vice president of global services at Plus. I’m here to talk about what the immigration process looks like for employees that are relocating internationally.
Because there is no way to avoid obtaining the legal permissions to work and live in a given country, nearly every single employee that is going on an international relocation assignment is going to have to go through the immigration process, and that process can be time consuming, it can be confusing, it can be complicated, and it can be frustrating. I’m going to break that process into the following four stages.
So let’s take a look at stage one, the petition submission stage. This is probably the stage that is the most work for the employee. Once we’ve identified the proper visa to shoot for then all the effort is spent on completing the proper forms and collecting the required documentation. Employees have to dig through their life to find things like birth certificates for everyone in the family, marriage certificates, diplomas from undergraduate and graduate degrees, professional certifications that might be useful and any of course valid passports. The big challenge in this phase is dealing with other people’s expectations and the wait. Processing times vary by country, by visa type, but typically takes 4 to 8 weeks to get the approval. However, during that time bosses are anxiously waiting for the employee to arrive, client projects are pending, spouses and children are anxiously awaiting to go, and relocation providers are waiting for the green light to get started on finalizing things like the pack and load dates, and arranging final travel, and signing leases for temporary and permanent housing.
Stage two is the local registration stage. Once the work permit or visa has been obtained and upon arriving in the new location the employee may need to register with local authorities. This is usually just a quick visit to the local immigration office, the police station, or the social security office.
Stage three is the renewal phase. Here the employee has got to be aware of their expiration dates and the timeline around the renewal process. Usually employees will have to renew their work permits every one to two years but we suggest that they start three to four months in advance of the expiration date.
Lastly, stage four is the deregistration process. This looks like a reversal of the local registration where the employee may need to go in to notify authorities of their impending departure. If, however, the employee is localizing there may be numerous next steps as they seek permanent residency.
Take it from us, there is a lot to do through the immigration process and we hope through understanding the employee experience that you will be better equipped to work with people throughout your program.”