Business Traveler Visa Compliance: Managing Global Road Warriors
Immigration is high on the list of headaches for HR and mobility teams these days as visa compliance challenges seem to multiply exponentially. Whether the company is a global multinational or a smaller organization with just a few foreign workers, compliance can still be an issue, and steering clear of violations requires much more time and effort now than in the past.
One area that’s gotten more attention lately is business travel and the potential repercussions for getting it wrong. Due to new technologies and better record keeping, countries are now monitoring business use more closely and, as a result, violations are more frequently identified.
Visa compliance violations can include:
• Entering a country with the wrong visa,
• Overuse of business visas and
• Overstaying a visa or exceeding cumulative day limits.
When business travelers are found to be in violation, the penalties for them and their employers can be severe. Typical consequences employees can face range from deportation to fines (sometimes considerable) to prison time. Employers can face fines, reputational risk, and involuntary closure of business operations within a jurisdiction for willful. In many instances, the severity will depend upon the frequency of the violation and whether the employee and company were aware of it or not. The chart at the end of this paper provides an overview of business visas, permitted activities, and penalties for selected countries.
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