Top 5 Tips for Hiring International Employees

Top 5 Tips for Hiring International Employees

If you’re a business owner in the UK looking to hire international employees, it’s important to be aware of the various regulations and requirements involved. From obtaining a sponsorship licence to complying with immigration laws, there are many things to consider when hiring international employees. In this post, we’ll go over the top 5 tips for hiring international employees and provide information about the sponsorship licence and other requirements you’ll need to be aware of.

Top 5 Tips for Hiring International Employees

1. Obtain a Sponsorship Licence

Obtain a Sponsorship Licence

One of the first steps in hiring international employees is obtaining a sponsorship licence. A sponsorship licence is required for businesses in the UK that want to sponsor a worker from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for a work visa. In order to obtain a sponsorship licence, you’ll need to:

  • Be a legitimate business operating in the UK
  • Have a genuine need for the worker you want to sponsor
  • Meet the requirements for being a sponsor, including having systems in place to manage and report on your sponsored workers

To apply for a sponsorship licence, you’ll need to complete an online application form and pay a fee. You’ll also need to provide supporting documentation, including proof of your business and the worker’s qualifications and experience. It’s important to note that the sponsorship licence process can take several weeks or even months, so it’s important to start the process as early as possible. You can find more information about the sponsorship licence, including how to apply, on the UK government’s website.

2. Consider Visa Options

Consider Visa Options

Once you have obtained a sponsorship licence, the next step is to determine the appropriate visa for the international employee you want to hire. There are several different visa options available, including:

  • Tier 2 (General) visa: This visa is for skilled workers with a job offer from a UK employer. It allows the worker to live and work in the UK for up to five years, depending on the length of the job contract.
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visa: This visa is for workers coming to the UK to do temporary or seasonal work. It allows the worker to live and work in the UK for up to 12 months.
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa: This visa is for entrepreneurs who want to set up or run a business in the UK. It allows the worker to live and work in the UK for up to five years.

Which visa is appropriate will depend on the worker’s qualifications and the nature of the job they’ll be doing. It’s important to carefully review the requirements for each visa and consult with an immigration lawyer if you have any questions.

3. Comply with Immigration Laws

Comply with Immigration Laws

It’s important to make sure you are compliant with all immigration laws when hiring international employees. This includes keeping accurate records of your sponsored workers and reporting any changes to their employment status or personal details. Failure to comply with immigration laws can result in fines and other penalties. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities as a sponsor and put systems in place to ensure compliance.

4. Provide Support and Orientation

Moving to a new country can be overwhelming, especially if the employee is not familiar with the language or culture. It’s important to provide support and orientation to help the employee adjust to their new surroundings. This can include things like providing information about local amenities, helping with housing and transportation arrangements, and providing language training if necessary. It’s also a good idea to assign a mentor or point of contact to the employee to provide ongoing support and guidance.

5. Communicate and Foster Inclusion

Communicate and Foster Inclusion

Effective communication skill is key to ensuring the success of any employee, but it’s especially important when working with international employees. Make sure to clearly communicate expectations, deadlines, and any other important information to the employee. It’s also important to foster a culture of inclusion and make sure the employee feels welcomed and valued as a member of the team. This can include things like providing opportunities for the employee to participate in team building activities and regularly checking in with them to see how they’re adjusting to their new role and environment.


Hiring international employees can be a rewarding experience for both the business and the employee. By following these tips and obtaining a sponsorship licence, considering visa options, complying with immigration laws, providing support and orientation, and communicating and fostering inclusion, you can set your international employees up for success in their new roles. Just be sure to carefully review all the requirements and consult with an immigration lawyer if you have any questions. With careful planning and preparation, you can hire international employees and expand your business in a new and exciting way.


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