4 practical tips for moving an employee internationally

Mar 30, 2016

Because we live and work in a global marketplace, it's becoming increasingly common for companies to open offices in more than one country. That means, a growing number of businesses are also transferring employees overseas to work in those offices. According to Atlas Van Lines Data, more than half (55 percent) of all companies that relocated employees in 2014 moved at least one person to a foreign country. If your business is planning an international corporate relocation, here are four practical tips you'll want to keep in mind:

1. Start early

There are a lot more tasks involved in planning an international move than a domestic one. For that reason, it's important to begin planning your foreign relocation as early as possible. You'll want to give yourself plenty of time to file all of the correct paperwork, apply to sponsor visas for the employee and make sure he or she is set up with the appropriate passports and work permits. All of these processes can take several weeks, so an early start is key.

"What skills are most important in the foreign office?"

2. Choose the right person

Of course, before you begin filing for visas and passports, you need to carefully consider the employee who will be relocating. When staffing the new location, keep your long-term goals in mind. What skills or positions are most important in the foreign office? Who would be the best fit to meet those goals? 

3. Prepare your employee

After choosing an employee, you'll want to have several conversations about what he or she can expect throughout the relocation and in the new position. Be upfront about the relocation package, including what details of the move the company will be taking care of, if any. It's a good idea to draft lifts and guidelines the employee can reference if he or she needs help with anything from understanding the tax expectations of the new country (will he or she continue to file domestic taxes?) to finding childcare providers or schools in the foreign location. Many companies also provide cross-cultural training to help relocating employees acclimate as quickly as possible.

4. Find a qualified moving company

Many companies partner with professional movers for their corporate relocations - this takes some of the stress out of the employee's hands, and allows him or her to deal with other important logistics during the process. When choosing a company for an international move, however, it's important to ensure it's qualified. Professional international movers will have a comprehensive understanding of the requirements and regulations involved in shipping items overseas. 

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