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The Role of HR in International Relocations: A Comprehensive Guide

Global businesses can use international employee relocation to strengthen operations and grow career opportunities. HR plays a crucial role in explaining corporate relocation meaning, and IAS can help HR professionals navigate relocation for international employees to ensure business growth and increased employee satisfaction.

To learn more about the employee relocation program, call IAS at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or use the live chat.

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Navigating International Relocations

Global employee relocation involves moving staff from one company location to another to maximise the benefit of their skills while balancing business growth and employee satisfaction. Many companies aim to place employees in the right location and position to attract and retain top talent, but businesses can only do this effectively by offering comprehensive relocation packages.

HR departments are crucial in developing an effective employee relocation policy focusing on the relocation terms and conditions, expenses, allowances and expectations, and information on assessing employee eligibility, relocation service provider and managing logistics, and providing a corporate relocation international guide. 

It’s important to know how to navigate international relocations. Various factors can impact retention rates and the cost of relocating a worker. IAS can provide top corporate relocation tips.

Key Elements of an International Employee Relocation Process

Depending on the business and the specific situation, there are different requirements in the relocation process. Companies should consider the following to ensure successful relocation for employees: 

  • Expenses – travel and residence costs, as well as visa and tax fees  
  • Housing assistance, including shipping and setting up a home for the employee
  • Transportation services for Furniture, pets, personal items, etc.
  • Airfare
  • Vehicle rental 
  • Language and cultural training
  • Acclimation support, including spousal job search
  • Visa, work permits and immigration paperwork necessary for international employee relocation
  • Additional day-to-day expenses

Legal Requirements for Relocating

When relocating employees internationally, it is important to remember that different countries have different laws. Businesses must adhere to labour laws and tax systems and understand legal issues to avoid potential penalties or prosecution. 

Businesses can hire a third-party company to handle taxation and legal requirements during employee relocation. This ensures the relocation is processed faster and complies with all legal requirements.

The Benefits of Using an Immigration Lawyer for Your Business Needs

Finding the right immigration lawyer to manage employees’ immigration can benefit businesses in various ways. IAS lawyers can help assess employee eligibility and find the most suitable visa category or immigration route for your employee. This can save cost and time and help avoid immigration mistakes that can result in additional fees, delays, or denials.

IAS lawyers have the knowledge and understanding of immigration law and regulations. Hiring an immigration lawyer can help HR professionals navigate the corporate relocation process and ensure that the required paperwork is completed correctly by assisting them with organising and preparing necessary documentation, helping complete visa applications, and ensuring that the applications are completed to the required standards to guarantee the highest chance of visa approvals.

The IAS’s service will be tailored to the needs of your business to ensure your business achieves the desired outcome. 

Get in touch with our expert lawyers for assistance on all global immigration matters.

Documentation Needed for International Relocations

organised and prepared before the move, including: 

  • Passports – the employee and their family members must have valid passports to certify their identity and citizenship
  • Birth or adoption certificates – required for international relocation of the employee and any family members
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Visa 
  • Work permit 
  • Social security cards 
  • Medical records 
  • Pet vaccination records 
  • School records 


HR’s Part of International Relocation

HR’s role in employee relocation is to ensure a smooth transition when an employee moves overseas. 

A company’s HR can offer support by introducing and educating new employees about relocation and developing innovative ideas, programs and procedures to minimise stress on employees, ensure hassle-free relocation, and increase employee satisfaction.

Employee Relocation Expenses

International relocation package examples usually cover moving expenses and other work-related costs. The average relocation package covers the following costs:

  • Packing and unpacking services 
  • Services provided by the moving companies
  • Temporary housing
  • Transportation and travel expenses
  • Home sale (or costs concerning early lease termination if the employee is renting a house)
  • House-hunting 
  • Other miscellaneous expenses include childcare costs and elder care help for employees caring for elderly parents, spousal employment assistance, pet registration and vaccinations, etc. 
  • Relocation allowance – employees moving abroad may be provided with a relocation allowance to cover the cost of furnishing and essential appliances when they set up in a new home.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Relocating an Employee

The cost of relocating an employee can depend on the industry, planned location and the relocation assistance level for international employees. 

Moving to a new country can be stressful and overwhelming for employees and their families. Employees need time to adapt to new surroundings; in the process, they will likely experience culture shock. 

Therefore, it is crucial to provide relocation assistance for international employees and prepare them before they move. If the employee is moved to a location with a different language, language training and getting to know the culture and new customs can help them communicate effectively and adapt faster. This all has a cost that needs to be factored into any corporate relocation package. 

Global mobility and immigration lawyers can help your business operate across borders by advising on legal and administrative issues to help ensure a hassle-free relocation process and help your business thrive. 

If you are an HR professional requiring assistance with visas, global immigration and more for your business, reach out to our lawyers today.

Global Relocation Management

A global relocation management company can facilitate a smooth transition for employees by assisting them with the following:

  • Accommodation and local orientation services, including real estate support
  • Assisting employees in moving locations and positions, ensuring they successfully manage challenges and have a positive experience in the new environment.
  • Helping employees with budgeting, destination services etc.
  • Cultural training
  • City tours to introduce employees to the new country

How Can IAS Help You? 

Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our professional services.

Successfully relocating employees and their families to a different country can be challenging for a business. It is a complex process involving setting up and adhering to global relocation policies and understanding the legalities involved in the visa and work permits. 

Hiring an experienced immigration lawyer can simplify this process, protect your business from potential legal problems, and minimise the risk to your business and reputation.

IAS is a team of experienced and reliable immigration lawyers who can assist businesses and employees when relocating internationally by designing an immigration strategy tailored for complex scenarios. This includes multi-jurisdictional immigration assessments for individual and group relocations, eligibility assessments, global immigration policy support, HR immigration compliance training, and more.

To find out how IAS can help your business, call +44 (0)333 305 9375 or chat with one of our advisers online. 

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Employees who relocate must apply for international health insurance that provides cover in emergencies and during routine healthcare services while living and working abroad long-term.

A smooth transition during an international relocation begins with a global relocation policy, which outlines the services and assistance your business will provide to the employee. Ensuring that all teams involved in the process (the HR and the RMC) support the employee and act according to the policy can ensure a smooth and stress-free transition.

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