Immigration Trends 2022: Immigration in the Era of Remote Work

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Remote work was once a necessity or even a mandate for many companies, but it is now here to stay in many business environments. 

Although many employees favor working remotely, it has had mixed results in the eyes of employers. Envoy’s 2022 Immigration Trends Report takes a further look at the impacts of remote work on immigration.

Changes in Hiring

Envoy’s 2022 Immigration Trends report shows the impact remote and hybrid work has had on employers’ experiences regarding their immigration programs:

  • 39% said the adoption of remote work had no impact on sponsorship levels in the U.S.

  • 31% sponsored more foreign nationals for employment in the U.S.

  • 26% sponsored fewer foreign nationals for employment

Among the employers who sponsored more foreign nationals since the adoption of remote work, 51% of respondents said their company is still unable to find sufficient talent inside or outside their local markets. As such, they are still sponsoring more foreign national employees.

Employers listed a few reasons why they’re sponsoring fewer foreign nationals. Nearly 47% said they have either outsourced the work or moved the jobs to locations outside the U.S. About 54% said they are hiring more employees domestically.

Remote Work Concerns

Although remote work has been advantageous for many businesses, it has also presented companies with challenges.

When asked to select the three biggest remote work challenges, employers noted that communication and compliance issues were some of the biggest problems that their businesses faced most frequently.

Forty percent of survey respondents felt that dealing with a more complex labor condition application (LCA) and prevailing wage process for distributed employees was one of the three biggest challenges.

Tax compliance was listed as a concern by 27% of respondents, and about 21% said that they had trouble maintaining public access files. Communication problems were also reported. Just under 40% reported experiencing more issues with collaboration between attorneys, foreign nationals and HR teams, while 24% reported communication with foreign nationals as a top three challenge.

Unique Challenges of Visas

In the 2022 Trends survey, 32% of employers reported problems with accurately tracking their employees’ location, which can be problematic and cause compliance issues with some visas.

Employers should reach out to their legal counsel for more information on how to keep track of employee location accurately.

Remote Work: What’s Ahead?

Now that most companies have been working remotely for at least two years, they are learning more about the benefits and challenges of remote work on immigration trends. Employers are finding that they need to improve communication with their foreign talent working remotely to improve their remote work programs, and they must also learn to navigate compliance issues.

Read the 2022 Immigration Trends Report

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.