From unfiled immigration paperwork and missing the H-1B cap to disorganized immigration processes, we’re recounting some of the scariest immigration horror stories just in time for Halloween. Mistakes during the immigration process can happen to anyone, but these oversights can not only be costly for your company, they can directly impact people’s lives.
Over the next few days, we’re bringing you true HR horror stories of immigration management gone wrong – from HR managers who have seen some of the worst mistakes in the industry.
Disorganized immigration processes
Julia is a senior HR business partner at a financial services software company. On her first day of work, she found out that the immigration processes in place already were, well, completely broken.
It was Julia’s job to help fix it. So, she started by following the path of a simple immigration question from an employee. The employee asked the question to an HR manager. The HR manager would write down the question, then send it to a lawyer. The lawyer would take a few days to respond to the question, and when the HR manager finally received it back, it was complicated and in a legal language that was particularly unhelpful. Nevertheless, the HR manager would pass along the answer to the employee, who would then, of course, ask for clarification. This would start the whole befuddled (and expensive, thanks to high legal fees) communication process over again.
And that was just one part of the horrifyingly disorganized immigration processes that she was up against.
She quickly realized that the company had never set up an emergency contact system. That meant that when one Canadian employee had an issue at the U.S. border, there was no number to call, and no after-hours help available. Hours of sitting and waiting at the border for what should have taken only minutes – it was an HR nightmare.
What’s the solution?
Any company dealing with immigration – even if it’s just for one sponsored foreign national – should have an organized system in place. You need an emergency contact set up. You need a clear, no-fail communication system between employees, HR and legal counsel. You need expert help that’s available to you on-demand and that speaks your language. Immigration partners like Envoy can help you cover all your basis before an issue arises. With an online platform that is backed by a team of top legal experts, you can use a dashboard (not email) to communicate, get answers that make sense, scan and review documents, and even set up notifications (hey, don’t forget to file that paperwork!).