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Accidental Expatriates: Potential Global Mobility Hazard

February 17, 2011

By Erika Collins and John Hamlin

A significant issue facing global corporations is the potential for liability created by "accidental expatriates" -- employees who travel overseas on what are intended to be brief business trips or short assignments. They are usually not included in their organization's global mobility expatriate programs, and whose time overseas is extended long enough or cumulates over time to bring about potential violations of host country immigration, tax and Social Security laws. Recently, the instances of accidental expatriates are on the rise. There are several reasons for the increase in these types of employees.