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Avoiding Visa Delays in Transition Phase

by: Ronald Escanlar

Friday, November 11, 2011 |

Switching to a Global Outsourcing Model

Multinational corporations consider their global service delivery networks as vital communication channels among international offices. Internal electronic communication is oftentimes supplanted with personal, face-to-face interactions between managers and staff. Governments, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, issue a variety of visas to facilitate the entry of foreign staff needed by either mother companies or client-companies based in these countries.

However, due to security issues, the issuance of US visas has seen additional restrictions, stretching the timeline for companies relying on outsourcing as they shift to a global service delivery model.

Outsourcing research firm TPI (tpi.net) lists five tips that can help companies avoid these visa delays:

Include delays in the transition timeline. Formerly, offshore employees needed to work in the US arrived within a month’s time. With the new visa restrictions, foreign workers coming in to the US arrive within two months - an addition of one month. This is a very significant delay for those in transition.

Establish backup plans. Delays in transition are normal, but since they directly affect the profitability of a company, a backup plan is needed in case the needed foreign workers do not arrive in time.

Take advantage of the Internet and new technologies. There are various software programs or applications that enable virtual collaboration and file-sharing among team members spread across the globe. These tools and technologies must be set up early in the transition phase, as time saved in business converts to money saved.

Shift the majority of transition work to the offshore service provider. Many client companies based in the US are now sending their local resources to offshore sites during the transition phase, serving as subject matter experts (SMEs) and trainers. Outsourcing service providers have established client services departments for such situations, taking care of visas and accommodation for the direct employees of their client companies.

Create a risk mitigation plan with the service provider. Client companies will find it easier if they work on transition delays with their outsourcing service provider. Usually, risk mitigation plans are included during the onboarding phase. These plans must be created even before the ink on the outsourcing contract dries up.

There are various details involved during the transition to being a global company, but a well-defined plan will help a company pursue its outsourcing goals. Visa restrictions, part of the transition process, can easily be mitigated with the right strategy.

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