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Mexico immigration faced chaos as systems were not prepared in time. This led to delays of up to 6 months for visa processing. However, this may show signs of changing. Last year, a single case took up to 8 months to process, whereas recently, the same visa type was processed in just three weeks.

Colombia and Chile also faced challenges, again with up to 6-month delays for visas to be issued.

Guatemala was arguably the worst impacted, as new rules meant an additional qualification step was included to visa processing. With a government official now required to visit an applicant’s place of work, and stringent rules created for validating paperwork, processing times were hugely increased.

  • Case study – one of our attendees had a transferee decline the offer & eventually quit the company because of these visa delays. It’s frustrating for all parties involved, which doesn’t show signs of improving in 2024.

Top tips to alleviate challenges:
Pre-calls to set expectations are crucial, to ensure the transferee is aware that things may change with little notice. Always keep the transferee and the HR contact/ wider business updated, even if nothing has changed. We’d recommend checking in every 10-15 days.

Pets. A huge area of difficulty for relocating transferees and their families are pets. Often, it’s difficult to find temporary accommodation that accept these furry friends – particularly in a high-demand market.

  • Case study – one of our transferees had a dog so large that no temporary accommodation provider would accept their offer. Landlords often place size restrictions on pets, so the larger the animal, the more difficult the task.
  • Case study – a transferee moving from Mexico to Brazil needed pet-friendly accommodation for his pet snake. He ended up having to get approval from the environmental ministry and spend over $15,000 on a heated box for transportation. No temporary accommodation would accept the snake as a pet, and he ended up having to rent an Airbnb for a month.

Budget vs expectation. Often, transferees’ expectations do not align with their budgets, and this can create challenges for Global Mobility specialists. Depending on family size, and if there are any accompanying pets, costs can skyrocket, without the allocated budget to match. Setting expectations on location and housing early on can be difficult but is essential in order to guarantee a successful assignment.

Thoughts for the future.
Temporary accommodation can be difficult to secure in a high-demand market, so alternative methods may need to be explored. Airbnb is becoming increasingly popular and may be a good short-term solution to alleviate these challenges, rather than leaning on more expensive options such as hotels. However, security checks and vetting processes are not always stringent with Airbnb, so this can be a higher risk for transferees. Those coming from European countries with strict safety rules may be adverse to staying in Airbnb’s, so this needs to be taken into consideration.

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