what you need to know about hiring oversees


Remote working has brought a wave of employers seeking to hire from overseas. Hiring skilled or specialist talent has its perks and is often essential to the expansion and success of businesses. There is often a shortage of specialist skills in the UK in some industries, which is why talent from abroad can be valuable and there are also misconceptions that the process can be time consuming and expensive.

Whilst the process may not be plain sailing and without legal advice you could run into stumbling blocks, as a business you could reap the benefits of recruiting from abroad. That’s where we step in to help you successfully navigate hiring your newest team member. 


There are many legal considerations you should be aware of, such as:

  • If your Business requires a Sponsorship licence.
  • What skill level, eligibility and requirements needed for a Skilled Worker visa.
  • Right to Work Checks including what documents are needed, how to record and what you need to store. 
  • If an Employers of Record would be suitable to assist you through the process and especially with complying with the local law in each country. 
  • Having the correct insurance cover.


It is now a requirement for employers to hold a Sponsorship Licence to hire from abroad. A Sponsorship Licence will allow you to employ skilled workers who are based overseas or within the UK. Whilst the application for the licence appears straight forward, the Home Office can be strict on what applications they will except. When applying for the licence, seeking legal advice can ensure you are in the best position for the application to be accepted. The application can take up to 8 weeks to be accepted, therefore a refused application could put you back weeks in hiring your newest recruit from abroad and could also cost a lot of money.


The Tier 2 Visa has been rebranded to a “Skilled Worker” visathey have changed the skill level required and so you may be able to recruit for positions you couldn’t before. However, the eligibility to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa is stricter and workers must now:

  • Work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office.
  • Have a Certificate of Sponsorship from their employer with information about the role they have been offered in the UK.
  • Perform a job that is on the list of eligible occupations. 


Right to Work checks have also changed and the Home Office have made the checks stricter.


Employers of Record (EoRs), or more notably known as employee leasing companies, can come in useful when hiring your newest recruit. Essentially, you will pay a fee to a ‘leasing company’ who will become the legal employer of your newest recruit. They will be experts on the legal framework in the country where your newest recruit is located and can take away the stresses such as complying with local law, compliance, paperwork, payroll, and tax administration.

Sounds simple? The reality is that as stress-free as it might seem, there are also many potential risks. Across the board, they are a relatively new concept and how the responsibilities are allocated between the business and the EoR has not yet been established. As the topic can be complicated, we will go into more detail in an upcoming blog.

As you can see, hiring your newest recruit from overseas does not come without obstacles and so if you are seeking to embark on this route and wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, click here