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Optimizing Your Immigration Budgeting Process

Bridge Team Member

Leverage existing immigration spending data to refine your immigration policy and practices.

When you operate a predictable immigration function, you have access to data that tells you what to expect and how to manage each international hire successfully. For budgeting and forecasting, you use historical spending data and future max-out dates to help you make accurate projections of future spending. As a result, you can anticipate the next steps in the immigration process and know the costs associated with each international hire.

Now that your immigration program has mastered the transactional and is operating more strategically, you’re ready to use immigration data to make further improvements in your hiring and talent management programs.

The Benefits of Your Strategic Immigration Function 

With data to help you measure and forecast immigration spending, you are likely managing the international hiring process more effectively than your peers. You don’t have to rely on manual workflows to track spending, and you can run reports with detailed projections on future spending. As a result, you can make better-informed hiring decisions and avoid blowing through your talent acquisition budget. Creating a multi-factor model for employee engagement, time-to-hire, retention, and sponsorship costs you can begin to see the value of hiring international talent and systematize processes that work for your organization.

You didn’t get here overnight, but you now have processes in place to realize the many benefits of a mature immigration program. Using tools for analysis and data-driven decision-making, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • You no longer waste time manually entering immigration data into spreadsheets.
  • You can approach each international hire proactively, with a full understanding of the variables affecting your total spend.
  • For each international hire, you (and they) know who pays for what and when.
  • You can forecast immigration spending with precision and experience few fee “surprises.”

How to Build on Your Immigration Forecasting Success 

As a critical component of your organization’s talent management function, your immigration activities and data have the potential to improve how your organization hires and manages international employees. For example, if you fill STEM-related technical roles such as engineers and computer science professionals, immigration data can help you understand the costs to fill those positions. 

Research by the American Immigration Council found that foreign-born workers comprised as much as 26 percent of the U.S. STEM workforce in 2015. Given this reality, your chances of hiring a foreign-born candidate in need of immigration support are higher than you might think. 

Instead of making vague predictions about the resources and time required to fill critical STEM positions, you can rely on immigration data to make a reliable projection. Here are some of the other actions you can take to leverage the power of your immigration data:

  • Apply insights from your immigration data to refine your overall immigration policy.
  • Continually incorporate best practices for covering both required and discretionary immigration costs.
  • Re-evaluate your immigration partners to ensure you have best-in-class tools to manage individual immigration cases, from the routine to the unusual.

Maintain a Strategic Immigration Program

As in all other aspects of talent management, the factors impacting your immigration activities will likely continue evolving. Changing legal requirements, application processes, and fees will continue to impact your ability to forecast immigration spending and timelines. 

However, by identifying opportunities for the continuous improvement of your immigration program, you can continue to optimize processes and manage your spending proactively.


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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