article originally appeared in the August 2018 edition of Mobility Magazine.
What’s more, this trend is set
to increase: A joint report by Travelport and the World Travel and Tourism
Council predicts the global business travel sector will grow by almost 4
percent over the next decade.
While business with the
European Union currently makes up around 40 percent of the U.K.’s overseas
trade, the uncertainty about what trade deal—if any—will be reached with the EU
post-Brexit means many companies are already exploring fresh business
opportunities in new and emerging economies.
HR teams currently don’t have
to worry about securing visas for most trips made by their company staff, as
U.K. travelers do not need a visa for travel within the EU—or to the U.K.’s
other major trading partner, the U.S. But that will change, as increasing
business in new markets may require familiarity with a complex set of new visa
Related: Is Your Employee Global Transportation Policy Strategic?
Human resource managers will
need to help their employees meet the immigration or temporary entry
requirements in each country where they work. The challenge lies in navigating
the different rules for business visas or work permits, and in making sure that
every worker has the right travel documents.
So how can HR teams make this
less of a daunting, time-consuming process?
Some countries require you to
prearrange a visa before leaving the country, others are able to offer a visa
when you arrive, and still other countries do not require a visa at all if you
are traveling within a certain time frame.
Then there may be different
visas—for example, single-entry visas allow one entry and exit, multiple-entry
visas allow you to come and go (within limits), and other visas allow you to
stay longer or work for a prescribed length of time. Make sure you know which
visas are best for your company’s needs—you don’t want to apply for a single
visa each time someone travels if a multiple-entry visa will do. Check with the
government website of the country in question.
For most countries, around a
month before you plan to travel is a good guideline, but some countries may
require more time. VFS Global, which processes visa applications for 58
governments worldwide, advises people to start applying three weeks before they
travel—this way any unexpected hiccup in the process can be spotted early
enough for travelers to take the necessary remedial action to find or update
the missing or out-of-date piece of personal paperwork standing in the way of
getting their new travel visa.
No. 3 & 4 in the August 2018 edition of Mobility