Immigration is emerging as a top business concern, according to a Cartus Corporation study. In the company’s 2018 Trends in Global Relocation: Biggest Challenges Survey Report, 70% of respondents said it’s a greater concern for their organizations than last year. The global relocation firm polled multinational companies across various industries.
The top external immigration concerns are waiting time for visa approvals (63%), the complexity of visa applications (55%) and policies and political events such as travel bans (43%), Cartus found.
Internal factors account for some of the concern, too, the group noted. For example, companies new to international mobility may not have the resources in place to support immigration or do not yet realize the complexity of it, Cartus said.
The uncertainty around U.S. immigration programs — particularly visa programs — has forced some companies to reevaluate their business models.
Increased enforcement also has experts recommending that employers conduct I-9 audits and train front-facing employees on handling a visit from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Form I-9 has seen several updates in the past few months alone, with another potentially on the way. ICE is also planning to quadruple its inspections. The agency recently made headlines when it raided nearly 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide — the largest raid of a single company under the Trump administration.
Delayed visa approvals, complex documents and compliance with various other policies all seem to be making it more difficult to be a global employer. Employers with international ties will have to research and understand applicable immigration policies before arranging a visa holders’ relocation.