If you plan to send an employee to one of your subsidiaries abroad, you must prepare for his departure and anticipate all the procedures. The expatriation of employees is not limited to the formalities of work visas. Support for the employee and his family, help for expatriates in language training … all of this must be prepared upstream.
Make a complete point with his employee for his expatriation
The choice to expatriate one or more of your employees must respond to strategic issues. As for example: the acquisition or the merger of a company, the conquest of new markets, the opening of a new subsidiary abroad, the commercial development, the export … Depending on the host country, the selection of the candidate for expatriation, their status or the new employment contract will be different.
There are certain points to do with your employee in order to best prepare the latter’s expatriation. The essential points to see are:
- Which host country and which city?
- How long for the mission abroad?
- What will his missions be?
- What will his remuneration be? His bonuses? His additional allowances for his accommodation, his move, the cost of living differential… etc.
All the terms of the assignment must be detailed in writing, in a contract.
Mandatory formalities before leaving for expatriation
A work visa
This is to prepare for the immigration procedure. In order for your employee to work abroad, you will need to obtain a visa in order to obtain a work permit. In some countries, the possible visa depends on the remuneration granted; this is a point to take into account upstream. A company will need to hire an immigration lawyer unless its subsidiary or partner abroad is experienced in preparing immigration cases. The country advice section provides initial insights into immigration and work visa formalities.
It varies depending on whether or not there is a social security agreement between the country of origin and the host country. Among the elements of social protection, the choice of complementary insurance from an existing social scheme or expatriate insurance is essential.
As opposed to secondment, expatriation is defined by a non-attachment to the social security of one’s country of origin. The expatriate worker is required to contribute to the scheme of the country of residence. As he works for the receiving organization and is also the one who pays him, he is no longer considered to be a staff member of his home company.
Choosing the best health insurance for your expatriate employee
Mondassur supports you in choosing the best social protection for your expatriates abroad. Depending on the situation, you can opt for tailor-made expatriate insurance or choose existing expatriate insurance such as GoldExpat expatriate insurance. GoldExpat expatriate insurance offers different formulas to meet all budgets. Your employee will be covered for 100% in hospitalization and 80 to 90% of the actual costs for routine medicine depending on the expatriation insurance formula chosen.
Also consider taking out repatriation assistance coverage, in the event of serious accidents or medical emergencies.
Take care of administrative procedures related to expatriation
Numerous procedures will have to be carried out before leaving abroad:
- Search for accommodation
- Preparation of the move
- Creation of a bank account in the host country
- Formalities related to social protection
- Obtaining or recognizing a driving license
Either you let the expatriate employee manage these aspects himself. Or you give him an allowance to pay the initial costs associated with these steps. Or you offer him a relocation company that will manage his procedures for him. Some companies have enough experience and internal resources to support their employees on these aspects, but this represents a minority of companies.
Think about the expatriate’s family
For a successful expatriation of an employee with a family, preparation for the expatriation is all the more important.
Several elements must be addressed for a successful installation, and therefore, the success of the mission. Among the essential elements:
- Schooling of children
- Child care
- Support for the spouse in his search for employment
- Training in intercultural elements
Maintain the link with expatriates
The Human Resources department has a very important role in the smooth running of an employee’s expatriation.
Maintaining a relationship of exchange and trust throughout the expatriation is a primary objective that must be ensured by the HR department. Maintaining regular contact and coaching expatriate employees can greatly contribute to the success of their stay abroad.
HR tools for international mobility
The international mobility service is operationally based on a set of tools. We find there:
- The engagement letter which sets the expectations of the business management requesting a position in international mobility
- The country file which specifies all immigration procedures and practical expatriation arrangements. It presents the economic, fiscal, social and societal challenges of the country.
A qualitative survey of mobile employees is strongly recommended and is an effective means for your own improvement. It helps identify positive problems but also problems caused by possible operational and organizational dysfunctions.
Health and return of expatriates
The health of human capital is a major HR issue. Even more for employees in international mobility. Expats are the ones who best represent the company abroad. As a result, poor management of their health can quickly impact a company’s image. It is therefore essential to place the health of expatriates at the heart of HR policy.
Managing the return of expatriates should not be neglected either. Coaching can be effective. For example, coaching to regain confidence by enhancing the professional skills acquired during the stay abroad. Coaching to help the couple or the expatriate’s family to rehabilitate socially …
To emigrate is to immigrate to a new environment. This can be trickier when the expatriate employee moves abroad with his family, for which expatriation is synonymous with starting from scratch. Preparing the expatriation of your employee to succeed in a mission abroad is essential and in particular the negotiation of expatriation conditions.