Keeping Compliant – Immigration and Labor Notifications Not to Be Neglected
Managing the risk of noncompliance during international assignments is critical
Failure to consider all immigration and labor issues during the period of a foreign assignment can leave a company liable for penalties. Due to the often changing regulations, less vigilant employers often find themselves without adequate oversight of immigration compliance.
Move One places great importance on informing clients of the applicable case-specific requirements, even after the issuance of the necessary permits. This may mean periodic notifications to various immigration authorities by employers, but also an employee’s obligation to notify relevant authorities in case of changes in personal data. Any changes in work and living conditions must be communicated to authorities in time and Move One makes sure these reporting requirements are not overlooked.
Address Registration – Sharing the Responsibilities
In general, address registration is formalized in the country of destination, documenting that a foreigner has registered his or her place of living with the local authorities. In case there is a change of address, it has to be reported to authorities within a given time, and the initial proof of registration generally needs to be modified or re-issued.
The person or entity responsible for address registration varies by country. By way of example, in Romania, it is the foreigner’s responsibility to inform the immigration office about a change of address within 15 days after the move (30 for EU nationals) and the employer is not held liable in case of late registration. On the other hand, employers in Russia become liable and must ensure that standard work permit holders staying in private accommodation are registered by either their employers or landlords within seven working days of each arrival. In case this is not arranged, in addition to penalties applicable to the individual, the host entity is sanctioned an administrative fine as well.
In the United Arab Emirates, where arranging immigration permits for employees is largely the responsibility of the sponsoring employer, the ID card process may reveal some areas of possible noncompliance. 2012 sees the integration of the Emirates ID card with immigration processes, introducing a number of additional formalities before a residence permit is issued. While the initial ID card application may be arranged with the help of the company, the foreigner is the one responsible for reporting any change of address, change of employer, change of marital status to the authority responsible for issuing ID cards. This must be completed within 30 days, or a daily fine of 20 dirhams (approximately 5 US dollars) is charged for each day of failure to register, effective 1 June, 2012.
Quarterly Notifications – For Some but Not Others
A corporation may have to fulfill different formalities for various employees depending on the work permit or immigration documents issued to them. Additional formalities may be required for one employee but not the other. In Russia, highly qualified professionals (HQPs) may obtain work permits based on an accelerated immigration process, however a HQP work permit means additional notifications will be required on the employer’s part. The main criteria of a HQP is an annual salary no less than two million rubles and from the moment of HQP work permit issuance, an employer is obliged to notify the Federal Migration Service on a quarterly basis about conditions of the HQPs employment: the salary which has been paid, employment contract terminations that took place within three months and the amount of unpaid vacation granted.
End of Assignment – Necessary Goodbyes
Another immigration requirement often overlooked is the need to cancel permits at the end of an assignment prior to leaving the country. This may require revisiting issuing authorities to return various cards and certificates. In the UAE, for example, immigration permits must be officially canceled by sponsors even if they have already expired. If this is not done, the foreigner may not be able to get new employment permits in any Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country. Furthermore, the employer may file an absconding case against the employee resulting in a life-long immigration ban.
Mitigating Risks – Keeping Track of Requirements
The above are just a few examples of notification requirements needed well after the issuance of a residence or work permit. Requirements vary per country and specific cases and rules often change with little or no notice from the side of the authorities. Move One is in continuous contact with immigration and labor offices for up-to-date information and prepares clients accordingly for any future action needed on their side. Thus the perils of overlooking compliance issues can be avoided.
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