Global Mobility Glossary

Over 165 employee relocation and assignment management terms contained in one global mobility glossary!

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Access (Property Access)

Access (a.k.a. property access) is the ease of accessibility to the subject property for the household goods shipment. This includes factors such as parking for the removals vehicle, distance to the front door, availability of elevators/lifts, and more. If there is not sufficient property access, additional services and charges may apply such as a shuttle between the main truck and property, long carry charges, stair carry charges, an external elevator, and more. 

Air Shipment (Air Freight)

An air shipment (air freight) is the transportation of a household goods shipment by aircraft. Due to the relatively high cost compared to other modes of transportation, air shipments are typically only offered for international relocations. In lieu of an air shipment, employers may offer excess baggage on the employee’s final move trip or a cash out allowance (typically a fixed sum of money, or a percentage of the shipment’s estimated cost). Depending on the relocation package, assignees are most often eligible for a single “D” container (typically family size 1-2), a single “LDN” container (typically family size 3-4), or two “D” containers (family size 4+).

    • D containers (approximately 58″ x 41″ x 45″) are large corrugated fiberboard/cardboard boxes with an approximate weight capacity of 500 lbs (227 kgs).
    • LDN containers (approximately 54″ x 54″ x 56″) are large corrugated fiberboard/cardboard boxes with an approximate weight capacity of 750 lbs (340 kgs).

Air Waybill (AWB)

An air waybill (AWB) is a contract between the shipper and air carrier, containing the shipping terms and conditions. It is issued in non-negotiable form and serves as a receipt for the shipper.

Amended-from-Zero Sale

An amended-from-zero sale means the employee receives a third-party offer prior to receiving an appraised value offer from the relocation management company (RMC). The RMC determines if the offer is bona fide and provides a contract of sale to the employee based on the acceptable terms of the outside offer.

Amended Value Amount

The amended value amount is the offer amount extended to a relocating employee from the RMC to purchase the employee’s property based upon a bona fide offer from a qualified outside buyer. The RMC will amend the guaranteed buyout offer to reflect the third-party value representing the amended value amount.

Amended Value Sale

Amended value sale is when the relocating employee receives a bona fide offer from a qualified buyer after the employee has received a guarantee buyout offer from the RMC. The RMC amends its appraised value offer to the acceptable terms of the outside sale price.

Anticipated Sales Price

Anticipated sales price is the sales price at which a property would most probably sell when exposed to the market for a reasonable time with payment to be made in cash or its equivalent, assuming an arm’s length transaction. This is often done in accordance with the procedures in the Worldwide ERC® (Employee Relocation Council) Appraisal Guidelines.

APAC Region

The APAC region is the geographical region of all countries throughout Asia-Pacific. Due to relatively small time zone differences, these geographies are typically grouped together in the global mobility industry. For example, WHR Global’s office in Singapore coordinates all relocations into the APAC region.


While apostille requirements vary by jurisdiction, the concept is consistent worldwide. Per the U.S. Department of State, “Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or any other document issued by a federal agency or certified by a U.S. or foreign consul. An apostille certifies the document(s), so the document can be recognized in foreign countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty. We only issue apostilles for federal documents to use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention.”

Application Programming Interface (API)

An API (application programming interface) is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software. In short, APIs let your product or service communicate with other products and services without having to know how they’re implemented. APIs can be extremely useful in the global mobility industry, acting as the glue between two unrelated software systems that your team may be utilizing. However, if you are trying to automatically exchange sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII), your mobility team is better off implementing a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) integration. SFTPs are better suited for transferring personal identification numbers, names, addresses, payroll data, and more. 

Appraised Value Offer

An appraised value offer is an offer extended to a relocating employee from the RMC to purchase the employee’s property based upon the average of a specific number of appraisals conducted by designated, certified appraisers. The appraisals establish an anticipated sales price for a relocating employee’s residence.

Appraised Value Sale

An appraised value sale is when an employee accepts the contract of sale (appraised value offer) extended from the RMC to buy the employee’s property based upon the average of a specific number of appraisals.


In the global mobility industry, an assignee is the employee or transferee who is being relocated, typically for a short or long-term assignment. 



Balance Sheet (Compensation)

Within global mobility, the balance sheet compensation approach is utilized to ensure employees which are on a short or long-term assignment maintain an equivalent purchasing power in the host country as they had in their home country. An assignee’s purchasing power, and consequently their compensation via the balance sheet approach, can vary greatly depending on factors such as: the employee’s salary, home and host currencies, the assignment length, inflation, central bank interest rates, the cost of housing, food, utilities, fuel, and more.

Bike Carton

A bike carton is a shipping container specially designed for bikes. Bike cartons usually have dimensions around 54″ x 8″ x 28″ in, and once the front wheel, pedals, and handlebars are removed, it is reasonably well protected for transit. While seemingly insignificant, many relocating employees and executives relocate with carbon fiber bicycles which, when scratched or damaged, can greatly impact a relocating employee’s experience. RMCs such as WHR Global always recommend utilizing bike cartons when the bike is expensive to repair, replace, or it has high sentimental value.

Bill of Lading (B/L or BOL)

The Bill of Lading (B/L or BOL) is a contract between a shipper and the carrier that acknowledges your goods have been released to the carrier. The document is a binding contract and serves as a receipt for the goods delivered, a document of title and a contract of carriage.

Blanket Wrap

Blanket wrap (or blanket wrapping) is the standard method of packing and loading household goods shipments when traveling by road between most countries. During blanket wrapping, the household goods are wrapped in cotton blankets to offer some protection during transit. However, this is less secure and less expensive than export wrapping (see Export Wrap for exceptions). Blanket wrapping should be used for shipments traveling via road for the following countries: France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, and other Western European countries.

Bona Fide Offer

In real estate transactions, a bona fide offer is an offer from an outside buyer that is generally made in good faith and able to be accepted.

Bond Port (First Port of Call)

In the shipping industry, a bond port, or a first port of call, is the port of a vessel’s initial customs entry to any country.

Bonded Warehouse

In the shipping industry, a bonded warehouse, or a customs bonded warehouse, is a storage warehouse authorized by customs authorities for storage of goods on which payments of duties is deferred until the goods are removed. In the global mobility industry, customs bonded warehouses may be utilized in exceptional circumstances to temporarily store an employee’s household goods shipment until the shipment can clear customs (e.g., if shipment arrives at the bond port before the employee has the necessary customs paperwork). However, it’s worth noting that unlike a normal non-bonded warehouse, the employee cannot access their goods in storage until the customs process is complete.

Broker’s Price Option (BPO)/Broker Market Analysis (BMA)

In real estate transactions, a Broker’s Price Option (BPO) or Broker Market Analysis (BMA) is a real estate broker’s “as is” and “with improvements” list price and estimated sales price of a property. The BPO/BMA is often used as a barometer for the appraisals, marketing strategies, and recommended inspections, repairs, and improvements.

