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How Does my Business Hire Overseas Workers?

26 July 2023

As employers face an increasingly challenging recruitment market, many employers in the UK are considering recruiting migrant workers. This can be a great solution where the employer is struggling to recruit someone with the right skills by widening the search pool and recognising valuable skilled workers from overseas. However, before pressing ahead with this, employers need to ensure they are aware of what that will entail and ensure the right visas are in place.

What Visa options are there? There are two main worker Visa routes to work in the UK: the Skilled Worker Route and the Global Mobility Visa Route. The Skilled Worker route remains the most popular, giving migrant workers the possibility to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. The Global Mobility Visa Route can help employers bring staff from overseas group companies, including graduate trainees and assist overseas companies starting up in the UK.

Recruiting via these routes will require the employer to hold a Sponsorship Licence to support the worker’s Visa application. An application for the Licence usually takes from six to twelve weeks to be approved. Once awarded a Sponsorship Licence remains in place for four years, which gives employers some flexibility regarding their recruitment of overseas staff. As well as submitting an online application, supporting evidence, and covering information will also need to be provide to UK Visas and Immigration.

Once approved, the employer will need to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to each individual confirming its support for their Visa application. Once the individual has received this, they can then proceed with their application which will also include attending a biometrics appointment, supplying relevant documentary evidence of their status and role at the employer.

The individuals may also have dependants who will want to join them in the UK so it may be necessary to arrange Visas for them as well. In addition to considering obtaining the Sponsor’s Licence and the individual’s Visa, an employer will also need to consider what additional support the overseas worker may require helping to ease their integration into your business. For example, there may be language barriers, cultural differences, and unfamiliarity with local practices. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you have an in depth onboarding process in place with a buddy or mentor to help them too. It’s also worth considering a training programme for all staff so that they appreciate cultural differences too.

Despite these challenges there are benefits to recruiting from abroad – helping with filling gaps in skills and expertise which is necessary for your business. Overseas workers can also bring a different approach to thinking and fresh ideas, as well as helping to develop a culture which promotes a diverse and positive work environment contributing to the success of the business.

Considering this option, it is important to seek specialist advice to ensure compliance with the correct procedures to avoid delays in the processes. To make your immigration process as simple and stress free as possible, contact the team of specialist immigration solicitors at Loch Law; [email protected] or call 0203 667 5400.

For more information, visit our dedicated Immigration and Work Visas page.


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