What makes Business Travel Compliance essential?

This article is written by Peter Graham, Group Director of Visa and Immigration Services, Santa Fe Relocation

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A digital version of the full Report is available. Click here to downloadFor centuries, boundary lines have been used to identify a particular geographic area, city, state, province, or country.These borders not only represent jurisdiction over the area and all things in it, but they symbolise a transition from one set of laws, regulations, traditions, culture, norms, and even time zones to another. Sometimes these transitions are starkly different, and other times they are unnoticeable. But every time a businessperson crosses one of these lines there can be implications for them and their employer which they may or may not know about.

Failure to properly address the risks associated with business travel can have far reaching consequences, both finanical and non-financial

It is increasingly important to conduct the compliance checks for immigration, social security and COVID-19 in advance of travel to avoid issues for your business travellers on arrival in the destination country. We set out the key penalties and mitigations for each of these areas.This short paper shows that it is not a case of whether proper business travel compliance solutions and policies are necessary, instead we ask...

Is it affordable not to take any action until a problem arises?

Considering how unpredictable the nature of business travel can be, often spontaneous and based on need, organisations find it challenging to manage varying levels of exposures brought on by immigration, tax, and social security compliance requirements. COVID-19 has added another layer of complexity to the challenge of mobilising your business travellers.While doing nothing may seem like the easiest path to take, it may no longer be acceptable, due to the association of immigration, social security, COVID-19 and tax risks there are many connected implications.In fact, it will be far more cost effective to ensure a proper business travel compliance solution is put in place and at the same time allow organisations to provide a greater level of safety and security to their business travellers.We provide strong business reasons below to mitigate the ‘tangible’ compliance risks associated with Cross Border Business Travel.Other ‘invisible’ but very tangible consequences of non-compliance that apply to all the areas of immigration,
  • Brand reputation damaged.
  • Duty of care failures.
  • Embarrassment in front of clients if your staff are removed from their premises by the authorities.
  • Reduced productivity of workforce owing to delays and quarantines.
  • Delays caused to in-house and client projects or programmes.
  • Damage to government relationships.

Making the business case for compliance



Increased emphasis has been placed on immigration compliance by initiatives to protect national workforces, along with increased border security, due to the current geopolitical climate.

Penalties and risks

  • Refusal of entry for not having the correct visa.
  • Fines for entry without the correct visa.
  • Ban of future entry for individual and other travellers from the organisation.
  • Arrest and detention/removal from the country for overstaying.
  • •Watch listing of organisation or individual causing visa/entry problems for future travellers from the organisation.


  • Review travel activity before it takes place to prevent non-compliance with immigration law.
  • Track visa expiry dates and ensure those travellers have returned when they should.
  • Consider introducing business travel

About the author: Peter Graham, Group Director of Visa and Immigration Services, Santa Fe Relocation. Peter joined Santa Fe in 2017 and is a recognised thought leader and regular speaker on Border and Immigration matters and spent 17 years at the UK Home Office working in both national and international immigration policy and strategy and 10 years in the private sector working with IBM’s Global Border and Immigration business, prior to joining Santa Fe Relocation.

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