Business Traveler

A business traveler is an employee who frequently travelers across borders to another business location for an extended period of time, however, they are not on a formal assignment. While extended business travel may be less disruptive for the employee, it also comes with increased travel expenses, and the need to closely track business travel.

Buyer Value Option (BVO)

A Buyer Value Option (BVO) is similar to the Amend-From-Zero Sale; however, there is no appraisal or Appraised Value Offer to the relocating Employee from the RMC. The Employee lists the property and generates an outside offer. The RMC determines if the offer is bona fide and closes with the Employee under the terms of the outside offer. The BVO is an alternative to Direct Reimbursement and the Appraised Value Offer.



Canada: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)facilitates the flow of legitimate travelers and trade. The agency also enforces more than 100 acts and regulations that keep our country and Canadians safe.”

Canada: The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) may also be referred to as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the United States, or the T-MEC in Mexico (Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá). The CUSMA, which substituted the North Amerca Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was entered into force on July 1, 2020, and had significant impact on the mobility of workers within North America. 

CUSMA facilitates temporary entry for business persons who are citizens of the U.S., Mexico and Canada and who are involved in the trade of goods or services, or in investment activities. Business persons included in Chapter 16 of CUSMA are grouped under four categories: business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, and traders and investors. CUSMA removes any need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for all business persons covered by the Agreement.

Please see here for more details on CUSMA from the Canadian Government’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) staff.

Canada: Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) eTA

A Canada electronic travel authorization (eTA) allows applicants to fly to, or transit through, a Canadian airport. Per the Canadian Government, “if you’re visa-required and eligible for an eTA, but already have a valid Canadian visa you don’t need to apply for an eTA. You can travel with your visa until it expires.” Applicants should apply for an eTA online before they book their flights; Most applications are approved within minutes, but some can take longer. 

Canada: Global Talent Stream (GTS)

The Canada Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a program introduced in 2017 which enables Canadian companies to hire highly-skilled foreign workers like engineers, analysts, and developers. It’s part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which helps fill labor shortages with skilled workers from abroad. Most notably, the GTS shortens the immigration processing time to only two weeks. To qualify for the GTS, the employer and candidate must comply with one of two GTS categories:

    • Category A: Canadian companies need to receive a referral from a GTS designated partner. The referral partner must validate that the company and position meet all required criteria for the company and position. 
    • Category B: foreign workers must be hired for a role on Canada’s Global Talent Occupations List, which is sorted by NOC code. For example:
        • Civil engineers (NOC code 21300)
        • Data scientists (NOC code 21211)

Canada: Intra-Company Transfer (ICT)

An Intra-Company Transfer (ICT)permits international companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to Canada for the purpose of improving management effectiveness, expanding Canadian exports, and enhancing competitiveness in overseas markets.”

Canada: National Occupation Classification (NOC) Code

A national occupation classification (NOC) code is a system to identify and categorize jobs (occupations) based on the training, education, experience and responsibilities (TEER) they require.

Canada: Service Canada

Service Canada provides Canadians with a single point of access to a wide range of government services and benefits, including passports, pensions, social insurance numbers (SINs), and more.

Canada: Social Insurance Number (SIN)

A social insurance number (SIN) is a confidential 9-digit number issued by Service Canada which is required for individuals to work in Canada or access government programs and benefits.


A carrier is a household goods mover with which the RMC has an established subcontractor relationship. Transportation can be by road, rail, sea, air or a combination of modes.

Cash on Delivery (COD or Carried on Docket)

Cash on Delivery (COD or Carried on Docket) is a household goods shipment where payment is made at the time of delivery. 

Certificate of Coverage (CoC)

A Certificate of Coverage (CoC) is an official form issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or an authorized agency of an agreement country to certify that the employee named on the form is subject to Social Security coverage in the issuing country and exempt from coverage in the other country. 

China: S Visa

China’s S1 visa “is issued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, parents-in-law, sons or daughters under the age of 18, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.” If the intended duration of stay is less than 180 days, applicants may apply for the S2 visa. 

China: Z Visa

China’s Z visa “is issued to those who intend to work in China.” Within 30 days from the date of their entry, Z visa holders must “apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people’s governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners’ residence permits.” Overview of Chinese Visas. 


In the household goods industry, a collection is when the removal goods are packed and moved by the international removals firm. 

Commercial Bill of Lading (CBL)

A Commercial Bill of Lading (CBL) is the standard form that constitutes the contract of carriage between the RMC and a carrier.


While “there is no single type or length of assignment that defines international commuters” (SHRM), commuters are employees who travel back-and-forth between their home and host locations for a fixed duration of time, such as a short or long-term assignment. Due to the frequency of travel, commuters are usually limited to short distances such as intra-Europe flights and trains, intra-US cross-border commuting, or US-Canada cross-border commuting.

Comparable Property

In relocation home sale, comparable properties are similar to the subject property in size and style, selected by the appraisers and broker, or offered by the Employee for consideration. Properties must be in the same neighborhood, development, subdivision, or complex unless there are not sufficient comparable sales within the defined areas, in which case the appraiser may use comparables from general market areas. Comparable properties have usually been sold in the past 6-12 months, or are currently under contract to be sold, whereas competing properties are actively listed for sale and competing against the subject property. 

Compensation Management

Compensation management refers to the strategic process of administering and overseeing the financial aspects of employee relocation and international assignments. It encompasses the design, implementation, and ongoing management of compensation packages tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges faced by globally mobile employees.

This comprehensive approach takes into account various factors such as cost of living, tax implications, exchange rates, and local market benchmarks to ensure that employees are fairly compensated and motivated while working in different countries or regions. Compensation management aims to strike a balance between competitive compensation, compliance with local laws and regulations, and the organization’s budgetary constraints.

Effective management of global mobility compensation involves analyzing and benchmarking compensation practices, developing policies and guidelines, administering allowances and benefits, and providing support to employees during their relocation or assignment. It requires collaboration between HR professionals, finance teams, and legal experts to navigate the complexities of international compensation frameworks.


Consolidation is a shipping method used by international removals firms whereby household goods of multiple shippers are combined into one full container load. 

Contract Price

A contract price is the price at which the RMC agrees to purchase the Employee’s home whether as an Amend-From-Zero, Amended Offer, BVO, or Guaranteed Buyout Offer.

Corporate Lease Agreement

A Corporate Lease Agreement refers to a legally binding contract between a business entity, often referred to as the tenant, and a property owner or landlord. In global mobility, corporate lease agreements are utilized in locations where expats have difficulty securing a lease agreement due to cultural norms, lack of a rental history, higher vacancy risk for the landlord, and lack of financial assurance. In these cases, an employer will sign a corporate lease agreement, and then allow the employee and their immediate family to occupy the property for their assignment duration. 

