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How do you ensure you’re globally compliant and successfully managing the complexities of immigration law? 

At K2, we understand that reducing the risk, delays, and cost of potential issues from immigration administration complexities – both from a compliance perspective and throughout service delivery – is vital to your global business success.

Our focus is to help you successfully navigate the myriad of immigration rules and ensure that your immigration requirements are well conceived, fit-for-purpose and actioned quickly and efficiently.

We have developed a holistic and integrated immigration practice where we provide a comprehensive service with global coverage. It is designed to define and fit each client’s individual needs and run in seamless alignment with hiring and relocation activities.

We take a pragmatic, tailored and agile approach – reducing distraction and enabling your employees to commence work in their new location at the business-critical time.

The context and risks

Staying compliant with different countries’ immigration laws and regulations can be a minefield for relocating employees and HR departments. Every country has its own particular rules, and if they’re not adhered to appropriately, they can create significant administrative problems and financial and reputational risks.

Without proper guidance, the processes can often be complex and riddled with time delays and inefficiencies, particularly when it comes to document processing, compliance issues, or unforeseen costs. Completing the wrong application, missing an expiration date, or being unaware of backlogs in destination countries can increase workloads and distractions and, in turn, have a negative effect on business productivity and profitability.

The client requests

Our client had recently acquired a new business and as part of a restructure it wanted to relocate the headquarters of this business to the Netherlands. Our task was to support them in sourcing work permits for their senior global staff so that they could live and work in the Netherlands on a permanent basis. As part of this they also needed to recruit extra talent and expand their workforce quickly.

The challenges

Quality and flexible service for valuable employees – Understandably, relocating their senior talent from around the world to the Netherlands was no small task for our client and the value of these employees to their business meant it was vital that they could rely on us to deliver a high-quality service. It was important that we could assure them of our ability to provide a service with intricate attention to detail and an agile approach such as coinciding the processing of work permits with their senior employees’ individual travel plans.

Juggling legal and compliance complexity against time constraints and business demands – It was essential for our client that we could get their employees into their new roles and in situ quickly, avoiding costly delays to onboarding. This would involve handling numerous complex multi-jurisdictional services around the world to resolve immigration issues concerning a multitude of nationalities and resident statuses. And, because the moves were permanent, most employees were to be accompanied by families, household goods, and in many instances, pets.

Also, whilst our client’s original legal entity was already in place in the Netherlands, due to the recent acquisition it was being wound down and a new entity had to be created. Every legal entity in the Netherlands needs to apply for permission to employ non-EU nationals. To ensure full compliance we therefore needed to make sure there were no gaps in this permission whilst the company transitioned its workforce and legal entity.

The K2 solution

A unique, all-encompassing and coordinated offer – Whatever the circumstances, our ethos is to make sure we fully understand and consider all factors and interdependencies. We then tailor our immigration service to enhance service control, timeliness, and achieve our client’s objectives. Where we add real value is in our agile approach and ability to offer an integrated global mobility solution which can combine other complementary services to ensure a seamless and more streamlined delivery outcome.

Our experts set about coordinating the various activities – from initiation to arrival in the Netherlands – where local town hall and tax formalities had to be completed. We put plans in place to ensure we provided a successful holistic service to cover visas for their employees and family, temporary accommodation, home search, school search, pet relocation, local bank account set up, household goods shipment and tax support to minimise exposure risks. Ultimately, we ensured our client could pick up their key employees lives and families and take the from one country to another with the least amount of distraction or negative impact.

Complexity simplified with a focus on quality – One of the key features of our business approach is to develop strong partnership working with our clients as it helps certify that their relocating employees are receiving the highest level of service. All processes are managed to achieve a seamless service experience and simplify the process by minimising the input required from, and distraction to, employees and HR or global mobility teams. To ensure such delivery our experts worked along with our local Dutch immigration partner to quickly obtain employee work permits and establish them in the Netherlands, working around their travel needs and that of their families.

We also leveraged the existing legal entity at the start to avoid delays, sponsoring employees via this entity while we registered the new legal entity with the authorities and gained the ability to sponsor non-EU nationals against it. Once this was accomplished, we completed a change of status to move the employees onto the new entity, ensuring full compliance with no operational delays during the transition phase.

Compliance, pace and the bigger picture – Whilst there are always differing pressures and priorities with such complex relocations, K2 does not use unnecessary shortcuts which can be used by providers without legal expertise. Our K2 specialists ensured that new employees were fully aware of their obligations and restrictions around travel and business activities, whilst maintaining timings to support effective onboarding. Our perspective is to deliver efficiently, with pace and to deadline, but always with an eye on the broader context and weigh up the potential impact of certain risks within immigration, tax and payroll compliance. We work to do things right, first time, and for the longer-term.

The positive outcomes 

Holistic service with clear accountability and co-ordination – Where more traditional, less agile providers may have completed these service activities through a multitude of agencies, K2 offered an integrated approach through one single point of accountability – ensuring better mitigation against time delays, miscommunication, errors in paperwork and co-ordination errors. It meant that our client’s employees were also clear on who was responsible for the core components of their relocation and had personal contact at a stressful and busy time when moving their lives to a new country and culture under demanding circumstances.

Time efficiencies gained through expertise and established professional networks – While the standard processing time for obtaining work permits in the Netherlands can be 3-4 weeks, we were able to obtain many in half the time thanks to our expertise in the field and strong working relationships with the Dutch government authorities.

Seeing the bigger picture and providing value added advisory services – Our ability to join the dots and assess the bigger picture from a more strategic perspective thanks to our integrated services at K2 meant that we were able to provide timely and cost-saving advice to our client above and beyond our immigration service scope. The Netherlands has a 30% ruling tax advantage for highly skilled migrants. This allows employers to offer 30% of an employee’s salary to them tax-free, meaning that the employee only pays tax over 70% of their gross Dutch salary. We secured this exemption for all transferring employees, which lead to reduced tax exposure and considerable savings for our client.

To find out more about our global immigration services or to discuss how we can help you and your teams, please contact us.

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