How to Create a Successful Relocation Package for your TN Candidate

Even in the best of circumstances, moving towns or to a different state proves costly. However, TN professionals who plan to relocate to a new country for work face even greater challenges, expenses, and uncertainty.
Employers who want to make their position even more attractive to a skilled professional should consider offering a relocation package for their TN candidate. A foreign work employment agency, like AW Labor Solutions, can help you find the perfect candidate for the position, and you can further strengthen the offer by providing relocation assistance.
What is a TN Relocation Package?
An employer will often offer a relocation package to assist an employee in relocating for work. With a generous relocation package, an employer can more effectively source the best candidate for their available position from Canada or Mexico. The ability of this type of benefit to attract foreign professionals automatically increases the talent pool that a business can choose from.
A TN visa candidate has to consider the financial aspects of accepting an offer of employment by an American business. Not to mention there is an emotional cost to moving to a new country and changing their life so drastically.
An employer should help ease the transition stress of the employee by offering as much support as possible within the relocation package. Creating a positive experience helps foster the company’s culture and spur greater employee engagement.
In the United States, employers who are seeking professionals from 50 miles or more away commonly offer a relocation package to cover the employee’s work related and moving expenses. The relocation package provides the employee with peace of mind when deciding whether to accept the job offer and relocate to the U.S. for work.
Relocation Costs
With a relocation package, you’ll need to decide what benefits you plan to include to attract the talent you desire for your organization. As an employer, you’ll want to create an outline of what costs you will cover and define those items, such as moving expenses.
Commonly covered relocation expenses include:
  • Moving expenses
  • Packing/unpacking
  • Storage
  • Transportation
  • Automobile shipment 
  • Short term lodging 
  • House hunting 
  • Miscellaneous costs which may include licensing fees, cleaning services, housing expenses such as rent and deposits, and school tuition.
Relocation assistance helps the TN visa holder relocate to the U.S., easing the financial strain so that they can quickly get started in their new position. For many of these candidates, it often is an integral part of the decision about whether or not to take the position and come to America.
The most competitive relocation programs attract and retain the best talent. The packages should always align with the employer’s objectives and goals. To accomplish this, some organizations designate a relocation manager to oversee the company’s relocation packages. A TN visa management consultant can prove highly beneficial to the process.
TN Visa and Relocation
The TN visa program allows professionals who work in one of 60 professions to enter the United States on a temporary nonimmigrant visa. To obtain the TN visa, the foreign professional must have a job offer from a U.S. employer.
A relocation package coupled with the job offer makes the opportunity exceptionally appealing for any professional who wishes to move temporarily to the U.S. to expand their career opportunities. Each year they must renew the visa to continue living and working in the country.
Professionals whose careers are listed on NAFTA’s list must also meet the following requirements to qualify for a TN visa:
  • Canadian or Mexican citizen
  • Prearranged job offers for a full time or part time position with a U.S. employer or a U.S. entity 
  • Show qualification to practice the profession such as the educational requirements like a bachelor’s or master’s degree
Things to Consider When Creating A Standard Relocation Package
Relocation packages can run the gamut with no two being completely alike. Every employer wants to bring their a-game in the hopes of capturing the best talent for their organization. Meaning that each employer should want to outdo the competition.
To provide some context, below are examples of relocation package:
Pack and Unpack Services
With a pack and unpack service, the employer pays to have the TN visa holder’s household goods packed and moved to the employees’ new home. A reputable moving company then unpacks the relocated household goods so the employee can settle in quickly.
Moving Company Services and Insurance
The employer should insure all goods during the move while covering the associated charges of a moving company for their services. In most cases, moving charges are calculated based on weight. The insurance coverage will cover any lost or damaged goods.
Lease Breaking Assistance
If the TN visa applicant has a lease in their home country, then an employer might opt to supply lease breaking assistance such as contractual penalties that occur during an early lease termination.
House Hunting Assistance
Most standard relocation programs cover assistance during the process of finding a new home, such as the expenses of transportation, meals, lodging, and childcare. The expenses help cover the costs the TN professional incurs hunting for a rental home in the U.S. Many employers will cover 30 days of temporary housing assistance.
Even the most basic relocation package will typically include reimbursement for transportation of the new employee and family to the company’s U.S. location. The employee is usually given the possibility of traveling by car and then a reimbursement for mileage is provided. If the move requires a plane trip, then the package will cover the cost of the airline tickets and any transfer expenses for the TN visa holder’s vehicle into the U.S.
Miscellaneous Expenses
As noted above, miscellaneous expenses include a lot of low-cost items that can quickly add up in expenses.Utility hookups, rental fees, storage costs, childcare, and other expenses fall under this category.
Staying Ahead of the Competition
A typical relocation package might include all or only a portion of the above listed criteria. But, most organizations regularly compare their packages to the competition to stay ahead. A location policy that is deficient might fail to attract the best professionals.
With a nationwide labor shortage and many employers seeking experienced professionals from Canada and Mexico it is imperative that your company’s relocation package stands out.
