On Wednesday, June 26, Newland Chase’s Vice President and Senior Global Immigration Counsel, Jason Rogers, will present the live webinar Global Town Hall: Mid-2019 Business Immigration Insiders Report. In his 60-minute presentation, Jason will be tackling the developments and trends that are impacting global mobility for business in 2019.
From his position as Newland Chase’s senior immigration lawyer, Jason is in a unique position of insight on both the legal trends and practical impact of the ongoing changes to visa and immigration laws in key destinations across the globe.
On the agenda – EU and UK developments, US-Mexico-Canada NAFTA/USMCA update, Singapore rules changes, Canada’s Global Skills Strategy, US-China relations and impact on business immigration, and opening immigration in Japan.
Kent O’Neil recently had a chance to connect with Jason. They discussed global trends, topics of the webinar, and Jason’s career in business immigration law. Below are some of the highlights of that conversation.
Kent: “So, a Global Town Hall. You have set yourself an ambitious agenda, Jason. Are you really going to cover the whole world in 60 minutes?”
Jason: “Well maybe not the whole world… but there are some global trends that are driving a lot of the changes we’re seeing in immigration right now. So I wanted to step back and take a higher-level view. We’ll cover some major trends that cut across all countries… but we’ll also drill down into some of the immigration changes on a country scale that are significantly impacting businesses in key markets.”
Kent: “I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a different approach to many of our webinars, where we focus on just one country or region or just one aspect of international assignments.”
Jason: “I believe it will be valuable for attendees – especially for those that might be dealing with multiple countries and involved in planning workforce needs long-term. It’s important to understand trends that are driving the changes in order to anticipate and strategically plan for them.”
Kent: “Agreed. I would not even venture a guess at how many business leaders from how many companies from numerous industry sectors you might speak with in a week, but I am sure it gives you a unique insight into the major concerns that international companies are facing on the visas and immigration front. What are some of the ones you’re hearing most often?”
Jason: “Brexit, obviously, is the top concern for employers in the UK and EU and has been now for three years.”
Kent:“Hopefully we can finally get some resolution on that one later this year.”
Jason : “But Brexit isn’t the only issue in the EU, I get numerous questions on social security and A1 certificates. That’s perennially an issue for workers in the EU.”
Kent: “And then there’s Trump on the other side of the pond keeping things interesting.”
Jason: “Definitely. In the U.S. I get a lot of process questions surrounding L-1s (intra-company transfer visas) and H-1B visas. With the Trump administration, there has been so much unpredictability of outcomes and requirements. Previously well-accepted norms and standards are frequently challenged and interpretations of rules are changing, mostly without notice. The overall process across all visas has become significantly more challenging. I’m having a lot of conversations lately about alternatives globally when companies are unsuccessful through the H1-B process – looking at other countries’ immigration options for locating foreign talent.”
Kent: “Interesting. Is that one of the global trends you’re seeing? Tightening immigration in some countries but opening in others?”
Jason: “It is. That’s why you have to look at things globally...
...The best response to a closing door in one country may be an opening door in another.”
Kent: “Are there particular countries that are maybe most commonly being considered by companies frustrated with the U.S. system right now?”
Jason: “Obviously it’s driven primarily by business needs, where the company already has locations, etc. but popular options right now are Canada with its Global Talent Stream and its proximity to the U.S. and connection through NAFTA/USMCA. Ireland and Singapore are also popular options with well-run immigration systems.”
Kent: “Any surprising trends you’re seeing almost universally across all countries?”
Jason: “It’s been interesting to see how much technology is improving and making visas and immigration more challenging.”
Kent: “How so?”
Jason: “Online applications and processes are making visas and work permits easier and more convenient to obtain but at the same time, it makes enforcement of requirements by authorities easier as well. We are seeing a significant increase in enforcement and penalties for overstays because data on deadlines and previous stays is more accessible to authorities at border entries and exits. Greater linkages between government departments is also creating compliance issues for companies and employees...
