The Latest News on International Executives, E-Passport Gates and Immigration Repercussions amid COVID-19
Cross-Border Considerations for International Executives
Tax processing for customary international employment agreements has become much more complex for US executives working internationally
In today’s global economy, leaders are increasingly required to navigate the opportunities and challenges of doing business around the world. All too often, however, international leaders ignore or fail to recognize the impact that international employment can have on their compensation, benefits and personal responsibility. Below are some general employment issues that executives should consider when navigating international labor relations.
Tax Equalization and Protection Strategies
Tax processing for customary international employment agreements has become much more complex for US executives working internationally.
Realazing and planning potential tax liabilities, including dangerous double taxation where income tax is paid twice, is critical for international executives and often requires coordination between the employment counselor and tax advisors. This coordination can include, among other defensive strategies, negotiating and implementing tax equalization benefits in which executives effectively remain intact, paying no more taxes than they would have paid if their compensation were only taxed in the United States.
Rights and Obligations Under U.S. and Foreign Laws
Whether the employment agreement is a traditional expatriate agreement or the executive is based in the United States and works for and / or is associated with a foreign company, it is not uncommon for certain aspects of the employment relationship to be regulated in more than one country’s laws.
For example, a U.S. citizen living and working overseas for a U.S.-controlled company remains protected by and subjected to certain federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. At the same time, the executive can also be protected by anti-discrimination laws of foreign jurisdictions and have obligations under them.
Proof of UK immigration status affected by e-passport gates
A new consultation by the UK government’s immigration watchdog is scheduled to investigate whether e-passport gateways affect a person’s ability to validate their UK immigration status.
UK Border Force increases e-passport gate use
The use of the gate by the UK Border Force has increased in recent years. They have become a main component of the UK Border Force’s strategy for managing the UK’s borders.
However, several MPs and migrant rights groups have raised concerns about the use of e-passports, along with the tightening of paperwork requirements for people to prove they have the right to live, work and use government services in the UK.
There are some advantages about the gates: The Home Office can grant visa-free travel to the UK for citizens from seven countries who visit the UK for up to six months.
The seven countries are:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United States
Citizens of these countries do not need to stamp their passports or other documents confirming their right to stay in the UK for a maximum of six months.
However, the extension of visa-free travel to several countries has raised concerns among landlord groups, who have argued that it will be difficult for them to verify if potential tenants are eligible to rent properties in the UK. Landlords face heavy fines for renting to migrants without the right to rent in Britain.
UK immigration repercussions for businesses amid COVID-19
UK employers and educational institutions are facing major immigration law challenges amid travel restrictions around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. As countries around the world, including the UK, close their borders, UK companies and universities are struggling to attract international talent and students.
To ease tensions, the Home Office introduced several UK visa and immigration benefits. However, as countries begin to reopen their borders, the Home Office recently announced – on July 29 – that most of the concessions will end.
Foreign nationals will no longer be able to automatically renew their UK visas and will now need to make every effort to leave the country where possible or apply to settle in the UK.
Home Office coronavirus guidance
The Home Office has issued guidance on immigration regulations for UK visa applicants and temporary residents. The agency has set up a coronavirus hotline that UK employers can call to speak with the Home Office about the personal circumstances of an international employee.
Meanwhile, most UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centers (UKVCAS) have resumed serving their existing clients. People are advised to check the UKVCAS website to see which centers have reopened. Some overseas centers have resumed the provision of priority and super-priority services.
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