A highly skilled TN professional can typically expect to secure the most comprehensive and inclusive job relocation packages. Employers often compete for the best candidates, so tend to offer the most generous perks to experienced applicants. The hiring process often becomes a back and forth with the applicant presenting a list of ‘must-haves’ and the employer counter-offering until an agreement is reached.
Because all benefit structures and key policies will vary between companies, TN employees who negotiate relocation package terms will seek to understand exactly what is included in the deals so they can pick the packages which best meets their particular needs. An employer should listen closely to the professional to pick up on any needed inclusions which can make or break a deal if they are overlooked.
Relocation Package Tiers
As an employer, when determining what to include in a relocation package, you’ll need to think about the value that the TN visa professional will bring to the company. The TN visa is a nonimmigrant visa, but it can be renewed each year. Because of this, you might want to consider providing a tiered relocation package that you determine based on the professional’s position within your company and the skills they bring to the table.
Administrations Relocation Packages
After determining the relocation package, it’s time to think about administration options.
Fully Covered Relocation Package
With a fully covered relocation package you will outline the guidelines of exactly what you’ll cover such as household goods shipment, storage, short term housing and more. You can then book the services for your TN professional.
Another option is to have the TN visa holder take care of booking their own relocation services and then submit the receipts for the services directly to you for reimbursement. You might want to go over the options with the candidate because they might lack the funds to cover the expenses and wait for reimbursement.
Remember, if you agree to pay for the full costs of relocation expenses then the expense might prove unpredictable and hard to control. You might end up with a steeper bill then you expected so always plan to pay more than you have allotted.
Cash Relocation Packages
There are several options for cash relocation packages. You can provide the TN professional with a specific amount of money upfront as a sign on bonus, or add the money to their first paycheck. The employee can then opt to use the cash to help cover their moving expenses or other bills.
Providing cash to the candidate offers greater flexibility but it also means that the visa holder must make all of the plans concerning their relocation, budget expenses, and cover the costs. They may have to cover any financial differences if the cash relocation package falls short of the actual expenses involved in the relocation.
Capped Allowance
It is not uncommon for a company to put a cap on the amount of expenses they are willing to cover for relocation. If you provide a $10,000 relocation allowance and the employee does not spend the full $10,000 on moving expenses, then the remainder goes back to the company. Also, if the TN professional should end up spending more than the provided $10,000 then they are responsible for the additional expenses.
Personal Financial Support
When a TN visa professional decides to relocate to accept your job offer then you may consider providing personal support to help them make the transition easier. Ideally, you want your new employee to feel happy and comfortable with the entire relocation process to inspire loyalty.
Here are a few ways that you, as an employer, can provide personal financial support in addition to a relocation package. These added perks of personal support might end up being the deciding factor on whether the professional candidate accepts your job offer or decides to stay in their home country.
School Location Assistance
Parents relocating to a new country are under a great deal of stress. They are probably worried about the school system and how their children will adjust to life in a new country. Providing school location assistance is a highly valuable courtesy that TN visa professionals with children appreciate. Offering to help find the best schools in the area for the employee and their family can quickly alleviate stress for the whole family.
Integration Aid
Adults often struggle to start over in a new city where they have no friends or family. This is made even harder when the candidate is relocating to a new country. They face cultural barriers and other stumbling blocks that make adapting difficult. Providing employer integration aid programs to help the new employee learn the area, discover activities, and participate in social gatherings can help form a solid foundation for a new life in the U.S.
Negotiating Relocation Packages
It’s not uncommon for a prospective employee to want to work with you to negotiate the details of the relocation package. You’ll want to have a sit down with the candidate to discuss their requests and better understand what they want and need. TN visa professionals often have a variety of concerns because they are moving to a new country, so you’ll want to address these items and decide if their requests are reasonable.
Investing in a winning team of professional talent is one of the best ways for any organization to succeed. With a shortage of skilled professionals for many professions in the United States, tapping into the professional candidate pool in Canada and Mexico is a gold mine for obtaining talent to add to your company. If you have to negotiate to get the foreign professional you want then don’t hesitate to consider their standing, make a counteroffer, meet them in the middle, or willingly accept their requests.
Competition for exceptional talent has never been greater and companies are scrambling to bring on the best of the best. A competitive relocation package might prove the deciding factor for many candidates. It will definitely set the tone for your organization by letting the candidate know just how much you value your employees.
Challenges of International Relocation Packages
Professionals entering the United States on a TN visa face challenges with acclimatization and it is important for an employer to strive to understand.
As an employer, you’ll need to consider the many aspects of an international relocation.
  • Complex Logistics: Will the TN visa holder require flights? Will they have to adhere to a tax policy from their country of origin? International relocation for a TN candidate requires more complex logistics and considerations than hiring U.S. talent. A TN visa allows the candidate to stay in the U.S. for one year and then they must apply for an extension. Will the position last only a year or longer?  

