Expatriation Extinction? Not Really…

With the proliferation of home office and distance working following the coronavirus pandemic of 2019 and 2020, it was believed that employee expatriation could completely disappear. Surely, expatriation has reduced as a result of these more accepted and practical ways of working, but in certain circumstances, expatriation will continue to make sense for both the employer / sponsor company and the employee.


Indeed, organizations would probably opt for expatriation of human resources when these can make a difference abroad and when their presence is essential and irreplaceable. In situations where skills and knowledge transfer cannot be accomplished through virtual channels, expatriation will be the clear solution. The same will happen when human touch or personal interaction are necessary to obtain profitable results than otherwise will not be possible. Tasks that require a presential approach and that cannot be performed by local employees, will also demand the importation of foreign employees that possess the capabilities to fill that void.


Although some employees will always prefer to stay in their local markets or benefit from home office and virtual work, others will still be attracted by the idea of emigrating and having and international career. They will sign expatriate contracts that will not only allow them to gain professional experience abroad, possibly earn a higher salary, but also take advantage of other perks that come with this type of assignments. Expats will continue to be enticed by exposure to other countries and cultures, (potentially) better quality of life, improved opportunities for their families, language learning and diverse personal gains that result from an international journey.


The truth is that expatriation, local and online assignments, as well as a mixed of these, will most likely coexist in the labor market in the years to come.

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