For any organization that wants to maintain its competitiveness both domestically and internationally, sponsoring foreign talent is a valuable endeavor.
Unsurprisingly, today, the reliance on corporate immigration partners is not limited to larger organizations; mid-size businesses are also adopting these practices, resulting in a more fluid and fiercely competitive global environment.
However, whether an organization employs one or many migrant workers, the effects can be severe if its operations are not compliant with immigration laws. But what does compliance look like in corporate immigration? Let’s find out.
What Is Compliance in Corporate Immigration?
Employers have a responsibility to verify their employees possess the legal authorization to work for their company and, more importantly, that they have the right to work in the specific position offered to them.
So, to uphold compliance with immigration regulations, it’s necessary to carefully monitor the visa terms and expiration dates of work visa holders. Depending on the size of the organization and the number of foreign workers employed, suitable systems and procedures must be established to maintain the company’s immigration compliance.
Some examples of non-compliance may include:
- Not complying with anti-discrimination laws and treating foreign workers differently from local workers.
- Permitting students to work full-time during breaks and above the allotted 20 hours per week throughout the school year.
- Not reporting changes in foreign workers’ employment status or other relevant information to the appropriate authorities.
Business Implications of Compliance
Immigration law adherence has a significant impact on business. For instance, businesses can function efficiently across borders and avoid fines or disruptions by adhering to immigration rules and regulations.
Compliance also aids organizations in maintaining the confidence of stakeholders, customers, and staff while safeguarding their reputation. Moreover, adhering to immigration laws can assist companies in avoiding costly and time-consuming delays or denials of visas or work permits.
Ethical and Legal Implications for Compliance
As mentioned before, employers have to make sure that their foreign workers have the necessary visas and work permits to work in their respective countries. Failure to comply can lead to severe legal consequences, such as:
- Loss of business licenses
Moreover, non-compliance can also harm a business’s reputation, which can cause a decline in customer, partner, and employee trust. Non-compliant businesses may also face difficulty obtaining future visas or work permits for their foreign workers.
Compliance Offers You a Competitive Advantage
When they follow immigration rules and regulations, companies operate on an equal footing — under the same set of guidelines — with other firms. This levels the playing field and encourages healthy competition.
In contrast, non-compliant companies acquire an unfair edge over their competitors by taking shortcuts, undermining the integrity of the global economy. For instance, a company that recruits foreign workers without the required visas or work permits may be able to provide lower wages or perks, undercutting its competitors.
However, this behavior is not sustainable in the long term and may lead to legal liabilities, reputational harm, a decline in client trust, and other problems.
How to Ensure Compliance?
Most businesses experience immigration issues not as a result of purposeful disrespect for immigration regulations but because of failing to keep up with changes to the laws and how they are enforced. So, as an employer, it’s important to keep track of new rules and regulations.
Businesses must also build suitable systems and processes with help from corporate immigration partners to track the conditions of visas and the expiration dates of work visa holders to maintain compliance with immigration requirements.
Plus, they may need to set up specialized immigration compliance departments to ensure they adhere to all applicable requirements, depending on the size of the firm and the number of foreign workers employed.
Moreover, consulting with corporate immigration law firms can assist companies in understanding the legal prerequisites for hiring foreign workers, preparing and submitting visa applications, and ensuring compliance with all pertinent immigration laws.
Employers who fail to comply with regulations regarding corporate immigration may face significant financial penalties, including million-dollar fines. Plus, employees may be subject to fines or sanctions, and their company’s reputation may suffer.
To avoid these consequences and comply with increasingly strict corporate immigration regulations, businesses must establish efficient processes and clearly understand the rules they have to meet when sponsoring foreign workers.