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How to Project Immigration Spend

Forrest Blount

As the year wraps up, you may find yourself trying to get a handle on your immigration budget. This is important, as immigration often spans several departments, and both looking ahead and reviewing historical data can help you create an actionable plan.

At Bridge, we like to ask ourselves two distinct year-end questions:

  • How much did we spend and where did we spend it?
  • How much do we expect to spend in the future?

Several years ago we added the ability to answer these two questions directly on the Bridge platform. 

Historical Immigration Spend

For historical data, we give you the ability to view all paid invoices on Bridge and give you tools to break out your spend by process type (e.g. Green Cards) as well as fee expense. This granularity is helpful for understanding some of the fixed costs of your immigration program (government filing fees) vs some of the softer costs (legal fees). While we’re proud of the historical budgeting features we support, you should expect any legal provider to provide this data upon request in 2022.

Immigration Spend Forecasting

However, our forecasting tools are another story altogether. To provide useful estimates for your program, several key pieces of data must be correct:

  • We must have accurate status data for each of your employees. This data allows us to project visa renewals to ensure they maintain their status and are able to continue to work for you.
  • We must understand how you’d like your program to be run. This includes settings that determine when you’d like renewals opened, under what circumstances your employees can expect Green Card sponsorship, and when you’re willing to enter employees into the H-1B lottery.
  • We also need to understand which fees you will cover and which fees you’ll ask your employees to pay.

Together these inputs allow us to project future applications for your employees and estimate the associated fees. Because these projections serve the twofold goals of helping to set your spend while also helping set employees' expectations regarding future immigration status and employment, we recommend reviewing these projections quarterly. As your policy changes, you can adjust the expected date for any of your projections.

Once your projections are established, you can start to see how your upcoming budget is expected to be impacted. This is another great view to take when considering whether to adjust any of your upcoming projections. Whether you’d like to normalize your spend across quarters by moving some Green Card applications forward or delay some renewals until after performance reviews, our budget forecasting gives you clear visibility into aggregated spend by month alongside the specific applications driving that spend.

Finally, there’s one more set of inputs you can tweak to customize your forecast: our advanced spend configuration. From this menu, you can adjust your expected RFE %, Dependent %, and dial in your forecasted spend.

We hope you get a chance to reflect on 2022 and plan for 2023! If you have additional tools or resources you use in your year-end immigration review and forecasting process, please share them in the comments.


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