So, your company has chosen to offer Destination Services. This is an excellent addition to your relocation program. It will create an excellent customer service/onboarding experience, take the workload off of HR and create more productive employees.
When to order destination services?
But when should you order the destination service for that assignee or recruit?
The answer is as early as possible. It doesn’t hurt to start when the immigration process starts — if you believe the immigration process will be relatively quick (i.e. less than two months).
You may think this is early because you don’t know if immigration has been successful. Most immigration lawyers, when they start on an application, start it because they know it is going to be successful. So, if a consular application has gone in, you can be confident that the work permit will be granted (in most cases). Port of entry applications are even faster, so you may want to start destination services simultaneously as immigration services if you have a Port of Entry application.
Why this early?
There are many tasks that an assignee or recruit has to take care of before they leave their origin country.
If they are a driver, they need documents specific to their origin and which are easier to get while still at origin to have a seamless experience getting a Provincial Driver’s License and Driver Insurance in Canada. What has to be obtained, in preparation, varies from state to state in the U.S. and from country to country.
From outside North America, the employee may need authenticated documents and certified translations. In some cases, we’ve had individuals who have had the horrible circumstance of needing to return to origin to get the correct documents. Since Covid, this has been very problematic with travel restrictions, testing requirements and, in some cases, quarantine or isolation.
If they have children to enroll in school, they need to bring medical and inoculation records and may need report cards and samples of school work depending on what type of schooling they want for the child at the destination.
Travelling from the U.S.
If they are importing a car from the U.S., they need documents, again specific to their origin and again which are much easier to get while still at origin, to first export their car from the U.S., then import it to Canada and get plates and registration in the destination province. Also, incorrectly bringing the vehicle into Canada can result in paying unnecessary duties and taxes and has long-term consequences if they attempt to dispose of the car in Canada.
The Customer Service Experience
Initiating files in advance sets them up for a better customer experience and provides informational support with enough time to educate them to help them organize and prepare for their arrival.
They are not left to their own devices to “figure out” what they need to do to come to Canada. If we’ve received the authorization just before they arrive or after they arrive, they will have spent a lot of time doing their research, which can be fraught with misleading, misinterpreted, or incomplete information.
Knowing they have a resource right out of the gate means our consultants can cut through to what they specifically need to know for their situation. They don’t waste time trying to figure it out themselves. It allows us to address their concerns and questions right away and build trust in the relationship.
Relocation professionals get very concerned if they learn that assignees or recruits have started home searches on their own. How much time did they waste doing it themselves? Did they end up looking in areas we would have steered them away from? Was the Landlord ethical and transparent? Did the Landlord comply fully with provincial landlord-tenant regulations? Is there anything in the lease that shouldn’t be there?
So… let’s get going and help some great people!
You have decided to offer destination services to your assignees or recruits. Now you know to start that destination service early in the process for the best protection of your employee and the best possible service. So, let’s get going!