Corporate Removals

Corporate removals refers to the commercial relocation of a business or company; an international removal paid for by a company for either an individual (assignee) or a group of individuals.

Cost of Living Allowance/Adjustment (COLA)

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) is a monetary compensation provided to employees to account for the differences in the cost of essential goods and services between different geographical locations. It is a significant component of employee remuneration packages and is designed to ensure that employees can maintain a comparable standard of living when relocating to areas with higher living expenses.

COLA takes into consideration various factors such as housing, transportation, groceries, healthcare, and other essential expenses specific to a particular region. The purpose of implementing a Cost of Living Allowance is to address the financial disparities caused by variations in prices and economic conditions across different cities or countries.

By incorporating COLA into compensation packages, organizations aim to provide fair and equitable remuneration to their employees, irrespective of their geographical location. This allowance assists employees in meeting their day-to-day expenses without experiencing a significant decline in their purchasing power, thereby promoting a reasonable quality of life.


During the household goods shipment process, crating is when the moving crew packs goods into a wooden container for shipment. This may also be done by a third party specialist (i.e., third party services).

Cubic Feet (CUFT)

Cubic feet (CUFT) is an imperial unit of measurement used to describe the volume of goods or space, typically seen on estimates for household goods shipments. 

Cubic Meter (CBM or CM)

A cubic meter (CBM or CM) is a metric unit of measurement used to describe the volume of goods or space, typically seen on estimates for household goods shipments. 


During the household goods shipment process, customs is the official department that administers and enforces a government’s rules protecting a country’s import and export revenues.

Customs Bond

A customs bond is a guarantee to Customs of payment on any duty fees and penalties. It serves as a form of insurance to protect the Treasury in the case of an importer defaulting on its debts to Customs.

Customs Broker

A customs broker is an individual or company that manages shipments between countries and clears goods through customs for importers and exporters. Custom Brokers are licensed by the government.

Customs Clearance

Customs clearance is the documented permission required by a country’s customs department which allows imported goods to enter a country or for exported goods to leave the country. Customs clearance is given to a shipping agent to confirm that all duties have been paid and entry/exit permission granted.




Demurrage is a penalty charge by the shipping line against the shipper’s or consignee for a delay in returning the unloaded container to the shipping line’s depot within the free days allowed.

Departure Services

When an employee plans to relocate, or repatriate while on assignment, they may contract departure services from a DSP. Departure services bundles may include: assistance terminating the lease agreement with the landlord; finding a new tenant to assume the employee’s lease agreement; security deposit return; property checkout report with pictures documenting the property’s condition; transferring utilities; closing bank accounts; cancelling health insurance; and other country-specific services as needed.

Designated Certified Appraiser

A designated certified appraiser is an individual who meets all the requirements of applicable laws to practice as an appraiser and/or be certified in states and/or localities that have certification and/or licensing requirements for appraisers. Specific criteria for a designated, certified appraiser include:

Have knowledge and experience in using industry-accepted relocation appraisal guidelines, such as the Worldwide ERC® appraisal form and standards;

      • Familiar with market conditions in areas of the home location;
      • Access to current location market data through multiple listing service (MLS) or other home list and sale data service, when available;
      • No present or future interest in the home, nor a relationship that would affect an independent judgment in determining Anticipated Sales Price;
      • No relationship with the Employee or RMC (personal or business) that would affect the objectivity and/or independence of the appraisal;
      • Not appraised the home within the prior 6 months;
      • Have ability to perform and deliver the appraisal in accordance with RMC-contracted timeframes; and
      • Appraiser’s fee is not based on a percentage of the Appraised Value of the home, nor contingent upon the sale of the home.

Destination Services

Destination services are in-person or virtual services provided to the relocating employee by a destination services provider (DSP) in the host country/location. Services can include: home finding; lease negotiation; real estate condition/check-in report with photos documenting the property; area orientation tours; settling-in services; bank account setup; obtaining a local phone number; setting up utilities; local registration; obtaining or converting a driver’s license; airport meet and greet; school search, and more. Destination services are typically billed in half-day increments (four billable hours) with discounted service bundles for multiple “days” of service.

Diplomatic Clause

A diplomatic clause states that if the tenant is relocated by their employer before the end of their lease agreement, new lease cancellation provisions will apply. Diplomatic clauses are usually contained within an assignee’s residential lease agreement or added as a rental addendum. For example, instead of the landlord requiring 90 days of notice for cancellation per an original lease agreement, the diplomatic clause may allow for 30 days.

Direct Delivery

A direct delivery refers to a shipment that is delivered directly to the residence without Storage-in-Transit (SIT).

Direct Reimbursement (DR) of Home Sale Expenses

The direct reimbursement (DR) of home sale expenses refers to reimbursement provided to an Employee who has been authorized for relocation expenses and is entitled to reimbursement of home sale expenses. The RMC may provide home marketing services designed explicitly for direct-reimbursement home sale efforts.

Discard & Donate

Discard and donate refers to a moving program in which professionals help sort, organize, and remove items prior to a move. Taking this time upfront enhances the marketability of a home during showings, reduces the overall cost of a move, and helps homeowners settle into their new homes more quickly.

The environmental impact of sorting, discarding, or donating is also significant. Some movers calculate the number of trees saved on each move by eliminating cardboard and packing material. This is in addition to fuel savings and repurposing items through donation instead of sending them off to a landfill. You may read more about discard and donate services here.

Disclosure Statement

A disclosure statement refers to a statement made available to potential buyers providing known information of the property; community or association; and repairs and defects relevant to the home, such as water seepage in a basement or the presence of radon gas or lead-based paint.

Diversity Spend

In the global mobility industry, diversity spend refers to engaging the services of a relocation service provider which self-identifies as a diverse supplier. Supplier diversity classifications typically require 51% of the business to be certified owned and operated by: women, historically marginalized groups, veterans, LGBTQ+, and more. Minority-owned business groups typically include the following classifications: African American, Asian Pacific American, Hispanic American, Native American, or Subcontinent Asian American.

Tier 1 suppliers come in many forms—the tech company whose software and hardware you use to run your organization; the manufacturer that delivers a key component for your product; the consulting firm that offers specialized knowledge; and so on. A typical large business will contract hundreds, even thousands of tier 1 suppliers, and so they are the most immediate gauge of supplier diversity. The number of diverse suppliers under contract can be tracked, as can the percentage of diverse businesses in the overall supplier portfolio. Spend can be measured in terms of dollars and as a percentage of total spend. (

Tier 2 suppliers are your suppliers’ suppliers. Although they are only tied to your business indirectly, they play an important role. This development is significant because it allows large, non-diverse suppliers to indirectly contribute to your supplier diversity requirements.


