The increasing prevalence of dual career couples is a significant trend in the global mobility industry. Dual career couples present unique opportunities for companies sending employees on global assignment; however, this can be challenging, particularly because immigration legislation does not always support work permission for an accompanying spouse or partner.
A survey done by Permits Foundation found that 58 percent of employees were unlikely to relocate to a country where it is difficult for a spouse or partner get a work permit.
Effecting positive change in immigration law and policy to support dual career mobile employees, both those on assignment and also those locally hired, is the mission of the Permits Foundation – and Newland Chase is proud to be involved, as one of its global corporate sponsors. Since its foundation in 2001, the non-profit Permits Foundation has been influencing change throughout the world, with notable success in the European Union, as well as in the USA, Asia, and Latin America. Thirty-five countries now allow accompanying spouses or partners to work. The Permits Foundation promotes best practice and legislative improvements in all these countries, as well as projects in new countries via its global campaign.
For employees with partners accompanying them on international assignments, the importance of the issue is clear. It is usually a significant sacrifice for one partner to put their career on hold while the other is on assignment; this sacrifice takes a toll on family life. For employers, the issue is just as critical; since it often directly impacts both whether an employee accepts an international assignment as well as whether that assignment is ultimately successful or not.
Countries whose visa and immigration laws fail to accommodate dual career couples can present a major obstacle for companies in successfully recruiting and retaining top talent. A survey done by Permits Foundation found that 58 percent of employees were unlikely to relocate to a country where it is difficult for a spouse or partner get a work permit.
“Newland Chase is absolutely delighted to be a new sponsor of the Permits Foundation in 2020. I have personally admired the work they do for many years and am excited that we can partner with them globally to further their very laudable objectives.”
Sophy King - SVP, Global Immigration, Newland Chase
Permits Foundation advocates as best practice an ‘open’ work permit or authorization for legally resident partners. This gives them immediate access to the employment market for the same duration as the main work permit holder, once they have obtained their accompanying family member residence status. They can then apply for jobs freely, and take temporary project work or part-time work, without the uncertainty and time-consuming bureaucracy of a separate work permit application. It also reduces bureaucracy for the authorities and helps employers fill urgent and temporary vacancies.
According to the Permits Foundation website, immigration laws that allow partners to work attract highly skilled mobile employees associated with international business, investment and development; creating a ‘triple win’ for host countries, employers and families alike.
Due in part to its efforts to advocate for this view, the Permits Foundation now sees a growing trend of countries recognizing family needs in immigration laws – including the recognition of unmarried and same-sex partners, as well as allowing children of working age to work.
While it has achieved much success, more can be done to support progressive pro-family change in immigration law and policy throughout the world. The Permits Foundation continues to set up local sponsor networks and steering committees in new countries where such change is needed. Individuals and organizations interested in supporting this mission can learn more about getting involved here.
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 70 offices in 25 countries – providing immigration and business travel support to and from more than 190 countries around the world.