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Deliver self-service immigration by leveraging technology and a playbook

Bridge Team Member

One common trap in operations or administrative functions is to get caught up in time-intensive or urgent tasks that never allow for focus on strategic initiatives. In HR, a growing trend of employee self-service shifts much of the administrative burden from people and onto highly customizable systems. By leveraging purpose-built technology, People Operations teams can deliver a ‘one-size-fits-one’ approach, mitigate anomalies in their employee experience, and achieve much more out of their workflows than just predictability

Despite self-service being broadly adopted for such tasks like payroll, managing PTO, benefits administration, immigration has traditionally been the dark horse in the HR wheelhouse. As a document and process-intensive function requiring information from multiple stakeholders, many corporate immigration functions often underutilize technology to improve operational efficiency and the employee experience.  

Enabling an Optimal Employee Experience

More and more companies are embracing a hybrid schedule and flex approach to work for their employees, this flexibility allows employees and teams to work how they want and when they want in a manner that is mutually beneficial for the company and its community. 

Systematically designing the immigration process to align more closely with the future of work allows People Operations teams to invest more heavily in a self-service approach while still ensuring that the company is covered from a compliance and talent retention standpoint. 

With the right data management processes and tools and self-service access in place, time can be freed up to focus on crafting an immigration policy, modeling future spend, or standardizing job descriptions to create an even stronger immigration program. 

Programmatic Self-Service Tips

Chances are that your team has some employee-ready documentation or policy around sponsorship that is shared with candidates or international employees. Continue working with your immigration partners to create an immigration playbook by following some of the tips below. 

  1. Work with a legal vendor to create a brief ‘self-help’ guide and immigration/visa primer for your international employees and their families. 
  2. Review your candidate experience and first 90 days, audit your existing resources with a focus on empowering your international employees to feel supported.
  3. Schedule ‘lunch-and-learns’ or webinars on hot topics with immigration legal experts. 
  4. Build out an international employee playbook for all things immigration at your company, covering common scenarios like start dates, immigration sponsorship policy, fees and billing, etc. 
  5. Consider building an ERG to support the international employee experience.


Build an Immigration Playbook

Meanwhile, start working to build an employee immigration ‘self-help’ portal. This technology has already proven itself in the context of benefits administration. 

The portal can provide a space for secure and confidential document transmission and direct communication between employees, HR, and legal. Ultimately, it will remove a great deal of stress for employees and your People team alike, while providing a more seamless and efficient process for onboarding and retaining your international employees. 


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a Bridge-affiliated partner attorney or another qualified legal professional.


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