Immigration Advocacy in Action

We live in a world where travel, immigration, and broader mobility changes are emerging, disrupting, and creating opportunities for employees and employers. These opportunities not only affect the business travel community, but also impact societies in new, exciting, and often unanticipated ways.

We live in a world of altered expectations, changing behaviours, and fluctuating norms, where new dialogues between human resources professionals, employees, and nation-states are affecting relationships on every level.

We live in a world where the future of work has never been more exciting. Yet new obstacles present unique challenges given the way we work has changed forever.

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Ray’ s Bio

Ray is a qualified solicitor with 20 years of experience in the private, public, legal and financial sectors. A graduate of the London School of Economics and the Inns of Court School of Law, Ray started his career holding various Government secretariat roles, including roles at the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office. Ray qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and has successfully led a series of client and corporate immigration compliance program portfolios with some of the largest, multi-national organisations, with a proven track record of change and transformation. Ray spent the last decade building a worldwide global borders and immigration program at HSBC.

He regularly speaks at international conferences on the short, medium and long-term issues surrounding corporate migration policy. In 2022, Ray won Global Mobility Professional of the Year at the Forum for Expatriate Management EMEA EMMAs.

Latest Episodes

The Visa Processing Conundrum

With global business travel spending expected to surpass 2019 levels in 2024, two years sooner than previously forecast, and the resurgence of business travel very much at the top of Travel Manager priorities, how prepared are immigration professionals and visa processing centers for the influx of travelers? In a world of accelerated digitization, security considerations, and political reciprocity; where visa processing issues are finding their way onto the legislative agendas in many countries; THE OPEN WORLD PODCAST host, Ray Rackham, will review key initiatives, challenges and opportunities that have presented themselves in 2023, and will extract the lessons learned to empower Travel Managers and human resources professionals in building programmatic responses for 2024 and beyond.

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Immigration Advocacy in Action

Governments worldwide are refreshing and rethinking immigration laws in order to revitalize economies, deal with skills shortages, or address aging resident populations. These revisions are opening the window for successful immigration advocates to promote change. Advocates focus on improving employment access for partners and family members of highly skilled international employees. Join host Ray Rackham in this episode of The Open World PODCAST as he discusses the importance of advocacy with Gill Gordon, Chair of the non-profit organization, the Permits Foundation.

Ray and Gill explore the twenty-two-year history of the Permits Foundation, what it means to care passionately about the rights of people we may never meet, and how advocacy plays a pivotal role in advancing this cause and positively impacting immigration and mobility policies.

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US Visa Processing: Challenges & Opportunities

Return to travel has been accelerating exponentially since the COVID-19 pandemic, with travel spending set to return to 2019 volumes by 2024 (two years earlier than predicted). The surge in demand for tourist and business Visas is resulting in processing delays, causing economic repercussions for the U.S. tourism sector. The need to create a frictionless experience by overcoming any legislative or procedural obstacles preventing travelers from border crossing is becoming vital.

In this episode of The Open World Podcast, host Ray Rackham dives into ongoing post-pandemic challenges, State Department processing delays, and long Visa wait times. He is joined by Shane Downey, Vice President of Government Relations at The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the authoritative voice of the $1.4 trillion business travel industry.

Ray and Shane discuss GBTA's ongoing advocacy efforts, from urging the U.S. to expand 'pre-clearance' at foreign airports for U.S.-bound flights to political interventions aiming to reduce visa wait times through the Visa Processing Improvement Act. GBTA’s support extends across other countries and regions, including the European Union.

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Reaction Is Inaction: Building Programmatic Proactivity

Abstract Is Reality: How Technology Is Transforming Compliant Border Crossing

The Resilience Reset

Embrace To Demystify: How To See The Simplicity In Complexity


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