The Relo Rundown


5 Things You Need to Know
About Supporting Assignees in their Home Country

In this month’s Mobility Matters podcast, we sat down to chat with Robert Wallace, Vice President of Expat Banking with HSBC*, as well as our Destination Consultants across the country to discuss how to support Assignees while they are delayed in their home country amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Here are the: 5 Things You Need to Know About…
Supporting Assignees while still in their Home Country

As many Assignees are currently waiting patiently to arrive to the US, how can IOR support while still in their home country?

We know how important it is for Assignees to “settle in” as soon as possible. One solution that HSBC Bank offers is to open an Expat Bank Account up to 180 days prior to their arrival to the US even without obtaining a visa or a Social Security number. If HSBC does not have a physical branch in the assignee’s US Destination, they can work directly with the assignee electronically throughout the banking process.

My Assignee already has an account with their bank in their home country. Can they just “transfer” the account when they relocate to the US?

HSBC’s recommendation is that the Assignee keep their home country account open, but in order to take advantage of the Expat Banking Program and it’s offerings, they will need to sign up separately from their existing account. This advice would also apply to any assignee that would like to transfer their home country account to a US account.

What about an unsecured Credit Card. Can they apply while still in their home country?

Yes, an Assignee can apply for an unsecured Credit Card while still in their home country and start using this as soon as they arrive in the US. Besides HSBC, Creditstacks* is another company that provides Assignees the option of obtaining an unsecured credit card allowing them to apply pre-arrival without any US credit or before obtaining a Social Security number.

Can their spouse apply for a Credit Card, as well? Is an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) required?

Yes, the spouse can be added onto both the Bank Account and Credit Card as an authorized user and they will both receive cards upon arrival to the US. Once the spouse obtains their Social Security number, they are eligible to apply for their own Credit Card. An Employment Authorization Document is not required for the spouse’s eligibility to obtain the Credit Card.

Will the IOR DS App help my assignee while they are still in their Home Country?

The IOR Destination Services App is a great tool for assignees to obtain relevant and useful information regarding their new destination. The Pre-Arrival Checklist helps give them an idea of what to bring, the City Guide gives them great information about their new city and the Tips and Advice section tells them about the Social Security process, The US Education System and Cultural Insights to name a few. Assignees have found the DS App extremely helpful making them feel more secure in their local knowledge before arriving to the US.

*IOR has no affiliation with HSBC or Creditstacks. No referral fees are paid to IOR.