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The 5 biggest myths in Global Mobility

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08 October, 2018

As global mobility programs evolve and expand, we often find that there are a number of assumptions made about international assignments. It’s important to always review your assumptions and any approaches that you take which might be based on common global mobility myths. We've debunked some of the most common myths about global mobility below:


Myth 1: Deployment is the hardest part of an international relocation

Not true! Compliance is the number one challenge for international assignments.

The technicalities of deploying an employee abroad for an international assignment may appear to be the biggest challenge, since the physical side of relocation means multiple steps across borders as well as moving personal belongings and making family arrangements. All of which are important steps, of course – but all of the above can be contracted out individually, or by firms that specialise in moving employees on assignment.

Due to changing regulations, complying with host country immigration, payroll and labour laws prove to be the biggest obstacle to a successful assignment.


Myth 2: Global mobility is about assigning employees from the home country

Actually, it’s becoming more common for companies to employ local workers internationally.

Traditionally, global mobility strategies relied on transferring employees from the home office or from other assignment locations. Those assignments were often long term and had high costs, and high personal sacrifices for the employees. It’s becoming more popular for companies to hire local residents in the host country for some positions such as customer support, technical or sales roles, due to lower cost and rapid deployment.

This method is also useful for setting up remote teams of skilled workers across multiple countries.


Myth 3: It would be best to send the employee ASAP and sort the finer details later

Incorrect! Strategic planning is emerging as a core practice in global mobility.

Last minute, unplanned assignments are becoming less common due to the high expense of sending employees for long-term assignments. Urgent business needs can be handled easily by a short business trip whilst a suitable candidate is found.

Taking a more reactive approach to global mobility is both more expensive and carries more risks of non-compliance in destination countries. Assignments are now commonly being incorporated into long-term business strategies.


Myth 4: If you pay tax in the home country, you’re covered in the host country

Untrue – Host country tax compliance requires a local payroll and withholding.

Tax compliance isn’t quite as simple as just using the home country payroll. The host country will impose its own requirements to comply to.

Assignees will often need to be on a local payroll with at least some version of split or shadow payroll between the home and host country.


Myth 5: It’s fine to use a business visa to work in another country

For most assignments over 30-60 days, a work permit is recommended.

Business visas are fine for short trips and for exploring foreign opportunities to establish relationships. For ongoing employee assignments, many countries are cracking down on the overuse of business visas for longer visits. Immigration departments are checking that work permit rules are not being avoided by the use of multiple business visas. Any misuse can result in deportation.


Clearview Relocation is a privately owned, independent relocation company with over 20 years of experience in supplying relocation services to the corporate relocation industry and the world’s leading Relocation Management Companies. Our expert team provide a customised approach to policy along with practical guidance on how to deliver the perfect relocation package.

To learn more about how Clearview can provide support for your businesses relocation, contact us on 01635 239040 or email

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