Getting Resources From Other Countries

When you truly need a resource for your laboratory informatics project, especially a high-end, experienced resource, it sometimes comes to the point where you have to open your search up to the world if you want to find someone. As is often the case, it’s not necessarily that there aren’t appropriate resources in your own country, more that the timing isn’t quite right and they’re all too busy to take on your project (ironically, sometimes with projects in yet other countries).

While some areas of the world have created ways to allow people more easily to work across the borders, that’s not entirely true of all related areas. What I mean is that, even between North American countries, while there are more options available to bring workers across the borders, it’s not quite the case that you can definitely plan to bring any specific person over the border to work at any time in any area.

Some companies will send you someone without checking into this. This works fine until their passport is flagged, which is done automatically by the computer. Thus, it is more obvious when someone is travelling for business versus vacation than it was in years past, as the trips all show up on the computer, now.

Here are some tips if you get to a point where you think you need to look outside your own country for resources, and this advice only applies to high-end resources. If you’re looking for a mass of junior people in order to save money, that’s a different strategy:

  1. Talk to companies like mine who have some experience in this issue. Find out if they have worked in your country, specifically, or if they know where to get the right information. Tip: Avoid any company that says, “Don’t worry about it.”
  2. Find out on your own what other countries your country most easily allows you to get workers from and what the restrictions are.
  3. Plan ahead. Depending on the situation, approval for a specific person to work in your country can take months and months. There are cases where it takes little planning but you have to find out what those are and whether they apply to your situation.
  4. Be flexible. You might think it cheapest to get someone to move to your area to work on your project for a year. However, not only might it be impossible to find someone who will move to your country instead of travelling back-and-forth for your project but getting a permit for someone to live in your country is sometimes more difficult to acquire than to get someone permission to merely work there. But it does depend on both your country and the country the person is coming from.
  5. Don’t assume anything based on past experience. Rules continue to change and agreements between various countries change. Thus, something that worked out easily in the past might be difficult, today and, vice versa, something that was hard in the past might now be easy. But whatever you went through to try to acquire someone from country X might not apply to someone from country Y

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

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