EMEA Region

EMEA is the geographical region consisting of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Due to relatively small time zone differences, these geographies are typically grouped together in the global mobility industry. For example, WHR Global’s office in Switzerland coordinates all relocations into the EMEA region.

Employee (EE) / Assignee / Transferee (TEE)

A relocation or transfer eligible employee as determined by his or her Employer. In relocation, Employee and Transferee (EE or TEE) are interchangeable.


In relocation, escrow encompasses the following:

        • An arrangement where an independent, trusted third-party receives and disburses money and/or documents for two or more transacting parties with the timing of such disbursement by the third-party dependent on the performance by the parties of agreed- upon contractual provisions;
        • An account established by a broker, under the provisions of license law, for the purpose of holding funds on behalf of the broker’s principal or some other person until the consummation or termination of a transaction; or
        • An account held by a lender to pay obligations, such as property taxes and insurance premiums.


EuRA is the European Relocation Association, formed in 1998 with the aim of promoting the benefits of professionally managed relocation and mobility services to companies with globally mobile employees.

European Economic Area (EEA)

The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market.

Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member but is part of the single market. This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals. Read more.

European Union (EU)

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states. Read more.

EU Countries

The EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Read more.

Expiration Date

In a US employee relocation home sale program, the expiration date is the date by which the Employee must accept or reject the Guaranteed Buyout Offer for participation in the home sale program.

Export Wrap

In the global mobility industry, export wrap refers to the method and materials used to pack goods for overseas transportation. Generally speaking, export wrapping a household goods shipment is more expensive because it takes greater time and materials relative to standard blanket wrapping. However, export wrapping is more secure, provides greater protection, and reduces the chances of damage taking place. Most moving companies recommend blanket wrapping for all shipments. However, there are exceptions when export wrapping should strongly be considered:

        • VIP moves
        • If the assignee has a large volume of furniture (e.g., greater than 30 cubic meters)
        • If the shipment is going a long distance, usually above 1,000 kms or 620 miles
        • If the shipment is transiting via warehouse
        • If the shipment is being packed or delivered in specific countries (e.g., Portugal, Poland, Russia, Austria, Baltic countries, Balkan countries, Malta, Mallorca, other Eastern countries, Caucasus, and more)



FIDI Global Alliance

FIDI is the Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux (International Federation of International Movers). Established in 1950, FIDI is the largest global alliance of independent quality international removal companies.


Foreclosure is the legal process reserved by a lender to terminate the borrower’s interest in a property after a loan has been defaulted. When the process is completed, the lender may sell the property and keep the proceeds to satisfy its mortgage and any legal costs. Sales resulting from foreclosures may be used in the appraisal process to determine the Guaranteed Buyout Offer as prescribed by client policy.

Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM)

The Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM) is a worldwide community for global mobility professionals. FEM holds multiple summits annually throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions. 

Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder is an independent company that handles export shipments on behalf of the shipper. Their role is to make the arrangements and take care of necessary documentation.



Germany: Electronic Residence Permit (eAT)

“The German electronic residence permit (eAT) is issued as a plastic card in credit card format. It contains a chip on which personal data (name, date of birth, nationality, address), biometric features (photograph and fingerprints) and ancillary conditions (requirements) are stored. It also has an online ID function, which is also used for the identity card.

Detailed information on the electronic residence permit can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in the electronic residence permit (eAT) section.” Read more. 

Germany: EU Blue Card (“Blaue Karte EU“)

The EU Blue Card is a residence title for academics outside the EU who wish to work in an EU Member State. To obtain an EU Blue Card, applicants are required to have a university degree and a work contract which meets the minimum gross salary requirement. Read more. 

Germany: Federal Employment Agency (FEA) (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit – BA”)

The Federal Employment Agency (FEA) (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit – BA”) is a German federal agency in the area of responsibility of the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs and has its headquarters in Nuremberg. The BA manages job centres across Germany and administers unemployment benefits. Read more.

Germany: Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Card

The ICT card enables managers, professionals or trainees to work in a German branch for a set amount of time. Certain conditions apply for the ICT card application. These can be found in the “How can I recruit a qualified professional from abroad – what employers need to know” guide and on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

The ICT card can be issued to employees, managers or specialists for a duration of 3 years. For trainees, the duration is limited to a maximum of 1 year.

Global Mobility

Global mobility, or employee relocation, is an HR function that enables companies to transfer employees across borders from one location to another. These transfers, also known as assignments, can broadly be classified as one of the following: business travel, short-term, long-term, or permanent.

Global Mobility Company

A global mobility company is a corporation, such as WHR Global, that makes the arrangements for individuals moving to another country, usually on behalf of a business. 

Global Statement of Earnings (GSOE)

A global statement of earnings (GSOE) is a consolidated report of costs which were paid to, or on behalf of an assignee.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

A goods and services tax (GST) is a value added tax on goods and services.

Guaranteed Buyout (GBO)

Once the property appraisal process is concluded according to policy, the Guaranteed Buyout Offer (GBO) is delivered to the Employee both verbally and by hard copy. As determined by company policy, a standard GBO is valid for 60 – 90 days.



Hardship Allowance

A hardship allowance allows you to recognize living conditions and to acknowledge the challenges your employees face in designated locations. (Source)

Home Leave Trip

A home leave trip is typically paid for by the employer so that the employee (most often on a short or long-term assignment) may return to their home location to reconnect with friends and family. For example, an employee on long-term assignment from Switzerland to Singapore may receive economy class travel reimbursement once or twice per year to visit friends and family back in Switzerland. 

Home Sale Services

These services include the performance and coordination of all real estate transactions for the Employee, including assistance in marketing the home, negotiating with potential outside buyers, helping the Employee become familiar with his or her new location, providing renter/buyer assistance, and dual-career and mortgage counseling.

Household Goods (HHG)

Household goods (HHG) are private belongings that are typically the goods transported in a domestic move (a.k.a. a household goods shipment, or HHG shipment). 

Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP)

A human resources business partner, or HRBP, is an HR professional who can handle everything from hiring and benefits to compliance and employee relations. Some employers hire a dedicated HRBP within their HR department for such purposes, while others choose to partner with a professional employer organization (PEO). 

Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

HRIS stands for Human Resources Information System. The HRIS is a system that is used to collect and store data on an organization’s employees. In most cases, an HRIS encompasses the basic functionalities needed for end-to-end Human Resources Management (HRM). It is a system for recruitment, performance management, learning & development, and more. An HRIS is also known as HRIS software. Collectively, these systems are also called Human Capital Management systems, or HCM. 



India: Employment (“E”) Visa

In India, there are specific requirements for issuing visas and work permits to foreign staff. The main type of visa is simply called an Employment visa, or E visa. E visas are only available to employees of organizations registered in India. As a result, employees cannot begin the process of obtaining a permit until they have an employment contract. In addition, your company must have a legal entity registered in India, such as a PEO, to process the visa.