  • Acclimatization Assistance:  It’s hard for foreign nationals to adjust to a new country and it’s going to take time. An employer should remember that the relocation of an international candidate does have a high risk of failure, which might cost the company a considerable amount of money.
Ensuring that your organization has a policy in place to help support the TN visa candidate can help safeguard success and lower the risk of failure. You’ll need to supply guidance during the relocation to help guarantee the success of the visa holder.
Managing a Relocation Package
Employers can take a variety of approaches when creating a relocation package. Often there are hidden costs involved in the relocation that you’ll need to factor in when drafting the package. Your goal when hiring a TN professional should focus on ensuring that the relocation goes smoothly for everyone involved.
To recap, every relocation package should cover some degree of moving costs. Your organization can offer to pay for the fees upfront or provide some form of reimbursement.
Flexible Start Date
Most new hires also appreciate a flexible start date, especially when dealing with the intricacies of a TN visa and relocation. In most circumstances, an employee will start work about two weeks after accepting the position. However, a TN visa holder might require additional time. When drafting the relocation package, always ask the new hire how much time they require before they start work. Working with the new hire on this from the outset, will start the relationship out on a solid ground and help pave the way for future success.
Visit the Region
A TN visa applicant might want to visit the city or region where they will work. It is not uncommon for a company to provide a free visit for the prospective employee and their spouse to the area so they can decide if relocation is feasible. It also gives them the opportunity to possibly identify a residence, schools, and more to help the transition and spring-start the TN visa professional’s move to the U.S.
Temporary Housing
Some companies supply temporary housing as part of the relocation process. Housing sharing programs, such as those offered by Airbnb, are a favorite choice instead of springing for a hotel. Providing at least one or two months of temporary housing will assist the new hire adjust to the region, house-hunt, and start their new position. Some companies even provide utility assistance along with temporary housing aid.
Familiar Support
The TN professional might have a spouse and children. Offering childcare and school as part of the relocation process helps everyone settle in.
Pay Adjustments
The cost of living in the United States varies from state to state and city to city. Also, the cost of living in the U.S. is often considerably higher than parts of Mexico and Canada. Providing commensurate pay adjustments coupled with a generous relocation bonus has become a common practice when hiring a TN professional.
Consider a Payback Clause
You should always protect your organization by adding a payback clause in any reimbursement package. The clause should state that if the TN visa professional decides to return to their country before a set period of employment, then they must repay all of the relocation costs incurred by the employer.

Frequently Asked Questions about Relocation Packages

How Common are Relocation Packages?
Years ago, relocation aid was provided only to high level employees or those with exceptionally specialized skills. However, nowadays with an educated workforce, the competition for exceptional talent has become strong. Organizations that want to retain the best talent have started to offer lucrative relocation packages.
Are Relocation Packages Taxable?
Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, employer supplied relocation packages were not classified as taxable income. In fact, employers were allowed to deduct all relocation expenses they incurred when relocating employees. Now, the laws have changed, and employers can no longer claim relocation packages as tax deductible. Also, employees have to pay taxes on all of their relocation benefits.
When relocating foreign visa holders, the employees will need to think about tax implications in their own countries. If you have concerns about taxes involved in relocating a TN visa holder, then you should work with a foreign worker agency, such as AW Labor Solutions, to discuss the laws and regulations involved in the process and help streamline the relocation.
Why Do Employees Relocate?
  • A recent survey carried out by DSJ Global found that 69% of employees relocated for career development.
  • A study carried out by Urban Bound found that 71% of millennials revealed a willingness to work in a foreign country at some point during their careers.
Offering a strong relocation package automatically appeals to the right candidates who are seeking a position to meet their career goals
Relocation packages have become an effective tool that resonates with skilled millennial professionals who want to take their careers to the next level while exploring the exciting opportunity to live in the United States.
A TN visa fits both the needs of U.S. employers seeking experienced professionals but also career driven job seekers looking for new challenges and greater opportunities.
An employee relocation package helps ensure that you spring ahead of the competition and secure the best professionals to fill your organization’s position. Working with a foreign worker employment agency, such as AW Labor Solutions, lets you tap into the pool of skilled foreign professionals who are seeking to expand their careers and relocate to the US.
Contact AW Labor Solutions to discover how our skilled team can help you secure a skilled TN professional for your organization’s position.


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