June 6, 2024

Navigating the Hidden Challenges of Immigration: Beyond Visas and Bureaucracy

Immigration.... All too familiar to some who need to navigate often complex and bureaucratic systems in order to work and reside lawfully in a jurisdiction. Aside from adding time, cost, and likely stress to a relocation from the immigration process itself, are there any other implications immigration status can have on a relocation? Immigration status can absolutely affect tax and social security status. Advice should always be sought from a specialist as to any potential implications. We do however have to consider some practical implications.

For some relocating, they would ideally secure accommodation for the duration of their stay prior to an assignment commencing. Understandably securing suitable accommodation is a priority, especially when accompanied however not all assignees (or indeed individuals) are free to secure accommodation prior to immigration permission being granted. Some countries, such as the UK, prohibit an individual entering into a rental agreement until they have a visa in hand. Others will allow an individual to enter, however issues then arise should the individual’s visa be refused or delayed. In these instances, it is unlikely the rental agreement could be broken leaving either the individual, or their employer in the cases of corporate leases, to fund the rent for the agreement period.

Children International School

If children will be part of the relocation, it is also worth noting that schools will generally assess immigration permission of the child prior to school acceptance. Some will be unable to register the child until they have the appropriate permission in place. With the shortage of places in some jurisdictions and schooling systems, and restrictions often placed on joining dates due to term schedules, this inability can have significant implications on a relocation.

Awareness of these implications are key:  

Whilst the number of shipments has declined with the increase of shorter-term assignments and awareness of environmental impact; a shipment can still be affected by the immigration permission of the receiver. An individual generally needs to possess the right to reside in a jurisdiction for a shipment to clear customs in the receiving country. Without the correct permission, at best delays can incur, at worst fines can be issued, goods can be confiscated by the customs authorities or returned to the sender. ‘Luckily’, reputable moving companies will often refuse to transport goods without the proper documentation in place which may prevent custom involvement, however, will still cause delays and probably stress at a time which is often already highly stressful. 

As you can see, an individual’s immigration status can have massive implications on a relocation outside of the immigration process itself. 

one contact

“One size fits all?”

Like so many choices, there is no “one size fits all” approach. Choosing a comprehensive solution for your moving needs can make a big difference. Imagine a move without the chaos of dealing with multiple providers! Immigration assistance, accommodation, education, and transport—all under one roof for a smooth, coordinated process. Plus, having just one contact eliminates the need to relay information through various channels. Better communication, less confusion, and no mismatched information—sounds appealing, right?

Building a solid relationship with one provider who gets to know your needs inside out. This leads to a service that's as personalised as your morning coffee order. And let's face it, consistency and accountability never go out of style. Your provider should handle any hiccups swiftly, ensuring your relocation is smooth sailing. 

This month our article has been kindly authored by Paul Elvin, UK Director at Sterling Lexicon.

For further information on this topic and more, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at immigration@sterlinglexicon.com.


Paul Elvin

Paul Elvin

Paul Elvin is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the Moving and Relocation industry. As the UK Director for Sterling Lexicon, Paul boasts a proven track record of success and has consistently demonstrated his expertise and leadership across various roles, including global supply chain, operations, pricing, and account management.

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