Home inspections are professional examinations of a home’s major components that may include exterior, foundation, framing, plumbing, septic, electrical system, heating, air conditioning, pest, roofing, and interior.



Japan: Certificate of Eligibility (CoE)

A Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) is a document that verifies the activity in which the foreigner wishes to engage while in Japan. The advantage of this document is that it reduces the time required to obtain a visa and complete immigration procedures when work or long-term stay (more than 90 days) are the purposes of the trip including: intracompany transferee, skilled labor, long-term resident, business manager, and more. 




Labor Marketing Testing for New Roles (Immigration)

Some countries have immigration requirements referred to as Labor Market Testing (LMT). Generally speaking, this means the company is attempting to hire an overseas worker; Therefore, the company has the burden of proof to show the host country’s labor/immigration authority that the position cannot be fulfilled by a candidate within the local labor market. While the exact requirements vary by country and position, there is usually a requirement for the position to be publicly posted for a minimum period of time and it must be a skilled labor position.

LATAM Region

LATAM is the geographical region consisting of all Latin American countries. Due to relatively small time zone differences, these geographies are typically grouped together in the global mobility industry. For example, WHR Global’s office in the U.S. coordinates all relocations into the LATAM region.

Lift Van

A lift van is a wooden crate constructed for use in packing a groupage shipment or for storage  during an international removal.

Line Haul Services

Transporting a shipment under tariff from the point of origin to its destination.

Long Carry

For household goods shipments, a long carry is a lengthy distance between the entrance of the origin or destination residency and the removals vehicle. This makes it more difficult for the removals team to load and unload goods due to poor property access and may result in additional charges. Long carry may also refer to have to move goods above the first floor without a lift (i.e., stair carry), which can also result in additional charges.

Long-Term Assignment (LTA)

In global mobility, a long-term assignment (LTA) refers to a situation where an individual is relocated to a foreign country or location for an extended period, usually ranging from 18 months to multiple years, to fulfill a work-related role or function. This type of assignment involves the employee or assignee leaving their home country to work in a different cultural, social, and professional environment. Long-term assignments are often part of multinational corporations’ strategies to transfer skills, knowledge, and expertise across their global operations and to provide employees with opportunities for personal and professional growth through international experience. Employees on assignment may be referred to as assignees. 

Loss on Sale

The difference between the GBO and the eventual sales price. This amount usually has a limit of how much the RMC can accept without direction from the client.

Loss Protection

A relocation policy that provides a provision where a relocating Employee is reimbursed the difference between the original home purchase price and eventual Contract Price. There may be caps on this amount with provisions for tax protection and capital/structural improvements to be included or excluded in loss protection as determined by company policy.

Lump Sum

Lump sum refers to a one-time payment made to a relocating employee. Lump sum payments are often tax assisted by the employer and meant to cover a range of relocation expenses at once instead of reimbursing individual line item expenses (e.g., flights, excess baggage, taxis, meals, banking fees, employee losses on foreign currency fluctuations, furnishings, and more).



Managed Lump Sum

 Similar to a lump sum, a managed lump sum is a fixed sum of money which is managed by a relocation management company (RMC). Rather than making a one-time lump sum payment, the funds are gradually disbursed over time as the employee submits actual receipts for reimbursement, or the RMC coordinates and pays for additional services through a network of relocation providers. Most often managed lump sums are “use it or lose it,” meaning any remaining funds which are not utilized for the employee’s relocation will be recovered by the employer as cost savings. However, some employers may also choose to “cash out” the remaining balance as a one-time lump sum payment to the employee: this may be the full amount or a reduced rate (e.g., 50% cash out of the remaining balance). 

Management Fee

The price paid to the RMC for managing the Employee’s move.

Mortgage Interest Differential Allowance (MIDA)

Mortgage Interest Differential Assistance (MIDA) helps employees when mortgage interest rates are high by easing the gap between current market rates and the lower rates that employees have on their current mortgage. This is not to be confused with a sliding scale or a standard 1% loan origination/loan discount benefit because those benefits are applied regardless of the interest rate. The MIDA can be paid as a direct mortgage subsidy through the mortgage company. The MIDA benefit is determined by factoring the lower amount of either the employee’s current outstanding loan balance (rounded up to the nearest $1,000) or the new mortgage amount. The difference between their current interest rate and the new (higher) mortgage interest rate, for similar products, (i.e., 30-year fixed rate to 30-year fixed rate), and multiplying the difference by the qualifying amount. Continue reading here for a detailed example of MIDA

Mortgage Payoff

Represents full payment of all monies due to the Employee’s mortgage lender(s) when acquiring the Employee’s property based on client policy and sale type. The RMC is responsible for ensuring that all mortgage liens are released by lenders and no further obligations of any kind are held by Employee based on the contract date.

Move in Transit

The activities associated with the shipment and storage of an Employee’s personal property in connection with one’s relocation.

Move Management Services

The process of and activities related to moving an Employee’s personal property, including carrier selection; preparation of bills of lading; shipment booking; moving; overseeing carrier evaluation process; performing service performance and prepayment audits; providing management information reports; assisting in claims preparation, filing, and settlement; and providing on-site quality control service and a quality assurance plan.

Move Management Platform (MMP®)

WHR’s proprietary Move Management Platform (MMP®) is a virtual bid board where WHR’s network of supplier partners may bid on new move opportunities within the United States which are posted to the bid board. Carriers can take shipments based on the locations of their crews and trucks across the country at that specific point in time. This maximizes the amount of truck space used resulting in lower bids, and cost savings to your organization. Through MMP, WHR’s network of carriers can “pull” moves rather than having moves forcibly pushed to them. Continue reading about WHR’s Move Management Platform (MMP®)

Move Management International (MMI)

Similar to WHR’s Move Management Platform (MMP®), Move Management International (MMI) is a virtual bid board for international move opportunities. All carriers in WHR’s network share a passion for customer service and thanks to WHR’s independent ownership and operation, all moves are awarded to the best carrier based on price, service, availability, transit time, and insurance claims percentage.

Move Manager (Move Coordinator)

A move manager (move coordinator) refers to a moving specialist responsible for managing the relocation and providing assistance and support to the shipper throughout the moving process.

Moving Expenses

All costs incurred by the RMC in handling and moving an Employee’s personal property, including but not limited to packing, transporting, storing, and unpacking. Moving expenses exclude the negotiated Management Fee.



Netherlands: 30% Facility

In short, the Netherlands 30% facility allows for expat employees who satisfy certain conditions to not pay tax on up to 30% of their salary. Since 1 January 2019, qualifying workers may use this 30% facility for only 5 years. This government measure helps them cover the additional costs they incur from working in the Netherlands, such as travel expenses, additional housing costs and day-to-day expenses.

