Five Things Every HR Team Must Know About Immigration

January 7, 2020 Nidhi Madhavan

A holistic understanding of immigration and the employees it impacts is imperative for HR teams

Today’s HR leaders are looking for exceptional candidates who aren’t always readily available in the domestic labor pool. As a result, many are turning to global talent to fill pipelines. In this environment, discerning fact from fiction about corporate immigration is the first step in creating a mobility program that stands out to foreign talent and delivers the best employee experience possible.

Five truths about the corporate immigration process that HR teams should understand

It’s a necessity in today’s talent environment

Many companies are now finding visa sponsorship a necessary in order to fill talent pipelines. Why? Technological transformation and automation have changed employer needs, eliminating certain low-skilled positions while increasing the demand for technical skills that are harder to find in the domestic talent pool. The U.S. is also in the midst of an extremely tight labor market, with a current unemployment rate of just 3.7 percent.

These twin challenges have made global talent an imperative for companies who want to prepare their organizations for the future. The cost-per-hire may go up as a result of sponsoring talent, but companies are finding that it’s worth the investment in order to efficiently and effectively fill roles.

It’s important to get it right

Today’s immigration climate is high-stakes. With increased scrutiny from immigration authorities, visa applications are under the microscope. H-1B petitions and other employment-based visas alike are seeing higher rates of Requests For Evidence (RFEs) for the third year straight, and site visits are reportedly up as well. In this environment, immigration compliance takes on new importance.

Employers need to keep documentation accessible and well-organized, file petitions and other forms on time and track employee travel carefully to avoid errors that delay processing and jeopardize employees’ work authorization.

It doesn’t have to be time-consuming

Despite the increased scrutiny over petitions and inefficiencies in government processing, immigration doesn’t have to be an exhausting task! While there are elements of the process that are beyond employer control (processing times and changing regulations), numerous aspects can be optimized through the use of technology.

Utilizing a robust immigration management platform allows you to automate some of the longer tasks during case preparation, such as paperwork and document collection. This not only ensures a more error-free experience, but it leaves HR teams with more time to focus on their employees.

It can give your company a competitive edge

Choosing to look at foreign national talent for your company can be a key talent acquisition driver and spur corporate growth. Aside from filling key technical and leadership positions, immigrants bring a variety of other benefits to the organizations they work for. According to research from Envoy INSIGHTS’ Global Talent Imperative report, inclusive organizations outperform non-inclusive organizations by 35%.

Advertising your organization’s ability and willingness to sponsor foreign talent, and its inclusive culture, can set your company apart from competitors and encourage talented individuals to apply.

It shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all

As an HR professional, you know that every employee is unique, and employees going through the immigration process are no exception. Find out where you have opportunities to personalize the hiring and onboarding process for foreign talent, from the employer resources you provide candidates to the immigration perk package you put together for a new hire. Make sure you and the new hire’s manager are available and willing to answer questions about his or her role, team or immigration status at every step of the way. Technology can help here too, allowing employees to reach out for attorney guidance on their unique case circumstances.

For more guidance on what HR teams need to know about corporate immigration today, check out our on-demand webinar with Envoy VP of HR Lindsay Dagiantis. If you’re ready for a more effortless immigration process, contact Envoy Global today.


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Emmalyn Ramirez, who is a Managing Attorney at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy's affiliated law firm.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-retained attorney or another qualified professional.

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