Employee immigration records are essential to your immigration management program. Not maintaining accuracy throughout the immigration process for each individual employee could cause issues with immigration authorities, result in visa denials and put your company under the microscope. But, it’s often easier said than done. Here are some tips to help make sure your employee immigration records are accurate.
The benefits of technology
Employee immigration information relies on a number of documents coming from multiple sources: HR, the employee, the employee’s department and your legal counsel. Traditionally, a jumble of email communications would get various parties in touch, and forms would be sent back and forth as attachments or buried somewhere in a long email chain. Immigration managers would spend hours gathering what they needed in order to get a clear, compliant case together. In many cases, however, the haphazard approach to sharing and storing documentation resulted in incomplete employee immigration records. It wasn’t hard to see how documents could get lost or forgotten.
Technology has helped saved this process today by allowing organizations to store immigration records in one, centralized location. Cloud-based storage allows HR to ping an employee when an immigration form needs to be filled out, and it allows you to communicate directly with an attorney to get your questions answered. With the right technology, the process for maintaining accuracy in employee records – and ensuring everything is where it needs to be so you can stay compliant – is much more straightforward.
Keep them separate
USCIS regulations require some forms, like public access files, to be stored within an organization’s records for an extended period of time, while others aren’t required to be stored. In order to keep these files from getting mixed up or inadvertently deleting files that are necessary in case of an audit, it’s critical to store records separately and distinctly labeled.
When HR, the department, your employee and an attorney can all access employee immigration records to ensure they’re accurate, you’ll have a better chance of staying compliant throughout the immigration process and in case of an audit. To maintain this level of accuracy, direct access becomes important, and the right technology makes that possible. An employee can upload an immigration document on his or her phone and you are automatically notified and can let your attorney know the document is ready for review without having to communicate via email. One centralized location for immigration records helps everyone who is an essential part of the immigration process stay organized and in the know.
With access, however, comes permissions. In order to stay on top of all changes, HR needs the authority to make sure critical personnel have access to what they need but nothing more. Unintentionally giving an employee access to an important form once it’s been filed could spell trouble in case it’s deleted. Technology helps you define exactly who has access to which documents and the level of access that person can have. That way, HR can maintain quality control while still making sure everything is accurate.
Keep employee immigration records secure
Security is paramount when it comes to employee immigration records. These records are filled with sensitive personal information that needs to be stored with attention to keeping it safe. Email communication, as we’ve seen over the past few years, has been the source of data breaches at organizations worldwide. That rules out email as a viable option for protecting that information. A technology platform, however, can help you monitor activity inside your account and maintain world-class security settings built to protect the sensitive documents you possess.