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Why building a coalition of immigrant advocates should no longer be a wishlist item

Bridge Team Member

With increasing access to technology platforms and new content consistently being developed it can often be difficult for teams to all stay on the same page. 2020 showed us that productivity platforms and knowledge management tools without proper versioning or audits can quickly have adverse intended outcomes on productivity. 

As the pace of work continues to increase, People teams are seeing more of a demand for L&D programs and training to keep their teams up to date with the latest skills and policies. For more nuanced topics, teams are either bringing in subject matter experts or relying more heavily on their vendors to help conduct industry-specific training. 

Introducing the immigration team

Inconsistent policy deployment at any company can create many headaches for management, especially if the company is in a technical space where compliance is highly scrutinized. For matters such as immigration compliance, ensuring your team follows all the rules set by USCIS and DOL are the best way to avoid audits, fines, site visits, or worst case losing sponsorship privileges. 

In the best-case scenario, when coordinating hiring managers, legal counsel, candidates, or international employees by creating consistent experiences you can improve employee experiences, begin to scale a sponsorship program, decrease costly employee churn, and mitigate risk in the candidate funnel

When hiring technical talent in the US, foreign-born workers account for 19% of the STEM workforce, so if your Talent team is trying to maximize its talent acquisition strategies, helping them to build an immigration policy that is both strategic and operationally sound might be a high priority for People Operations teams. 

Building an immigration coalition 

But, assuming you might not quite yet be ready to build a formal immigration policy, what are some immediate steps to take that can help you move from chaotic processes into a more consistent and emerging immigration program:

  • Match company growth plans with relevant stakeholders
  • Define responsibilities and common scenarios (how does your company handle common case types, who should know compliance, benefits, and/or timelines?) 
  • Build a shared process or policy
  • Consider creating a playbook and training

After you’ve identified your core stakeholders and have individualized training in place for the different roles, you might consider how to get better leverage from the systems and tools you are currently using. Like much of the rest of the HR tech stack, immigration tools that promote digitization, collaboration, and improve the employee experience are being broadly adopted by organizations that wish to free their teams from administrative HR tasks and make time for more strategic People initiatives. 

Taking broad steps to identify the relevant stakeholders who might be impacted by sponsorship decisions is the first step towards moving from a chaotic to emerging immigration program. Continue to improve your employee experience and talent management function by investing in systems and processes that can automate the administrative work freeing your team up to focus on more strategic initiatives.

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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