Mobility: Alternative International Assignment Survey

A close look at international assignment policies, practices and trends.

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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, including:

  • Short-term assignments
  • Permanent moves/one-way transfers
  • Commuter assignments

The survey explores trends, management, and policies and practices that companies have put in place to move talent effectively and efficiently.

Most companies are still evaluating what the future will look like, but remain focused on managing their mobility programs in the most sustainable and effective manner. The survey is an opportunity to take a pulse and gain insight on the latest trends in those assignment types mentioned above.

Latest Survey Findings

According to the latest survey findings, the most reported challenge by assignment type include:

  • Permanent transfers — salary and benefits package in host location
  • Short-term — cost containment
  • Commuters — tax and social security compliance
  • Talent development — return on investment
  • International business travelers — immigration and tax and social security compliance

More than 60% of organizations 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’.

Compared with previous survey results, more companies:

  • Have a formal policy for permanent transfers (up to 8%) and plan to develop a formal commuting policy.
  • Provide a home-finding trip to permanent transfers (up to 10%).
  • Consider governmental tax-free per diem limits when setting their per diem/daily allowance for commuters (65%).

Flexible benefits are rarely used in policies for alternative assignments. 20% offer them to one-way transfers, but less than 5% to commuters.

Data Analyzed

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


Participate in any or all of the assignment type questionnaires. For each one you complete, you will receive a 66% discount on the full report of that assignment type and exclusive access to customized reports of the data. Participate by [DATE] and receive a free executive summary. To participate in this survey please click here.


The four reports are available in PDF:

  • 1,500 USD/1,260 EUR each for nonparticipants
  • 500 USD/420 EUR each for participants

Only results from companies that completed the survey by [DATE] 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 2,500 USD/2,100 EUR. Please contact Client service or Olena Oleksyienko to discuss this option.

Order Two or More and Save

A 15% discount will be applied to your order if you purchase two or more editions of these reports.. Please contact your mobility consultant or call your region's client service number noted below.

Global Executive Summary Report from the 2016 AIA Survey, offering a comparative look at trends and management of six alternative assignment types — permanent transfers, short-term assignments, talent development, commuters, global nomads and intra-regional transfers — is available for 1,150 USD.

Note: If paying by invoice, your report will be delivered within four business days. If paying by credit card, unless otherwise noted, your report will be delivered immediately upon payment authorization.