Companies that open to the idea of international relocation have a great advantage when it comes to building and retaining your talent pool. Having some familiarity with employee relocation and an established relocation policy in place is a great starting point.
Relocating employees internationally requires a more specialized skillset than relocating within your own country. You will need to become familiar with your own country’s immigration laws and the immigration laws of your employee’s destination country.
It may be a hassle to relocate within the United States, but it is quite different from relocating an employee to an entirely different country. Once you are familiar with the ins and outs of international relocation, the advantages in an increased hiring pool can outweigh any initial perceived prohibitive difficulties. Start by learning the differences between an international relocation and a domestic one.
What unique items are included in an international relocation package?
There are unique circumstances to making a move, either temporary or permanent, to an entirely new country. These things take time and consideration. A solid international relocation package will include some benefits and supports above and beyond what is offered for in-country relocations.
- Housing assistance
This includes possibly help with selling or terminating a lease on existing housing in the employee’s home country and help with finding permanent or temporary housing the host country.
- Moving and storage
Is there a limit on how much your company will pay to move? If the relocation is temporary, the employee’s belongings in the home country may need to go into storage.
In addition to the logistics of the potential moving or storage of large containers of belongings, contingencies need to be in place and provided for loss, breakage, or mishaps. How do the employees belonging get replaced?
- Potential help with enrolling children in schools
Employees who are relocating with school-age children may need to have childcare or school tuition cancelled in their home country, and may need help establishing curriculum continuity in the country they are relocating to. They may also need advice on enrolling their child in an international school and figuring out how to pay tuition.
- Help with documentation such as visas, work permits, or other paperwork
The employee and their family will often need help with obtaining sponsorship or work visas and other paperwork in order to reside and work in the host country. It is important to know and understand the rules and regulations for both your employee’s home country and the destination country. Consultants can help the employee arrange the documentation needed not only for working in the new country but also for any potential return to their home country.
Provide advice and help with familiarizing your relocating employee about the destination country’s financial systems and tax laws.
- Potential spousal support
A common reason that relocations fail is if the employee’s spouse is unsatisfied with their new life. Spousal support can include help with their CV, finding and applying for jobs, or even introducing them to expat clubs.
- Acclimating to a new culture
Moving to a new country has unique challenges for anyone. The language or dialect may be different. Customs and behaviors are different. The physical environment may be completely unfamiliar. This can be especially challenging when the employees’ children or older family members are moving as well.
Benefits to offer include access to language classes or training (ahead of the move is even better) and information about their new area such as information about medical establishments or public transportation systems.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many other things relocating employees may seek as a benefit or require in order to be able to complete an international move.
Types of International Relocation
An employee maybe relocating for either the short term or the long term. There are different issues and challenges for each of these. Knowing and understanding these differences are important.
When and employee needs to travel to another country for work but there is a fixed end date. In this case a visa is generally required depending on the type of work.
- Short-term relocation
Sometimes an employee relocates to a new country with a fixed end date, but for a more extended period. In this case they would be relocating as a resident of the destination country, which will require more than a work visa.
- Long-term relocation
In the event that an employee is relocating with no fixed end date, a more extensive set of issues arises. Providing these employees with help on immigration, international taxation, and compliance with local labor laws is imperative.
Let the experts handle your international relocation
Some Relocation Management Companies are experts at international relocation. They understand all the ins and outs of the elaborate international relocation process. Putting your global mobility program in the hands of a company that truly knows what it is doing makes the experience better for you and your moving employees. Outsourcing international relocation is a great way to ensure the relocation process goes smoothly there is little business disruption.
Relocating international employees starts with Point C.
Point C has the power of an experienced and talented Relocation Management Company behind it. It is designed to integrate with your HRIS system and your brand, so your mobility, HR, and benefits leaders get all the credit.
Built to handle both domestic and international relocations, Point C can be set up to offer custom benefit packages by location or market. It’s a solid and customizable relocation benefit that can also lower your relocation spend.