Optimizing an Established Immigration Program
It may have taken years to get here, but you can confidently say your organization has grown from an emerging immigration program to a predictable one. Your team should be applauded for its dedication to process management, problem-solving, and consistency. Yet even within a predictable and compliant immigration program, there may be room to strive for more.
The Benefits of Your Predictable Immigration Program
With a well-structured and mature immigration program, recruiters, People team members, and other stakeholders know their roles and responsibilities. Everyone’s on the same page. More importantly, they are well-versed in the organization’s immigration policies and consistently apply them to employees and applicants.
Collaboration and efficiency
Your stakeholders can collaborate throughout the entire process, avoiding unnecessary delays and miscommunications. They receive real-time status updates, keeping everyone in the loop and avoiding missed deadlines. While you can rarely speed up the DOL and USCIS, apart from requesting premium process service, your team is ready to file paperwork and respond to requests at the soonest opportunity.
Data, reports, and compliance
Given your team’s consistency, you’re confident you comply with all federal immigration regulations. But what you have is better than blind confidence: data. With easy access to accurate data, you use self-auditing to confirm compliance and immediately address any issues that arise. Now, if you face a DOL audit or a request for a PAF, you respond swiftly with accurate information.
Applicants and employees alike have immediate visibility into the certification and visa process. They can see where they stand and what comes next. If a foreign national has a question or concern, you’re able to respond quickly. Of course, the immigration process will never be entirely easy or carefree for international employee looking for work approval. But your organization does what it can to be transparent and lighten the load.
A significant advantage of a developed immigration program, one that many companies overlook, is that applicants understand the benefits of immigration through your company. They learn about their eligibility upfront and, throughout the process, have access to up-to-date information on U.S. immigration policies and procedures. As a result, they have all the information they need to understand the benefits of the position available and make an informed decision.
How to Optimize Your Immigration Program
An organization’s biggest mistake is resting on its laurels. Complacency can quickly lead to inconsistency in a mature immigration program. Instead, use the momentum you’ve built up to target any remaining weaknesses. Process management is continual and requires regularly assessing employee performance, policies, processes, and technology.
- Perform audits regularly. As you know, compliance is an ongoing concern, not a one-time goal. Continue to perform regular audits regarding I-9s, PAFs, and other requirements.
- Perform risk assessments and forecasting. What’s the point of having enterprise-wide visibility and not using it? Your team has an opportunity to go further and use your data to perform risk assessments and forecasting. For example, look ahead at possible immigration activity or, in the interest of implementing budgets, projected spend.
- Keep communicating with stakeholders. The process needs to be manageable for your internal team members and transparent for international employees. Give stakeholders an opportunity and method to speak up when they notice issues. Consider implementing a post-immigration process survey for international employees to determine what helped vs. what was lacking during their experience.
Evaluate Your Immigration Technology
At this point, you’re likely using a comprehensive technology platform to manage the immigration process for your organization. However, not all solutions are equally helpful in the long run. Consider areas where your platform and service provider may fall short, such as functionality, usability, response times, or cost. Or, if you are relying on case management software, you may prefer an immigration-specific platform.
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.