The Connection Between Human Resource and Immigrant Employees

By Emily Wilson

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While workforce migration was always a thing, never before was it so easy to leave it all behind and look for your fortune elsewhere. This is because it was never so easy to find a job, a house and at least some form of stability before they engage in this adventure. Moreover, companies nowadays operate on a global scale, which is why mergers and takeovers by overseas companies are more common than ever before. In this situation, the management of your company will find themselves in a situation where they, all of a sudden, have to manage a group of people who are citizens of a different country.

Now, imagine a scenario where an overseas employee (an invaluable member of your staff) expresses a desire to be transferred to the parent company. In this case, it would be necessary to handle all of these issues with immigration, yet, from the corporate standpoint, it would be both irresponsible and unfair to allow the member of your team to deal with this on their own. Same goes for bringing in an outside talent or a person of extraordinary abilities.

In fact, it would be much better if you could allow your HR team to take over instead and here are several reasons why.

  1. Immigration status needs to be recorded in personnel files

The first thing you need to understand is the fact that not every hire is a successful one. This means that firing a person might bear much greater consequences than you initially considered while hiring. Apart from putting one’s stay in your country in question, you might also endanger the future citizenship status of their entire family. Of course, this is not something that you should base your hiring policy around, yet, their immigrant status needs to be taken into consideration, as well.

Keep in mind that a person who hired the immigrant - an employee might seek gainful employment elsewhere before you decide to make this decision. Once these records enter your HR, on the other hand, they get transferred from one HR representative to another. Moreover, it’s a lot less likely that such a vital document or piece of information will get lost or misplaced. Seeing as how tending to personnel files of your team is their responsibility, to begin with, adding one more issue to their list of responsibilities seems like the most natural course of action.

  1. The issue of job change

Another thing worth considering is the change in the status of the employee on your staff. Think about it, some countries have visas that are tailored for speciality occupation workers. For instance, it might be someone of extraordinary ability, a specialist or a person of the renown in the industry. In most cases, they will gain visa based on the occupation they will initially assume in your company.

However, what if you were to decide to promote them or even laterally move them once they enter your employ? Would such a thing be possible, seeing as how it’s easy to understand the potential for abuse of such a loophole? What’s there to prevent one from hiring a skilled overseas worker and bring them to Australia under 457 visa, only to change their occupation once they enter the country? Well, in this situation, it would be the wisest course of action to hire good lawyers in Sydney and check with them before making any moves. Naturally, it’s for the best to let your HR team coordinate between this legal partner and your own internal team.

  1. Sponsoring work visas

As always, one of the main roles of your HR lies in the hiring process of your company. This is why you need to include them in the process regarding potential immigrant employees as soon as possible. Unlike with your own nationals, you won’t just have to go through reviews and sit through some interviews. More often than not, you’ll have to sponsor work visas, which might be more work and responsibility than you’ve bargained for. For this reason alone, you need a blessing from your HR team before making any moves. After all, this is only fair, seeing as how they will be tasked with carrying the bulk of your work.

  1. Early termination may have consequences

As we already mentioned in the first section, every termination of job relationship with an immigrant employee may bear consequences and this is especially true if such a termination occurs before the visa under which they’ve entered the country expires. This may seem like an issue of minor significance, yet, it is something that might be frowned upon even by the immigration services, which also might result in some future difficulties. Fortunately, this problem can be outmanoeuvred by a skilled HR team that is more than capable of responding to this situation in the most adequate of ways.

  1. Company compliance is still a huge factor

Finally, you need to understand that noncompliance when it comes to the immigration regulations can lead to both criminal and civil penalties. Depending on the frequency and gravity of the violation, the penalty can be substantial and may, in some cases, by far outweigh any gain made by the abuse of the system, which was the point in the first place. This can be avoided with the help of the immigration law attorney. Now, while it would probably be the most efficient if this immigration lawyer could talk to your company’s own legal counsellor, it is equally suitable to refer them to the head of your HR department.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, it becomes more than clear that entrusting this duty to your HR brings benefits on so many levels. In some cases, it helps you set an infrastructure required to bring in employees from abroad in the simplest, painless and the most effective method there is. One more thing that’s important from the logistical standpoint is the fact that every task within your company needs to become a responsibility of someone in your employ. That being said, it’s simply the most pragmatic to entrust these tasks to your HR.

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