Global Business Travel and Immigration Challenges

Last Updated on March 2, 2023


Because global business travel is a valued strategy to stay relevant and in touch with international offices and markets, it’s become integral to doing business today. Many businesses send employees overseas, and immigration policies are catching up to the trend. Here are some of the most popular global business travel programs available in various countries around the world.

Intracompany travel

Intracompany travel, as a result, is a visa category offered by most countries. In some cases, the traveling employee must have worked at the related business for 12 months in order to be eligible for an intracompany travel visa, while in other countries, there is no minimum employment length to contend with.

Highly skilled worker

Another common work visa category often available to those embarking on global business travel is the highly skilled worker category. For this business travel visa, the employee often must meet certain standards, including holding a bachelor’s degree or equivalent as well as a significant amount of experience. Work experience, which in many cases can be two years or beyond, largely excludes newer workers or recent graduates. On top of that, highly skilled workers are generally subject to a minimum salary requirement in countries like the U.K., Taiwan, Germany, and Denmark.

Other common requirements

To send or accept an employee on global business travel, there are more requirements that often must be met by the company first. Testing the local labor market, for example, is a restriction that governments often impose on certain business travel visas to ensure that domestic businesses aren’t discriminating against the domestic workforce. Additionally, there are quotas for job category and nationality that must be taken into consideration when bringing in foreign talent. Finally, companies should be aware of compliance audits that are being conducted by local authorities, and seeing an increase in many countries, thanks to the misuse of employment-based immigration programs.

Watch out for these restrictions

There are a fair number of unique restrictions placed on global business travelers, depending on the destination country, that companies should be aware of. A maximum age requirement is set for some countries. In China, for example, the maximum age of business visa applicants is 60 for men and 55 for women. Religious limitations are also sometimes an issue as well, though not as prevalent today as they once were. There are some gender-specific limitations that apply to some countries. In Saudi Arabia, for example, a woman is not permitted to travel without a man, and special approval must be granted in order to do so. Additionally, a pregnant woman may be subject to limitations when faced with medical exams that require X-rays.

There are over 190 countries in the world, and each has its own set of unique immigration laws that require attention and care in order to stay compliant.

For more details on global business travel, read our guide, Global Immigration 101.