Preparing to move employees to the USA as part of your corporate relocation policy? International moving experts offer poignant advice on ensuring your process a successful one.
The USA is a hub of commerce, and the largest economy on the planet.
With massive trade capitals like New York City and Silicon Valley, it attracts corporate interest the world over, with Brexit fueling a rise in even more mobility projects from UK businesses from specific sectors.
However, despite strong ties, compatible cultures and similar laws, relocating employees to the USA has numerous barriers and pitfalls that need to be overcome.
To help support HR and global mobility managers, our corporate relocation experts offer advice on how to relocate to America, and achieve staff move success.
1. Clearly Define Timescales
Successful relocation project completion is all about control, and control in this sector is all about knowledge.
When moving employees to America, it is essential you maintain an awareness of as many aspects of your move as possible, to ensure control is maintained.
Few of these elements are more important than knowing your timescales.
Knowing your deadlines and your schedules is critical to everything from immigration applications and securing shipping, to accommodation acquisition and assignee-workplace integration.
Some timelines are easier to identify than others. As an example, a household goods move shipping time by sea from London to New York will normally take between one to two weeks. Whereas a visa application will be dependent upon the circumstances of the individual and any accompanying family. In each case you will need to check directly with your provider to understand these timelines.
Keen awareness of what time you have supports all other facets of corporate relocation.
Aspects of time management to be aware of include both deadlines relating to completion of the relocation process (and different tasks within that process) and exactly how long your assignee will be spending abroad.
2. Establish Immigration Requirements Early
How your worker is permitted to operate within the US depends on what kind of working visa they acquire. Which visa they have access to depends on a number of other factors, such as:
- – Are they going to be employed by a business entity registered in the United States?
- – How long are they going to working abroad?
- – Are they being sent to work with/for a third party organisation?
- – Are you sending them to establish a brand new corporate base in the United States?
- – Do they have family ties to the USA or any other connection that may impact visa applications?
Immigration processes can take months. Generally speaking, the more established a position you or your assignee has within the country, the easier it is. However, even with connections the process can be long and arduous.
Even for large corporations with lots of financial firepower and resources, it is recommended that you get a headstart on the immigration process.
Despite the likelihood of gaining entry, the laws and policies involved mean that nobody gets an easy ride.
3. Outline Worker Rights in Relocation Policy
The USA has seen major improvements in employee rights in recent years. However, as an British national living abroad, your assignee will not have access to any of these rights.
This is especially important if your assignee is transferred to the employment of a company registered in the United States, and does not remain a contracted workforce member of a British firm — under UK corporations they will have protection, but under US firms they will have considerably less.
As a result, issues with sick pay, maternity, bereavement and other potential events that impact work and pay must be identified in your relocation policy to avoid confusion and disputes.
Failure to do so can lead to disgruntled employees, legal action and questions raised about duty of care.
To prevent problems, discuss with your assignee and be clear on their employee rights under their relocation contract and the policy you will be upholding.
4. Prepare Your Employees for Overseas Operation
The USA and the UK share much of the same customs and culture, both in terms of society and business.
However, there are also plenty of differences, and successful relocation projects are all about adapting to those differences and integrating properly.
Employers want to ensure their assignees are working at maximum capacity as soon as possible, and don’t face personal challenges that could have easily been avoided. This cannot be achieved without true integration.
Successful integration is about preparation.
75% of corporations fail to consider the importance of preparation. We advise that you don’t count yourself amongst them. Establish preparation tasks for your employees, ensuring that they are well versed in what life abroad will be like prior to relocation.
Preparation methods to use include:
- – Discussing life abroad with expats
- – Arranging overseas visits for personal integration pre-move
- – Interviews and Q&As with overseas colleagues and professional associates your assignee will be working with
- – Educational resources on both business and social culture — dependant on area and state
5. Take On Additional Relocation Support
Relocation projects require a huge investment of both time and resources. As made clear in this blog, they also require knowledge of complex immigration and moving processes.
HR may struggle to move employees to the USA when managing the process alone, especially when dealing with their other tasks alongside the move.
Specialist corporate relocation companies — like us here as Gerson Relocation — can support smooth, effective and efficient staff move projects. We’ll help manage all aspects of the move, including:
- – Visa applications
- – Planning and strategy
- – Policy documents
- – Financial planning
- – Property acquisition
When thinking about how to relocate employees to America, third-party assistance can prove to be an essential part of a successful employee move strategy.
From expert knowledge to easing up resource expenditure, we can support the best possible outcome for your staff assignments.