This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
| 6 minutes read

ICYMI: What's affecting your mobility program right now?

A high quality, "world-class" global mobility program integrates HR, tax, travel, payroll, finance, immigration, and accounting considerations. You also need to stay aware of what is happening around the world and advising stakeholders and relocating employees about how to respond. With duty of care also a high priority, it is important to determine how to ensure those participating in global mobility programs are being effectively informed and supported as they travel, live, and relocate to locations all over the world!

Since the start of the pandemic, we've published a bi-weekly post to collect and provide relevant information that might have an impact on corporate global mobility programs. This next ICYMI installment aims to arm you with global knowledge of what might be impactful to your program. 

 After reading the locational updates below, head over to this poll and let us know what's impacting your program right nowSelect the biggest problem that you are working to solve and what you're focused on to address it. 

Now on with the updates! In case you missed it: 

  1. China: As pandemic restrictions are lifted, many believe that China is moving away from their previous strict zero-Covid approach, but are also noting there seems to be confusion and chaos. According to CBS News, two full days after the government announced it was relaxing the years-old zero-Covid policy, Beijing's streets were as quiet Friday as they were during the darkest days of mass lockdowns, with people concerned about an "exit wave" of infections. Part of the challenge for the ruling Communist Party is that fewer than 1 percent of people in China have had Covid through November. Airfinity, a British health data analytics firm, predicts that lifting the zero-Covid measures could result in between 167 million and 279 million new cases, and between 1.3 million and 2.1 million deaths over the next 83 days alone. Bloomberg reports that China’s hospitals are struggling to deal with the current surge in Covid cases, and outbound travel inquiries are also spiking.
  2. India: Mumbai is in the midst of a major measles outbreak. Cases have been seen in many places around the world, but India's situation is the most concerning. The outbreaks appear largely due to delayed childhood inoculation campaigns caused by Covid lockdowns. Almost 40 million kids across the world missed a measles shot last year, according to a report published last month by the WHO and the U.S. CDC.
  3. Australia: Our friends at Newland Chase note that Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has issued updates on the terms and conditions for a number of different types of visas, including work, student, and temporary stay visas. For working holiday visa holders, the temporary relaxation of conditions 8547 (limiting holders to working for up to 6 months for any one employer) for Subclass 417 and 462 visa holders will end on December 31st. Immigration has confirmed that all visa holders will reset their 6-month period as of January 1st, regardless of how long they have already worked with their current employer.
  4. United Kingdom: The UK is looking at numerous strikes (per Sky News) that are scheduled and could disrupt travel and life while living in or visiting the UK. There are a wave of strikes this winter, and at least one walkout a day before Christmas from a wide variety of industries. Teachers, postal workers, rail and bus strikes, NHS (health) workers, and border force staff are demanding better working conditions and pay increases to keep up with rising prices. For a very in depth look at the situation, try this from the BBC. According to research from the Institute for Management Development (IMD)’s World Competitiveness Center, the cost of living crisis and Brexit have made the UK less attractive to international talent.
  5. Croatia: While Croatia has been part of the EU since 2013, according to Euronews, starting January 1, 2023, the country will be joining the Schengen zone. While the Council approved Croatia, it rejected Romania and Bulgaria which were denied membership. Croatia received unanimous support from the 26 Schengen member states. Croatia will also start using the euro in January 2023. Starting March 26th, border checks at domestic air border points will be lifted. The Schengen visa allows travelers to stay for tourism or business in 26 European countries for up to 90 days in a 180 day period. 
  6. Denmark: Per our friends at BAL, Danish authorities made temporary work permits available to those using the fast track scheme, helping foreign nationals begin working more quickly after arriving in Denmark. The quick job start policy is available to foreign nationals until the end of January 2023, after which authorities will decide if the policy will be extended.
