Business is global these days and people are being sent all over the world. It is not uncommon for employees to take an international transfer and live for years in a foreign country. Some even start families there and never come back. Even though it is a more common practice these days, it is still something that should not be undertaken lightly. It takes a solid game plan to send somebody off to another country and have it work out for the company and for the employee.
There are certainly budgeting issues when sending somebody abroad that need to be dealt with internally. However, it is very important to also make sure to be setting your employee up for success for the trip. In this article, we will go over the steps you need to take to transfer an employee abroad.
1 – Get them insurance
One of the first things to consider is how the employee will be able to take care of their health while abroad. It is unlikely that the health insurance policy you have provided them in the home country will be valid abroad. If you are a Canadian company, for instance, then you will need to find insurance for Canadian citizens in the US so they are covered while working.
In some cases, it may even be required in order to get a visa for them to make the transfer. Many countries offer a public health care system that is paid for by taxes. Since your employee has never contributed to the scheme they won’t be eligible to use it. They will need their own insurance and your company should provide it as a perk for asking them to relocate.
There are many different types of international health insurance that will protect your employee. Make sure to research what type of coverage is going to satisfy the visa requirements and also provide them with good protection for emergencies and even routine doctor visits.
2 – Set up their visa
Securing a visa is often time-consuming and involves a lot of complicated paperwork. The time your employee will need to spend doing this paperwork will end up taking them away from the work they are getting paid to perform. Make sure to not let them have to handle this on their own.
It is the company’s responsibility to do the paperwork and have the process be as simple and smooth as possible for your employee. Start the process as early as possible since these things can take time. Then, try to coordinate with the employee so they can provide the necessary personal paperwork in a timely fashion.
3 – Get them housing
The first few months that an employee will be in their new country are going to be very chaotic and confusing. Asking them to have to find a place to live as soon as they land is a lot to make sure to have a temporary house set up for them based on their needs. If they have a family then ensure that there is plenty of space for them, for instance.
This gives them time to calmly look for a place that is suitable for them and one they choose for themselves instead of having one chosen for them. The temporary house should be close to the job so they can focus on work and not commuting. It also gives them time to look at their own pace for a permanent housing situation.
Make sure the house has all the amenities that they would expect to have in their home country so they are comfortable. In some countries, the housing is much different than they may be used to in terms of space and modern fixtures.
4 – Hire a fixer
There is nobody that understands the ins and outs of a place like a local. They know the right people that make things happen and understand how the system works in an area. This is why it’s so important to hire a local fixer. This person will act as a right hand person for the employee that will help them navigate the things they need to be able to get things done.
This will be the person that finds the temporary housing for them so they have a place when they arrive. They will also act as an intermediary when the employee is looking for a permanent place to live. Paperwork will be done for them and they can set up things like a bank account and utilities for them.
It will take time for the employee to learn the language, customs, and system so they can navigate life on their own. In the meantime, the fixer is there to help them get through the process easier. They may even become a trusted friend in the process.