Hot Topics Discussed at the 9th Biennial IBA Global Immigration Conference

Image of earth planet. Elements of this image are furnished by NASA: HOT TOPICS DISCUSSED AT THE 9TH BIENNIAL IBA GLOBAL IMMIGRATION CONFERENCE

These topics were discussed at the 9th Biennial IBA Global Immigration Conference in London in the last week of October. A date when the UK should have left the EU. The agenda was set long before that date had any meaning and has occupied quite a few minds in the hall of 270 immigration professionals in the last few years.

After a morning with panels discussing Immigration, Populism and the Future of work followed by attracting global talent a few things were clear.

Firstly, many countries have demographic challenges with aging populations and low birthrates along with a new, and always rapidly changing, digital world. There are talent and skills gaps, not only for high skilled workers but also for more low skilled work around the globe. Which of course means that we are all competing for talent and each country has to work on being attractive.

Secondly, while there are plenty of opportunities for the BnB’s, meaning the best and the brightest across the planet, there are plenty of quotas, tiers, qualifications needed, language requirements, and salary minimums in place to protect the local workforce. For the BnB there are Einstein visas, STEM visas, FastTrackVisas and other arrangements in many locations so eligible new hires can skip the line and get started in a new location.

Thirdly, not all countries can say “We are open for Business”, but a remarkable amount of countries are not only open for business they are actively recruiting and making immigration easier to get talent to move to their locations. One stellar example is Germany who is preparing their immigration authorities for mass immigration as it’s not acceptable to have administrative obstacles. They offer German language training in India so it will be easier and more attractive for Indian talent to move and work there. Other countries that certainly stand out are Ireland and Canada.

Fourthly, the future of work is here and more and more companies are meeting demands from employees to work remotely, wherever they are. Some large blue chip corporations even advertise on their websites that if you work here you can work anywhere. In a room full of compliance experts this sounds like a dream or a nightmare depending on which foot you are standing on. Not only must companies meet these expectations, within reason, but government authorities and the legalities that surround global immigration must be updated. There is a clear consensus from immigration professionals and corporations that talent doesn’t wait and the immigration process shouldn’t take more than 2 weeks. This will no doubt occupy quite a few governments and corporations in the years to come. A lot of legislation is counterproductive and is still new which makes it harder to remove.

Lastly, while immigration practices are essential to be smooth and reliable, the real decision lies with the talent that sees a fuller picture. They are looking for reasonable taxes, personal safety, exciting jobs and work-places, and good education for themselves and their family members. That means that governments and corporations must work in tandem with the macro and microenvironment to join forces to attract talents to their specific locations.

From my corner of the world, I can see that work permit processes in Sweden are fairly smooth. If only a couple of steps can be eliminated in the process and then it will be perfect. The Swedish government has some challenging actions to take in regard to lowering the tax burden along with improving the quality of the education so that local talent can tweak their skills to meet up with new market demands and still welcome needed foreign talent.

Other posts on these topics :

What Countries Are Doing to Fill Skills Gaps Globally

Swedish Immigration Answers to HR’s Biggest Concerns

Global Competition: What Swedish HR Can Do

If you would like to learn more about these topics you might be interested in this Immigration Guide on our website with several articles on the subject.

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