Netherlands: DigiD

In the Netherlands, a DigiD (short for Digital Identification) is a form of online ID that allows residents to access many services and government websites in the Netherlands. It’s like a digital version of a passport or driving license. The DigiD consists of a username and password that are linked to a resident’s personal public service number (BSN). Residents need their DigiD to do their administration online in the Netherlands. This includes doing taxes, applying for benefits and allowances, checking pensions in the Netherlands, and many other actions.

Netherlands: Intra-Corporate Transferee (ICT)

In the Netherlands, an Intra-Corporate Transferee (ICT) allows for employees to be transferred to a branch in the Netherlands, particularly for a company established outside the European Union (EU). Within the framework of intra EU-mobility, subject to certain conditions, you can also be transferred to a branch of this company within another EU Member State, which has implemented the Directive (Denmark, the United Kingdom and Ireland do not participate).

Netherlands: Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) Permit

In the Netherlands, Highly Skilled Migrants (HSMs) come to the Netherlands to make a contribution to the knowledge economy. If they hold the nationality of a country outside the EU (other than Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland), they need a recognised sponsor. Recognised sponsors are listed in a public register and can submit permit applications for highly skilled migrants. Highly skilled migrants must be paid an income which is above a set threshold.

Netherlands: Immigration & Naturalization Service (IND)

In the Netherlands, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND) implements policies applicable to foreign nationals in the Netherlands. This means that the IND assesses all residence permit applications submitted by people looking to move to the Netherlands or obtain Dutch citizenship.

Netherlands: Entry Visa (MVV)

In the Netherlands, if an employee wants to travel to the Netherlands and stay there for more than 90 days, then they may need a regular provisional residence permit (in Dutch: machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf or MVV). The MVV is an entry visa. This visa is intended for persons who want to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. The MVV is a visa sticker (Type D) to be placed in the applicant’s passport. With the MVV, they can travel to the Netherlands and pick up their residence permit.

Netherlands: MijnOverheid

MijnOverheid is your personal website for your dealings with the Dutch authorities. It shows you in one place which information about you is registered with the Dutch authorities and how to report any changes in this information. On MijnOverheid you’ll also find Message Box, a digital mailbox where you can receive messages from the Dutch authorities. You can use MijnOverheid if you are 14 years or older, have a citizen service number (BSN) and arrange matters with the Dutch government. You can only use MijnOverheid when you have a DigiD. Before you can use MijnOverheid, you must activate your account. You will then be able to log in to MijnOverheid.

Netherlands: Residence Permit

Everyone needs a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands. The residence permit the applicant applies for depends on their situations. Common examples may include:

  • Intra-corporate transferee residence permit: applicants being transferred by a company from outside the EU to a branch in the Netherlands to work as a manager, specialist, or trainee.
  • Highly skilled migrant.
  • Residence permit for essential start-up personnel: You want to hire a foreign employee who is essential to your start-up.
  • Residence permit cross-border service provider: You work for a company in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. You will temporarily work in the Netherlands for this company.
  • Cross-border worker: You are going to work in the Netherlands but you live in another EU country.
  • European blue card residence permit: You want to apply for a European Blue Card as a highly educated worker to live and work in the Netherlands.

Notice to Vacate (NTV)

A notice to vacate is used by landlords and tenants to notify the other party that they do not intend to renew their rental agreement. In global mobility, notices to vacate most often appear in temporary housing rental agreement and long-term residential lease agreements.



Packed by Owner (PBO)

Packed by Owner (PBO) most often refers to a box, several boxes, or an entire shipment which was packed by the items’ owner/shipper. Employees and corporations should exercise caution as boxes which are PBO may not be covered under the shipment’s insurance policy, since the moving crew did not pack the goods using best practices to minimize damage during transit, and since the moving crew could not document each item’s existence and condition before it was PBO.

Permanent Transfer or International Permanent Transfer (IPT)

In the context of global mobility, a permanent transfer refers to a situation where an individual is relocated from their home country to another country for a long-term or indefinite period, with the intention of assuming a new role or position within the same organization. Unlike a temporary assignment or expatriate assignment, which have a predefined duration, a permanent transfer implies that the individual will become a regular, ongoing employee of the host country’s branch or office, contributing to its operations on a more permanent basis. A permanent transfer involves a significant commitment on the part of the employee and the organization, as it often entails legal, contractual, and logistical changes, including obtaining work permits or visas, establishing new housing arrangements, and potentially integrating into a new culture and environment. This type of global mobility is commonly undertaken to meet specific workforce needs and leverage the employee’s skills and expertise. 

Permit (e.g., Residence Permit, Work Permit)

A permit (e.g., residence permit, work permit) is an official document allowing an individual to live or work in a country of which they are not a citizen.

Policy Exception

In employee relocation and global mobility, a policy exception is any type of request which is outside of the scope of the employer’s written relocation policy. Common examples may include: employees requesting an extension of benefits or temporary housing, a moving company requesting the employer to cover storage in transit (SIT) charges, and more. These policy exceptions are typically triggered by the Relocation Management Company’s (RMC’s) technology suite, with the final resolution being documented and reported back to the HR or Global Mobility team(s). Policy exceptions are analyzed by the RMC for trends to identify recurring issues and make policy improvements moving forward.

Prepayment Penalty

A prepayment penalty is a monetary penalty imposed by a lender on a borrower who pays a loan off before its expected end date.

Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is a company or firm that offers comprehensive human resources and employment-related services to other businesses. These services typically include payroll processing, benefits administration, workers’ compensation, compliance with employment laws and regulations, and other HR-related functions. In a PEO arrangement, the client company enters into a co-employment relationship with the PEO. This means that while the client company retains control over its day-to-day operations and management, the PEO becomes the employer of record for certain HR-related purposes. This arrangement allows the client company to offload various administrative tasks and responsibilities to the PEO, freeing up time and resources to focus on its core business activities.



Relocation Management Company (RMC)

The third-party corporation, such as WHR Global, engaged by the employer to manage employees’ relocations. RMCs manage the end-to-end process global mobility teams, including policy creation and benchmarking, processing receipts for reimbursement, disbursing funds to employees and relocation supplier partners, reporting, and more. RMCs may have service offerings for members of the public, corporations, and government entities. Rather than providing all services in-house, most RMCs cultivate a global network of supplier partners to successfully execute relocations such as immigration and tax providers, moving companies, freight forwarders, temporary housing, destination services, language lessons, cultural training, spousal assistance, cost of living analysis, and more. 

