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Protecting Your Employee's Immigration Data

Bridge Team Member

When an individual is applying for a work visa or working through the corporate immigration process in any capacity, they must submit a number of sensitive documents such as passports, government ID cards, birth certificates, etc.

As a People specialist helping an individual work through this process, you need to ensure that you have the resources available to protect such sensitive information from hackers and identity thieves.

As your team continues to invest in smarter systems to manage your immigration data, consider how generic cloud-based storage systems could be helpful for emerging programs.

Most Email Platforms Aren't Secure

As threats to data security continue to become more widespread, your organization needs a plan in place to protect your employees.

If you use an unsecure email platform to communicate with employees, other individuals on your People Team, and government agencies regarding sensitive immigration information, you are putting your employees at risk.

According to a 2020 Identity Fraud Study conducted by Javelin Research, fraud accounted for a loss of $16.9 billion in 2019 in the United States. Hackers are getting more sophisticated, and you need proper protection in place to keep up with these advances.


What is BEC Phishing?

BEC stands for Business Email Compromise, and BEC Phishing is a strategy used by hackers to infiltrate an organization through extensive email communication. According to Forbes, In September of 2020, as many as 150 businesses who use Microsoft Office 365 lost a total of $15 million through hackers successfully impersonating senior executives.

Hackers can infiltrate businesses through email targeting. In most organizations, company email addresses are public information, and therefore hackers can easily establish contact.

These hackers are experts at using fake HTML emails that look real. They know how to manipulate their targets expertly and will take their time building trust before they ask for an employee's personal information or request a wire transfer.

 BEC scams are one of the biggest problems facing U.S. companies. This is why it is up to People Teams to protect the sensitive information they compile for anyone looking to work in the United States that can be easily exploited.


Best Practices for Streamlining the Corporate Immigration Process

When working through the corporate immigration process, a People professional must wear many hats to steer communication amongst various stakeholders and government agencies. The process can be tedious, but there are ways to make the experience more pleasant for everyone involved.

Create a Group Alias Email

If you don’t have access to a centralized and secure immigration platform, consider creating a group alias email to ensure critical emails don't get lost in the shuffle of someone's disorganized inbox. A group alias email is a generic email such as immigration@yourcompany.com set up to forward to a group within your organization, i.e., everyone on the People Team.

Utilizing a group alias email means that anyone on your People Team can promptly respond to important immigration emails, and a single individual isn't responsible for keeping track of and replying to all immigration correspondence.

Establish Procedures for Working Through Common Immigration Processes

Proactive People teams often tend to stay one step ahead of issues and delays, for your most common visa types, consider creating a step-by-step guide for your employees and team.

Start by conducting thorough research into the specific visas for your international employees and create a step-by-step guide for each application. Consider partnering with your immigration provider to ensure the validity of the process. 

While every case will be unique and call for slight tweaks, a set plan in place that everyone on your team can reference will take the guesswork out of the process. Such a guide will prepare People Teams for potential holdups and ensure they take the proper steps to mitigate these delays. 

Communicate Consistently with Applicants

Establish internal accountability through effective communication with each applicant working through the corporate immigration process.

Make sure every new hire understands the potential consequences arising from missing deadlines, such as a delayed start date, potential rejected applications, and potential for altered consular travel plans or a flight home.

Ask the Experts

If you are unsure of where to start, countless businesses specialize in creating secure communication portals that can also help guide you through the immigration process. Harness the advantage of more organized communication, the ability to digitally assign tasks, as well as refine your document intake, management, and indexing process.

With the help of an immigration expert and some out of the box cloud-based storage, your team can build secure processes that streamlines immigration and keeps all sensitive information safe and in one centralized place.

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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