...Now that data between immigration departments and tax departments can be shared freely, failure to comply with a tax regulation can also become an immigration problem.”
Jason is obviously a recognized expert on global immigration. Talking with him, it is clear he enjoys his chosen field of expertise, and it’s easy to see why he is a popular speaker on immigration law at industry conferences and events. Nevertheless, like many in our industry, Jason did not start out to become a global immigration professional.
Jason: “I didn’t take any courses on immigration in law school. I was interested in family law and constitutional and civil rights issues. I never considered immigration law as a career path.”
His introduction to immigration law came later. After graduation from Seton Hall University Law School, a clerkship for a state judge in New Jersey, and a first associate position with a small law firm – he found himself working for a Big Four accounting firm. While there, he was asked to head an HR compliance team that was taking their own employees’ extensive global immigration needs in-house.
Jason: “I knew very little about immigration when I started, but it was a promotion and a chance to build my own team. I took it. When I started, I was doing a lot of the casework myself… so I learned quickly, but never imagined it would become a lifetime career.”
Before leaving for another opportunity with a major labor and immigration law firm three years later, Jason had built his fledgling immigration department to a team of more than 20, handling both business travel and corporate immigration for the firm’s employees. Now almost 15 years later – Jason is Senior Counsel for Global Immigration and a Vice President at Newland Chase.
Kent:“I’m always interested in learning how individuals at the top of their professions maintain some sense of balance in their lives. I know as Senior Counsel that you have both your own client consultation work as well as leading our Counsel and Advisory Services teams which involves a lot of travel, meetings, speaking, etc. Your schedule is obviously packed. How do you unwind from all that?”
Jason: “I enjoy running. There’s a great trail near my home in Dallas, so I run and jam country tunes occasionally singing badly off-key.”
Kent: “As an off-and-on runner myself, I know some runners prefer the solitude and others enjoy the competitive and social aspects. Do you have a preference?”
Jason: “I enjoy both. I enjoy just being out on the trail alone, but also will do some local races and occasionally run with another runner, especially if they challenge me a bit.”
Kent: “Anything else?”
Jason: “I also enjoy travel – both in conjunction with work and recreationally. I grew up in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. We could get like two TV stations and two radio stations on the antennae, so I guess I’ve always enjoyed experiencing new places, new experiences, new foods.”
Kent: “What particular country’s cuisine have you tried that surprised you? Any I should add to my list to try?”
Jason: “Ethiopia. There’s just such variety, and the breads are amazing.”
Kent: “If, maybe down the road, you decided to slow down a bit, and you were no longer a busy lawyer and executive, any thoughts on what you might do?”
Jason: “I’d probably do something like own a B&B (bed and breakfast). I would love just hosting and getting to know people and sharing stories but the only thing that would stand in my way would be – I can’t cook. I enjoy eating, but hate cooking.”
Kent: “You could always hire that out. Maybe bring in chefs from different countries on H-2B visas.”
Register now for Newland Chase’s Global Town Hall: Mid-2019 Business Immigration Insiders Report – presented live Wednesday, June 26 at 12:00 pm ET.
Attendees will get an insider’s view and have the opportunity to get answers to their pressing global visa and immigration questions in real time.
All those registered will also receive a complimentary recording emailed to them after the live session.
Newland Chase, a wholly owned subsidiary of CIBT, is the leading global provider of immigration and visa services for corporations and individuals with over 1,700 expert immigration and visa professionals, attorneys and qualified migration consultants located in over 60 offices in 25 countries.
With thirty years of experience, CIBT is the primary service provider to 75% of Fortune 500 companies. CIBT offers a comprehensive suite of services under two primary brands: Newland Chase, focused on global immigration strategy and advisory services for corporations worldwide and CIBTvisas, the market leader for business and other travel visa services for corporate and individual clients.