  7. Spain: Spain is proposing a new Startup Act, which will include a Digital Nomad visa for remote international workers. It is expected to go into effect in January 2023. Applicants must also meet the minimum income criteria, estimated between €1,000 to €3,000. Currently, living and working in Spain requires finding a job in Spain. Working remotely in Spain is not allowed when entering visa-free or even with the Spain Schengen Visa, schengenvisainfo reports.
  8. Ireland: We discussed the rental situation in Ireland in a past post, and Dwellworks has reported that the housing market remains competitive for multiple reasons. First, over 62,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland, impacting short-term and long-term rental markets. Agents and property managers continue to see same-day "listings and lettings" in the Docklands area. Because of multiple applications and competitive tenants, Dublin’s vacancy rate continues to hover in the 2% range. Expect the shortage of rental options to continue well into 2023, and expect rents to increase further due to high demand. 
  9. Luxembourg: Very recently, the government passed a series of laws amending land taxes, vacant housing taxation, and housing registration laws. While there may be hope that the housing crisis in Luxembourg is changing direction due to this landmark housing reform, for now Dwellworks shares that there is an unprecedented shortage of properties. Expat expectations should be properly set and, expats will need direct support to find and negotiate housing. Mobility programs will need to re-evaluate budgets due to consumer and housing inflation.
  10. Germany: A little more insight from Dwellworks—German employers have been moving large numbers of expats into key German markets since the spring. This consistently high volume has significantly impacted the availability of housing and the service support process overall.  Temporary housing stays in large city markets are currently 90-120 days on average, as sourcing and securing permanent housing continues to take more time. Rental housing in general is in short supply, with vacancies below 1% in Berlin, Munich, and other major cities. 
  11. United States: Lots of updates here. First, Manhattan’s median November rent was $4,033. The average rent, skewed by luxury sales, hit $5,249—up 19% YoY. Second, the U.S. Congress has less than a week to pass a funding bill and avoid a government shutdown. Current government funding expires on December 16, and lawmakers are expected to extend the deadline to December 23. Next, USCIS has announced a USCIS Policy Manual update, effective December 12, 2022, that will allow the agency to automatically extend the validity of Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) for lawful permanent residents who have applied for naturalization. Also, the dates for the launch of the 2023 H-1B visa application process in the US are expected to be announced in January 2023. Then, per Axios, check out the U.S. cities where immigrants are moving and thriving. Lastly, a large winter storm slammed the western U.S. this past weekend and is now set to cross the nation with blizzard conditions, strong tornados, and flooding!
  12. Canada: As the "foreign buyers ban" gets closer to kicking in (Jan 1, 2023) we are awaiting the resolutions which will provide greater clarity and details on who will no longer be able to purchase residential properties in Canada over the 2 year moratorium. We will update you as soon as information is published. Erickson Immigration and their Immigration Week in Review notes that the government of Canada is extending work permits to family members of temporary foreign workers to help address labor shortages. The temporary two-year measure will go into effect in January 2023. Canada will expand eligibility to work in Canada to spouses and working-age children through a phased approach for workers at all skill levels.

That's what we know for now, but we also want to hear from you! Head over to our quick poll and let us know how your program is being impacted

Welcome to Mobility Minute, a newsletter published every Friday by Worldwide ERC® for the benefit of members and the global mobility and relocation industry. Here’s a quick glimpse of what you’ll find in this week’s issue: Europe’s Energy Crisis Might Impact Mobility Volume and Costs What You Need to Know About the DOL Contractor Rule G20 Leaders Discuss Issues Impacting Mobility Note: If you receive Mobility Minute weekly, please forward this issue to colleagues in the workforce mobility industry. If this was shared with you, click here to subscribe and gain access to the archives.


icymi, duty of care, schengen, united kingdom, strikes, croatia, china, zero-covid, exit wave, infections, airfinity, ireland, dwellworks, rents, luxembourg, germany, united states, canada, india, measles, real estate, foreigners, immigration, spain, denmark, australia