Make a plan for your immigration budget


Challenges ahead

Budgeting for the employee work visas can be tricky, especially given market volatility and the ever-changing state of government regulations. There are a few basic challenges that any employer can expect when seeking immigration visas for potential workers:

Business Principle

Each company implements its own set of policies regarding work-related immigration. These can, in some cases, serve more as obstacles than catalysts in efforts to attract new talent to the United States. Without a detailed understanding of business statutes, it can be difficult to accurately forecast immigration-related expenses.

Budget paradigms

In the early 90, American companies have abandoned the traditional paradigm of incremental budgeting and turned to zero-based budgeting — a technique developed by Peter Pyhrr, an accounting executive at Texas Instruments, in 1977. Under the old model, companies can effectively reuse budgets from previous quarters. while making small adjustments to account for changes in policy or mission. Although seemingly intuitive, this model leads to problems such as unnecessary spending and unaccounted for externalities. In contrast, zero-based budgeting requires companies to start from scratch for each budget. In practice, this means that each line item must be justified again.

Spending variables

Although filing fees are relatively predictable, a number of expenses can vary from case to case. These include:

These challenges don’t have to get in the way of a successful (read: accurate) immigration budget. To predict the future of immigration spending with some level of accuracy, employers can follow these 4 basic action steps:

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Develop a coherent immigration policy

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of budgeting, it’s important to develop a clear set of standards for funding immigrant work visas. Knowing in advance when work visas can be obtained and where funding will come from can help establish a solid basis for accurately forecasting expenses.

Collect metrics on existing immigrant workers

If a company has already initiated the process of hiring non-U.S. workers, it will likely have relevant data somewhere in its records. However, this data cannot be found in a central repository. If so, it’s important to collect all the metrics scattered across the company into one easy-to-search database.

Create individualized immigration plans for employees

With a deep understanding of company policy and an overview of relevant data, a company can chart a path forward for every non-U.S. worker in existence. This means having a clear timeline for visa renewals, green card application conditionsand relevant pricing structures.

Use past trends to predict future costs

With available data and a personalized account for each non-U.S. worker, employers can more effectively predict the variables that affect costs. For example, to determine the amount of potential legal fees, businesses can find the average number of dependents for current employees on work visas. They may also analyze company and government policy to develop cost-cutting strategies. They could, for example, combine PERM applications to save on government-mandated advertising expenses.

In short, U.S. businesses can capitalize on the data they already have to make more accurate predictions about their future spending.

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