Global Mobility & Immigration Counsel
Companies Cutting Back on Overseas Assignments
The New York Times reports that, in order to cut costs, companies have been sending fewer employees on long-term overseas assignments. However, short-term assignments, which last from several months to a year, have increased in popularity over the past eight years.
Although shorter assignments are more cost effective, companies face an increased risk of violating immigration and tax laws in the host country, and the consequent deportation of its employees or closure of its business. The article cites a KPMG report which found it difficult for companies to meet their compliance obligations because employees on extended business travel frequently move between multiple locations and have unpredictable schedules.
Notwithstanding the résumé value derived from overseas assignments, employees often find it difficult to accept short-term overseas assignments because prior commitments (school, mortgages, etc.) prevent the entire family from moving abroad. Other negatives include the increased expense incurred for communications, and the additional burdens placed on the non-traveling partner for managing household and childcare responsibilities.