Impact of U.S. Immigration Ban on Relocation Programs
Posted by: David Pascoe, Senior Vice President, Client Services
U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that prohibits foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. With much still to be confirmed, the order is resulting in some confusion and concern for international assignees and their families and the situation is very much in a state of flux. We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates, but following are some best practices we are implementing now.
What Should Relocation Managers Do?
Cartus Best Practices
- Early preparedness is paramount to ensure employee compliance and cost containment. Cartus will work with our clients' mobility teams to align all elements of planning in response to the new requirements.
- A communication strategy should be established in advance with all stakeholders for consistency. Business and relocation travel planning and guidelines must work cohesively and in full support of each client's legal team directives.
- Clarity in communication for employees is essential and should include: how to deal with existing travel arrangements, usage of video conferencing versus travel, access to security teams, HR and Employee Assistance Programs and, if necessary, immigration counsel.
- Upon a client's request (if we have been asked to track the nationality of employees as part of their relocation program) we can provide a list of all employees and eligible dependents who are in the process of transferring to the U.S., and those already on assignment, who may be impacted by the ban due to nationality or dual nationality within the list of banned locations. However, this must be cross referenced by HR to ensure that all nationalities held are accurately identified.
- Copies of a client's business communication on travel restrictions should be made available to Cartus for awareness and planning with employees.
Impacted employees not yet on assignment in the United States
- Review with your immigration provider the expected impact to transfer date and travel due to immigration status, delays are anticipated.
- Work with line managers and employees to adjust/delay travel plans for the next 90 days.
- Review impact of housing/schooling secured and shipping already enroute (which may be held by customs officials on arrival). Recommend no new shipments to depart port of origin or leases to be signed in the U.S. until the employee's status is clarified.
Impacted employees on assignment in the United States
- Cartus will support monitoring of current immigration renewals via the immigration provider, delays are anticipated.
- We recommend avoiding any travel outside of the United States during this period.
- Policy exceptions may be required to defer any home leave entitlements during this period.
Additional Resource for Relocation Managers
A Cartus immigration provider, Fragomen, has a website dedicated to this topic which will be updated frequently and is a really good resource for relocation managers: https://www.fragomen.com/services/immigration-trump-administration-what-you-need-know/news-analysis.