Here are some of the factors you should take into consideration when thinking about an international expansion plan that includes expat hiring:
Many times companies don’t take all the processing time into consideration when importing an expat. The time varies wildly country to country but assume roughly 60-90 days to be safe.
Cost for Expat Hiring
There are hard and soft costs associated with importing an expatriate, once again it varies wildly on a country to country basis but to be safe assume a $5000 USD hard cost in government fees and roughly the equivalent or less in soft costs to successfully transplant a resource.
Expat Visa Restrictions
Even with help from a firm like Velocity Global there is always a possibility that your resource won’t get a visa. Once your resource has a visa, it is completely at the whim of the local government as to whether your resource keeps that privilege. Let’s be very clear too, visa’s are a privilege for expats, not a right.
Tax Implications for Expat Hiring
Tax equalization has to be taken into consideration for any employer of an expat. It’s very common to make sure that your resource does not feel any excess compensation burden due to the tax implications of being employed internationally. There is a cost associated with this to cover the tax burden of working in two countries.
Also you should be familiar with the idea of tax totalization – government treaties related to income and social security contributions. This can greatly affect the company’s tax situation in the two countries. HERE is a list of tax totalization treaties that the USA has.
Differentiation of Benefits
Expats are far more demanding about health care needs where as local national will be fine with statutory health scheme of whatever country you are entering. Make sure you are familiar with the costs and implications of expat/international health insurance plans before moving forward with an expat.
Cultural Implications for Expats
Lastly, it is important to take into consideration the cultural implications of importing an expat. For example a US sales guy might flounder in Japan; chances of offending are probably around 100% even if they are a ‘hotshot’ domestically.
This article was published here