Repayment Agreement

A repayment agreement refers to a contractual arrangement between an employer and an employee who is being relocated. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions under which the employee agrees to repay certain costs or benefits provided by the employer if specific conditions are not met. Repayment agreements are often used to safeguard the employer’s investment in the international assignment and to ensure that the employee fulfills their obligations as outlined in the assignment agreement. Typically, repayment agreements specify the circumstances under which the employee would be required to repay certain amounts, such as terminating employment before a specified period, not fulfilling the assignment’s duration, or not achieving performance objectives. The most common repayment agreement structure requires the employee to repay:

  • 100% of relocation expenses if the employee voluntarily resigns within 12 months of relocating;
  • 50% of relocation expenses if the employee voluntarily resigns within 24 months of relocating;
  • 0% if the employee is terminated from the company at any point.

Right to Occupy Agreement

A right to occupy agreement is typically signed between an employee and their employer indicating that the employer will sign a corporate lease agreement for a residential living area, however, the employee and/or their immediate family has a right to live at the property. The agreement also clearly identifies the empoyer’s responsibilities (e.g., payment of monthly rent), and the employee’s responsibilities (e.g., payment and maintenance of utilities, appliances, insurance, and cleaning). 



Sea Shipment

A sea shipment is a container transported via sea for large, heavy, and bulky items. Contrary to popular belief, a 20 ft container shipment does not cost half the price of a 40 ft container shipment. The usual price for a 20 ft container is around 75% of a 40 ft container. It’s also worth noting that while a 40 ft container cannot handle twice the weight a 20 ft container can, a 40 ft container can fit double the volume of household goods. Sea shipment containers vary in size, capacity, and purpose:

      • 20 foot container with external length, width, and height of about 20 ft, 8 ft, and 8’6” respectively (approximately 6, 2.4, and 2.6 meters respectively). The max gross weight of a 20 ft container is 28 tons (25,400 kg) including weight of container itself and cargo loaded inside. Exceeding the such limit may trigger fines, liability claims, equipment damage, and extra costs such as forced transloading. 
      • 40 foot container with external length, width, and height of about 40 ft, 8 ft, and 8’6” respectively (approximately 12.2, 2.4, and 2.6 meters respectively). The max gross weight of a 40 ft container is 29 tons (26,300 kg) including weight of container itself and cargo loaded inside.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) Server

A Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) Server is a file transfer protocol that leverages a set of utilities that provide secure access to a remote computer to deliver secure communications. It is considered by many to be the optimal method for secure file transfer. Global mobility, HR, and talent acquisition teams can setup SFTP servers with their RMCs to securely exchange sensitive data and files such as: new relocation authorizations, personally identifiable information (PII) such as names and birth dates, payroll instructions, reporting, and more. 

Shadow Payroll

In global mobility, shadow payroll refers to payroll tracking in a country where the employee may not be receiving compensation, but they may still have tax obligations. For example, an employee on a long-term assignment (LTA) may physically be paid in their home country via home country payroll, but the company or their RMC still tracks and reports on shadow payroll in the host country because the employee and/or employer may owe taxes on that expat compensation.

Short-Term Assignment (STA)

In global mobility, a short-term assignment (STA) refers to a situation where an individual is relocated to a foreign country or location for an intermediate period, usually ranging from 6-18 months, to fulfill a work-related role or function. This type of assignment involves the employee or assignee leaving their home country to work in a different cultural, social, and professional environment. Short-term assignments are often part of multinational corporations’ strategies to transfer skills, knowledge, and expertise across their global operations and to provide employees with opportunities for personal and professional growth through international experience. Employees on assignment may be referred to as assignees. 


During the household goods shipment process, a shuttle may be required, which is a smaller vehicle used for loading a shipping container or removal vehicle when access is tight.


SimpleMove® by WHR Global is a US domestic relocation platform. This platform may be utilized by members of the public, as an add-on to an existing global mobility program, or as a standalone relocation platform for all US employees. SimpleMove® provides an opportunity for users to receive home sale and purchase cash rebates through WHR Global’s network of real estate agents; This tax-free cash-back rebate after closing is based on $5 per every $1,000 of the sale or purchase price with no cap (cash-back rebate not available in all states). Plus, users receive exclusive access to discounted services. 

Singapore: Dependant’s Pass (DP)

Singapore’s Dependant’s Pass (DP) allows spouses and children of Employment Pass or S Pass holders to join them in Singapore. The dependent’s pass is for a legally married spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of eligible Employment Pass or S Pass holders. An employer or appointed employment agent must apply on behalf of the candidate, and it is valid up to 2 years (tied to the validity of the main work pass). 

Singapore: Employment Pass (EP)

Singapore’s Employment Pass (EP) allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore. Candidates need to earn at least $5,000 a month. Employers must also demonstrate that they have fairly considered all jobseekers. The EP is for foreign professionals, managers, and executives with a job offer in Singapore who meet the eligibility criteria. An employer or appointed employment agent needs to apply on behalf of the candidate. For an overseas company without a Singapore-registered office, you need to apply through a local sponsor.

Singapore: Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is the official Singapore government agency which is focused on workforce and workplace development. The MOM is responsible for processing work passes, dependant passes, employment practices, workplace safety and health, and labor market statistics.

Single Factor Rate (SFR)

In US domestic household goods shipments, utilizing a Single Factor Rate (SFR) or Single Factor Pricing is the most common pricing methodology. Annually, RMCs like WHR Global negotiate a Single Factor Rate (SFR) with their network of supplier partners. The SFR is combined with the shipment weight and distance to determine total shipment cost. The SFR already includes traditionally a la carte charges such as extra labor, long carries, and more.

Spousal Assistance

Spousal assistance refers to a range of support services and resources provided by an employer or organization to the spouses or partners of employees who are being relocated internationally for work assignments. The primary goal of spousal assistance is to help the accompanying spouse or partner smoothly transition and adjust to the new country, culture, and lifestyle, thereby enhancing the overall success and well-being of the relocating employee and their family. Spousal assistance programs can include various components, such as: cultural orientation, job placement support, networking opportunities, orientation services, counseling and support, legal and administrative assistance, and social and recreational activities. 

Storage-in-Transit (SIT)

Temporary storage authorized in connection with a shipment of household goods.

Switzerland: B EU/EFTA Permit (Resident Foreign Nationals)

The Switzerland B EU/EFTA Permit (Resident Foreign Nationals): Resident foreign nationals are foreign nationals who reside in Switzerland for a longer period of time for a certain purpose, with or without gainful employment. The B residence permit for EU/EFTA nationals is valid for five years. This permit is issued to EU/EFTA citizens holding a contract of employment of at least twelve months or of unlimited duration. The residence permit is valid for five years and can be renewed for five years if the foreign national satisfies the requirements. Nationals from all EU/EFTA member states without gainful employment are entitled to a B permit if they can prove they have sufficient financial means and adequate health and accident insurance.

