A guide to TRM best practices for travel managers

Passport and Visa Issues: Mastering Compliance in Travel Risk Management

By: Ray Rackham

March 15 , 2024  

This is the third in a series of five articles on Travel Risk Management (TRM) best practices. TRM in a post-COVID world has never been more crucial. As companies navigate the complexities of business travel in an era marked by uncertainties and evolving risks, understanding and implementing TRM best practices is essential. This blog series, based on a comprehensive study conducted with travel managers worldwide, sheds light on the most critical aspects of TRM. Our methodology involved analyzing survey data, industry standards like ISO 31030:2021, and insights from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), ensuring a robust and practical approach to understanding TRM in today’s workplace. Download the full report here.

Addressing passport and visa complexities is a pivotal element of Travel Risk Management (TRM), a domain where meticulous management and unwavering attention to detail are non-negotiable. This article accentuates the importance of stringent management in this realm, ensuring compliance and seamless travel experiences, in line with the insights from the 'TRM in a Post-COVID World' study.   

Our study highlights the intricate challenges and complexities involved in managing passports and visas. It underscores automation and compliance as essential areas for advancement and optimization. 

Best practices in passport and visa management 

The study identified two areas in which travel and mobility managers should focus to ensure world-class passport and visa management practice.   

1. Advanced automation of passport and visa processes

While the current state shows that only 45% have automated passport renewal notifications and 39% have automated visa procurement, there lies a vast potential for organizations to elevate efficiency and compliance through state-of-the-art automation. This is particularly important as many travellers will be returning to business travel in 2024 and may have let previous passports and specific country visas expire. The GBTA predict that spending will return to and exceed 2019 levels in 2024, and it is important that an expired passport or visa does not risk that all-important overseas meeting or event. 

2. Unwavering commitment to ensuring visa compliance  

Mastery in understanding and adhering to visa requirements is paramount.  Border controls across the globe are becoming more complex, and as such the risks of non-compliance are being acutely felt; both as an organisation in terms of fines and sanctions, and as an employee being detained at the border or refused entry. A proactive approach to immigration compliance management for business travellers is needed now more than ever. It is essential for travelers to obtain the necessary visa permissions before travelling overseas. Business travellers are usually restricted in the activities they can undertake, and the length of time a traveler can visit a country as a business visitor varies country by country. Rule changes since the pandemic mean the risk of overstaying by a traveler is high, particularly where there is an absence of prior assessment and/or tracking of previous trips. 


In the intricate web of international travel, passport and visa management transcend administrative tasks, including day counts, expiry tracking, and a nuanced approach to determining if a traveler can undertake the activities they want to in the country of destination. Getting various and complex immigration considerations correct the first time remains central to ensuring legal compliance, seamless journeys and the overarching integrity of the TRM program; a narrative that is strongly reinforced by the findings of the 'TRM in a Post-COVID World' study. 

Travel well-informed with CIBTvisas 

An experienced visa specialist can help you navigate the complexities of border crossing requirements. Contact CIBTvisas for a quote today. 

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