Hiring employees from overseas can be an extremely effective way to solve workforce challenges, but getting started can seem daunting. The Government supports overseas recruitment and created a dedicated visa, the Health and Care Worker Visa, in February 2022

Why hire international employees?

  • Access a talent pool of millions of skilled workers within the UK and abroad
  • A loyal and committed workforce
  • High retention rates
  • Transferable skills on arrival
  • Recruit further through word-of-mouth promotion

How to recruit from overseas?

  • You must have a Sponsor License to employ someone from overseas (or candidates in the UK who require sponsorship). This process is managed by ‘UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)’

To obtain a Sponsor License yourself:

  1. Check your business is eligible
  2. Ensure the job is suitable for sponsorship
  3. Determine who will manage the sponsorship process within your organisation
    1. Authorising officer
    2. Key contact
    3. Level 1 User
    4. Lever 2 User
  4. Manage the application process
    1. Understand UKVI terminology
    2. Complete online application form
    3. Submit all relevant supporting documents
    4. Complete a covering letter for your application
    5. Submit a hierarchy chart


  • The application costs vary depending on size of business, from £536 small organizations (less than £5.1M assets or £10.2M in turnover) to £1476 for larger organisations.
  • UKVI offer a limited priority service. This operates on a first come first serve basis and costs £500. This service can turn around applications within 10 days, rather than up to 10 weeks.


  • The application process is not straightforward. Many providers applying for the first time struggle to input the correct information and produce the correct supporting documentation.
  • The process can be time consuming. To understand how the process works and produce all the relevant information and documentation can add up to days’ worth of work.
  • The process can be expensive. It is not uncommon for providers to employ the services of lawyers to prepare the application on their behalf. The price of these service can be charged at up to £6,000 per application.

Is there a better way?

  • The Borderless platform streamlines every aspect of international hiring and sponsorship, for both overseas and in-country candidates.
  • We guide providers step-by-step through the Sponsor License application process to ensure it goes through quickly and without delays

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