Immigration Compliance Challenges: Survey Results

Last Updated on February 23, 2023


The latest numbers are in: employers are facing more immigration compliance challenges.

That’s no surprise, considering there are more than 190 countries to worry about, each with its own set of distinct immigration laws — laws that seem to be constantly changing.

We recently partnered with Harris Poll to survey HR personnel and hiring managers at 442 companies of varying industry and size about global immigration processes to learn about the immigration compliance challenges facing companies today. And we heard it from 44 percent of employers: It’s tough to understand differing regulations in each destination country.

But that’s not the only challenge facing globalizing workplaces.

The most pressing immigration compliance challenges

Thirty-nine percent of employers admit that maintaining accurate records can be difficult, and that number jumps to 46 percent when there are more than 46 global locations involved. It’s critical to know where in the world your employees are working as well as the status of each individual work permit.

39% of employers admit that accurate immigration records can be difficult. How are you tracking the status of your global employees?

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A company can either keep a close eye on everyone in the organization — scattered around the globe — or risk penalties that can sometimes be severe, putting existing and future business in certain regions in jeopardy.

The challenges companies face, it seems, continue to compound with complexity. We found that the more global locations a business has, the more likely there is to be confusion between business travel and work permits. Among employers with over 46 locations, more than half find differentiating the two a challenge — a misunderstanding that could put employees and employers at risk of non-compliance, no matter where they are in the world.

All this complexity and compliance risk, and the responsibility lies with human resources more often than not. That’s why 70 percent of organizations dedicate an entire global mobility department to the cause, typically reporting to HR. It also means that more personnel are needed to get to the bottom of the complexities and stay on top of records management. Nearly half of employers commit nine or more employees to the task of immigration and global mobility.

How do your challenges measure up to global business trends? Find out.

Read the full 2017 Global Workforce Mobility survey report here.