As the U.S. and other markets start to see signs of recovery from the pandemic, the HR function is in the spotlight like never before. There are industries in significant growth mode that are battling for talent on a global stage – and an immigration environment that is only just beginning to promote transparency.
In this setting, visa processing and case management must help ensure stability for the employee and for the organization. Indeed, visas themselves are only part of the equation: with a future that is still uncertain, the legal and business strategies must be intertwined.
In our work with HR, we see three factors that are boosting their business immigration programs:
1) Need for speed
As conditions change, being able to quickly address employee needs is critical to help keep their confidence in the company and to support their work. We have always leaned on technology to create a clear picture of a company’s cross-border situation, and the leap in capabilities offered by emerging software applications is easing corporate pain.
The right technology allows HR managers to get immediate answers and speak confidently about where employees are and how their status is being handled; individual employees to obtain the same information about their cases; and senior management to be informed about immigration trends and strategies within the company. At WR Immigration, our proprietary WRapid™ platform answers that call for cleaner, faster case management and reporting.
2) Human touch
Technology creates a better processing system, but employees are still human. They have valid questions and concerns about their visa status, and it’s valuable to have knowledgeable people who can explain where they stand and where they’re headed.
We are acutely aware of the connection between the personal and work lives of employees. If nothing else, the events of the pandemic highlighted that employee comfort, safety, and health are of paramount importance to companies that value a loyal workforce.
HR managers should open and encourage direct lines of communication between their employees and the immigration attorneys who are closest to their cases. Understanding how policies and restrictions will affect a worker’s family, for example, starts a different conversation about their status.
3) Legal expertise
Every business immigration program should be grounded in an understanding of the legal environment. Case management as a knowledge-based experience creates value, while visa processing in a factory environment creates risk.
The line between legal requirements and visa approval is not always straight. Each nonimmigrant employment category has different requirements, conditions, and authorized periods of stay. Employers and foreign nationals need to select the most appropriate category in order to improve the chance for approval.
As any tech or healthcare leader will attest, high caliber professionals from outside the U.S. are crucial components of growth. Making sure these employees are protected and productive is a challenge, even in ordinary times. To maintain consistency and predictability across the global workforce, companies should embrace solutions that combine technology, innovation, and service.