I have recently been reading about the future of global mobility and how relocation and transfer policies can be used in new ways to support strategic business efforts, controlling expenditure, optimally using specialized skill sets in a global marketplace and developing leadership. Keys to moving forward into the new age of global talent management include well defined business strategies, high end leadership support, knowing your employee population, and access to and knowledge of mobility metrics such as who is traveling, where and when are they traveling, what is the total program expenditure, etc. This all requires careful planning and the coordination of various stakeholders. Not an easy task and a big accomplishment when it is done well. However, when mobility intersects with immigration, the business loses control of the process and becomes subject to the political machine that can often be unpredictable and time consuming even when HR has done everything right. It’s disheartening to see all that work, planning and the expectations of the business and the individual evaporate in the spotlight of bureaucracy. This situation gives rise to social tension between outward expansion of business and governments protectionist perspectives given global security and unemployment concerns. The question is how do we manage challenging government requirements and still maintain the integrity of hard won business strategies. Immigration concerns need to be central to the mobility strategy and not be considered only after the international assignment has been finalized. Businesses and immigration service providers need to partner in the assignment planning process to ensure governmental requirements can be strategically met. Business and service providers can also work together to establish processes that can pull business information required by the government accurately and efficiently. This requires a robust centralized immigration system with stakeholder commitment to keeping data up to date. Service providers also need to be flexible and creative within the confines of the immigration programs. There needs to be a keen focus on the business objectives while creatively navigating the gauntlet of governmental requirements.