Mobility and Visa Issues

The BCCT Global Mobility Working Group includes a wide array of companies and organizations whose businesses rely extensively on the ability of innovators, customers, entrepreneurs, highly-skilled workers and others to travel temporarily across the Atlantic and around the world.

The TTIP should include binding commitments to promote transatlantic mobility, which will serve as a catalyst for collaboration, innovation and economic growth.

Why Global Mobility Matters

American innovation and economic success depend on the ability to collaborate effectively across borders and to access the world’s best workers, researchers, innovators and visitors. Temporary business travel and the corresponding ability to recognize and utilize the skills and knowledge of those foreign professionals are critical though often overlooked factors in that collaboration and in the success of the American economy. Maximizing a transatlantic innovation edge requires efficiently transporting and relocating talent in a world characterized by just-in-time global supply chains and immediate customer and supplier demands.

Many American and European companies utilize business-related visas to facilitate entry of suppliers, customers, foreign employees, business partners, prospective investors, and conference and trade show participants. When business visitors travel between the United States and Europe to buy products or participate in conferences, training, and trade shows, they strengthen the role of both partners as centers of innovation and global commerce.

Objectives for the TTIP Negotiations

The United States and European Union have an opportunity to improve the ability of business professionals to travel temporarily for business purposes, which will enhance innovation, economic growth and integration, encourage international travel, and improve the reputation of both trading partners as destinations for training, meetings and business development. This agreement should enhance the ability of businesses to deploy talent seamlessly on short notice and facilitate the entry of individuals to innovate, design, build, conduct business, work on temporary assignments, service contracts, perform repairs, and collaborate with colleagues, including by:

  • Improving the ability of business visitors to travel between the United States and Europe, including for purposes related to: providing after-sales service; participating in commercial transactions, negotiations and litigation; participating in scientific, educational, professional or business conferences, consultations or conventions, including attending a meeting of a board of directors and voluntary service programs; exhibiting at an international fair or trade show; engaging in research or design; engaging in marketing, market research, sales, or distribution; engaging in a short-term educational program; or providing professional or business services, including financial, legal, consulting, business, public relations, tourism and translation services.
  • Facilitating and removing obstacles to the temporary entry and assignment of intra-company transferees; professionals with specialized knowledge or advanced degrees; and traders and investors.
  • Expediting visa processing and entry for business professionals and frequent travelers, including by creating and harmonizing electronic document submission options for the United States and EU; and developing a transatlantic trusted-traveler and border-processing program.
  • Improving the ability of foreign professionals to utilize their skills and education through enhanced transatlantic cooperation on licensing and recognition of credentials.

For more information about this working group, please contact:

Garrett Workman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Jake Colvin, National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)