Alternative International Assignments Survey

A close look at the policies, practices, and trends of prevalent alternatives.

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The Alternative International Assignments Policies and Practices Survey (AIA) reports offer an in-depth look into the use of international assignments other than long-term expatriate assignments: short-term assignments, permanent moves / one-way transfers, and commuter assignments. The survey explores trends, management, and policies and practices that companies have put in place to move talent effectively and efficiently.

The 2020/2021 survey edition took place during a challenging time throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Most companies are still evaluating what the future will look like, but remain very much focused on managing their mobility programs in the most sustainable and effective manner. Nevertheless, the survey was an opportunity to take the pulse and gain insight on the latest trends in those assignment types.

We specifically asked participants whether the pandemic and its numerous economic and social consequences affected their expectations regarding the evolution of the surveyed assignment types. As expected, more than half —and even 60% for the short-term assignments — say it affected their trend expectations.

However, while there remain many uncertainties about the longer-term impact of the pandemic, expectations with regard to the evolution of alternative assignment types look contrasted between those who expect a decrease in certain alternative assignment types to the benefit of more remote working and virtual assignments, and those who, on the contrary, expect some of these “alternatives” to long-term assignments to increase.

  • Product Details
  • Pricing / Buy Now
  • Latest Survey Findings
  • 2023 Survey Participation

Product Details

Data Collected

For each mentioned assignment type, the survey examines:

Short-term assignments

  • Trends and demographics
  • Short-term assignment policies and practices
  • Compensation approach for short-term assignments
  • Cost of living / daily living costs
  • Tax Housing and utilities
  • Mobility and hardship premiums
  • Education and childcare
  • Transportation
  • Travel and home leave
  • Additional support
  • Benefits

Permanent moves / one-way transfers

  • Trends and management
  • Compensation approach for permanent moves / one-way transfers
  • “Plus” allowances / benefits in kind and relocation support
  • Benefits

Commuter assignments

  • Trends and management
  • Compensation approach for commuters
  • Living costs
  • Tax
  • Housing and utilities
  • Mobility premium / assignment incentive and hardship premium
  • Education and childcare
  • Transportation
  • Travel policy
  • Benefits
  • Additional assistance


The three reports are available in PDF for USD 1500 / EUR 1260 each for non-participants or USD 500 / EUR 420 each for participants. Only results from companies that completed the survey by June 2021 are represented in these reports, but you may still participate in this survey to receive both the discounted pricing and access to custom cuts of the data.

Custom cuts start at USD 2500 / EUR 2100. Please contact Client service or Olena Oleksyienko to discuss this option.

Order Two or More and Save

If you purchase two or more AIA reports, a 15% discount will be applied to your order. Please contact your mobility consultant or our Client service.

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Alternative International Assignments Survey

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Latest Survey Findings

Most reported challenge by assignment type:

  • Permanent transfers – Immigration issues
  • Short-term – Tracking informal arrangements
  • Commuters – Tax and social security compliance

Slightly lower compared to the 2018 AIA survey results, close to 60% allow families to visit short-term assignees in lieu of home leave. A majority of respondents do not allow assignees to spend home leave in a location other than the ‘home location.’

On the rise, compared with previous survey results, more companies:

  • Have a formal policy for commuters (up 22 percentage points (pp)) and short-term assignments (up 7 pp).
  • Track the number of days commuters spend outside their home countries (a noticeable increase from 56% in 2018 to almost 70% in the current edition).
  • Report that Global Mobility is responsible for the management of commuters (61% in 2020/2021 versus 55% in 2018) and the relocation process for permanent transfers (44% in 2020/2021 vs. 33% in 2018).

2023 Survey Participation

Data Submission Tools

Participate online: Permanent Moves/One-Way Transfers and Internationally Hired Foreigners

Participate online: Short-Term Assignments

2023 survey participation is now open!

The act of submitting data to a survey is known as survey participation and your company is then viewed as a participant. Survey participation is open to all organizations and is not required to purchase results. The 2023 AIA study is comprised of two questionnaires:

  • Permanent Moves/One-Way Transfers and Internationally Hired Foreigners – this survey explores trends and policies and practices currently in place to manage the one-way relocation of existing employees and how they may differ from policies and practices used for internationally hired employees.
  • Short-Term Assignments – this survey explores trends and policies and practices currently in place to manage short-term assignments and how they evolved since our last survey edition.

Key Dates

  • Participation opens May 3, 2023
  • Participation closes June 6, 2023

Why should you participate?

  • Receive complimentary access to the executive summary of the results for each survey you have completed.
  • Access the full survey report at a 66% discount for each survey completed.
  • Survey participants can also order custom cut benchmarking reports for tailored insights and company positioning.
  • IsOrderingSetYes
  • Ordering TypeMultiLevelMultiSelection
  • Enable ParticipationNo
  • Sub TitleA close look at the policies, practices, and trends of prevalent alternatives.
  • RegionUS
  • Short DescriptionPolicies, practices, and trends for six prevalent assignment alternatives.

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