Switzerland: C EU/EFTA Permit (Settled Foreign Nationals)

The Switzerland C EU/EFTA Permit (Settled Foreign Nationals): Settled foreign nationals are foreign nationals who have been granted a settlement permit after five or ten years’ residence in Switzerland. The right to settle in Switzerland is not subject to any time restrictions or conditions. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) determines the earliest date from which the competent national authorities may grant settlement permits. If they meet the required conditions, nationals of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden as well as EFTA nationals (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) are granted settlement permits pursuant to settlement treaties or reciprocal agreements after five years’ regular and uninterrupted residence in Switzerland. No such treaties exist for nationals of the other EU member states.

Switzerland: G EU/EFTA Permit (Cross-Border Commuters)

Switzerland G EU/EFTA Permit (Cross-Border Commuters): EU/EFTA cross-border commuters are nationals of EU/EFTA member states who reside in an EU/EFTA member state and work in Switzerland (either in an employed or self-employed capacity). Cross-border commuters must return to their main place of residence abroad as a rule every day, or at least once a week. Cross-border commuters from EU/EFTA member states are granted professional and geographical mobility. No border zones exist for them anymore. These persons may live anywhere in the EU/EFTA region and work anywhere in Switzerland. The EU/EFTA cross-border commuter permit is valid for five years in the case of a fixed-term employment contract valid for more than one year or in the case of a permanent employment contract.

Switzerland: Gemeinde/Commune

All newcomers need to register at their local municipality (commune/Gemeinde) within 14 days of entering Switzerland and prior to their first working day. If your registration is successful you will usually receive either a residence permit giving you the right to work in Switzerland, or a residence permit with no right to work. Handling registration will take you around 1-2 hours. In most Swiss cantons, you must attend registration in person. 

Switzerland: L EU/EFTA Permit (Short-Term Residents)

Switzerland L EU/EFTA Permit (Short-Term Residents): Short-term residents are foreign nationals who reside in Switzerland for a limited period of time, usually less than a year, for a certain purpose with or without gainful employment. EU/EFTA nationals are entitled to this permit provided they are in possession of an employment contract valid from three up to twelve months. It can be extended for a total period of less than twelve months.



Talent Acquisition (TA)

Talent acquisition (TA) deals with the strategies, tactics and processes for identifying, recruiting and retaining the human resources a company needs. It includes developing, implementing and evaluating programs for sourcing, recruiting, hiring and orienting talent.

Tax Assistance / Tax Gross Up / Tax Protection

Most costs associated with relocation are considered income to an Employee. The company policy may provide for tax protection, referred to as “gross up” of some or all of the taxable expenses. In other words, gross-up is the additional money an employer pays their employee to offset any additional income taxes the employee would owe the respective tax authority when that employee receives a company-provided cash benefit, like relocation expenses. This benefit alleviates some of the tax burdens on a portion of the employee’s income.

Tax Equalization

Tax equalization neutralizes an assignee’s tax liability associated with a global assignment. This compensation approach means an assignee pays approximately the same taxes if they had remained in their home country. In other words, the assignee is not paying more or less had they not left their home country, regardless of the actual tax burden in the home and host country.


All interest held by the Employee in the property. For purposes of the home sale services, “title” shall mean the degree of ownership held by the Employee that provides full power for the disposition of the property.

Total Loss Insurance

For the employee’s household goods shipment, they may receive total loss insurance which is insurance protection for when the goods can’t be repaired or the repair costs for the damaged goods exceeds its value.

Totalization Agreement

Social security totalization agreements are bilateral agreements between two countries to coordinate social security coverage and benefit payment provisions for individuals who have worked in both of the countries over the course of their working lives. Totalization agreements have three main purposes:

    1. They eliminate double social security taxation, which occurs if a worker and his or her employer are required to pay social security taxes to two countries on the same earnings.
    2. They help fill gaps in the coverage records of people who have divided their careers between two countries by combining, or totalizing, the periods of coverage earned in each country.
    3. Totalization agreements permit unrestricted payment of benefits to residents of the two countries.




United States: E-3 Visa

The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. You must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

United States: Form I-94

Travelers visiting the US and arriving via a land border may need a Form I-94. A Form I-94 is needed by all visitors except: U.S. Citizens, returning resident aliens, aliens with immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens visiting or in transit. Travelers will be issued an I-94 during the admission process at the port of entry. If you are traveling via a land border you may apply for an I-94 in advance here, saving time while at the port of entry later.

United States: H-1B Visa

The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification which applies to people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.

United States: I Visa

The I Visa is for Representatives of Foreign Media. Applicants may be eligible for the I, Representatives of Foreign Media, non-immigrant visa, if they: (a) Represent a foreign information media outlet (press, radio, film, or other foreign information media); (b) Are coming to the United States to engage solely in this profession; and (c) Have a home office in a foreign country. Occupations under this category include reporters, film crews, editors, and similar occupations. Any spouse and children under the age of 21 may accompany or follow to join an I nonimmigrant.

United States: L-1A Visa

The L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one. The employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with fee, on behalf of the employee.

United States: L-1B Visa

The L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge Visa enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send a specialized knowledge employee to the United States to help establish one. The employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker with fee, on behalf of the employee.

United States: TN NAFTA Professionals

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if: (a) You are a citizen of Canada or Mexico; (b) Your profession qualifies under the regulations; (c) The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional; (d) You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not self-employment – see documentation required below); and (e) You have the qualifications to practice in the profession in question.


Within the context of household goods shipments, unpacking is the removal of goods from its packaging and wrapping and usually placed onto a flat surface. It is important for relocating employees to understand their responsibilities during the delivery and unpacking process as the delivery crew will not hang clothes in closets, or place items into drawers and cabinets. 

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

The USCIS is the federal agency within the US Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. 



Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT (value added tax) is a tax on consumption, levied on most goods and services provided by registered businesses.

Valued Inventory

For household goods shipments, valued inventory is an inventory of the items and their value contained in the shipment, usually required for customs purposes or insurance.

Visa (e.g., Entry Visa, Work Visa)

A visa (e.g., entry visa, work visa) is conditional authority allowing a person who is not a citizen of a country to enter, remain, and/or work in the country for a specified duration.



Warehouse Handling (WHH)

Warehouse handling (WHH) charges are usually levied for moving items in and out of storage and storage in transit (SIT). When a shipment goes into SIT, there is usually a one-time WHH charge, plus the monthly SIT charge. 

Worldwide ERC

 Founded in 1964, Worldwide ERC stands for the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council. What began as the Employee Relocation Real Estate Advisory Council — an organization developed by a small number of individuals to address the growing needs of a nation moving its employees to increase productivity — has evolved to become the premier trade association for talent management and global mobility knowledge. Today, Worldwide ERC® has a network of professionals, partners and stakeholders comprised of nearly 1,600 corporations and 10,000 service industry members across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia and the Americas.