If you’re trying to grow your business, one of the best ways to do it is to hire qualified IT staff from outside the UK. Recruiting IT staff from outside the UK isn’t always easy, however, as there are many different obstacles and issues that you may face along the way. This guide will help you get through these challenges so that you can hire top-quality offshore developers as quickly as possible and get them working on your biggest projects right away.

How to hire foreign workers abroad?

If you are an employer based in the UK, typically, you need to have a sponsor licence from UK Visas and Immigration(UKVI) before hiring foreign nationals. After getting your sponsor licence, your prospective employee will need to apply for a work visa under the skilled worker visa route, so as to gain entry into the UK. Your recruits from outside the UK will need to score points under the point based system. They may be eligible by meeting certain criteria such as relevant qualifications and experience, English language skills etc. The higher the number of points they earn, the greater your chance of success with your application is. Here are a few tips to hire offshore developers from outside the UK;

Apply for a sponsor licence

The first thing you need to do is apply for a Sponsor Licence. You can apply online.  to apply for a sponsor licence  , you will need to supply some basic information such as your company name, type of licence, and contact details. In order to prove that you have permission to work in the UK, applicants must provide identification documents and proof of residency such as a rental agreement or utility bill. To apply, here what you’ll need to do;

  • Submit the online application form1
  • Pay the application fee; Paying the application fees will depend on the size, business type, sponsor licence 
  • Submit the completed UKVI application and turn in the paperwork provided at the end of the process.
  • Upload all supporting documents to UKVI

During the course of your sponsor licence application process, it may happen that a UKVI compliance officer will come by your location for a pre-compliance inspection, ensuring that your institution conforms with the guidelines listed.

Set up the necessary procedures to meet the sponsor licence requirements

To meet the sponsor licence requirements to hire offshore developers, you’ll need to be a licenced sponsor approved by the Home Office and is registered on an approved list of sponsors. To find out more about how this process works, you can contact our immigration experts for advice and guidance. 

Meeting the compliance requirements of a licenced sponsor means that your organisation will have the necessary procedures in place to conduct legal business and recruit skilled workers from outside the UK. To achieve this, you will need to show that you; 

  •  Within set timeframes, report important changes in circumstances to UKVI
  •  Ensure that only qualified and suitable foreign workers are granted sponsorship certificates
  •  Maintain up-to-date records on sponsored workers with an HR system

Check that the job role is suitable for an overseas worker you’re planning to hire, and ensure you’re paying them enough pay at the level required for a Skilled Worker visa holder, which is £25,600. You also need to identify your ‘Key Personnel’ for the organisation such as an Authorising Officer, Key Contact, Level 1 user, and Level 2 user for the UKVI Sponsor Management System.

 Check the eligibility requirements of a sponsor licence

In order to hire an offshore developer(IT Staff), you will need a sponsor licence. Before applying for a sponsor licence, it is important to check if you meet all the requirements needed for a sponsor licence. As a UK business or an employer in the UK, before getting a sponsor licence, you will need to show;

  • Your business is established within the UK
  • Your business is genuine and legally established in the UK
  • You do not have a criminal record and you are not a threat to immigration control
  • You do not have a sponsor licence revoked in the last 12 months 
  • Comply with employer sponsorship licence requirements

Wait for your sponsorship licence to be approved

Sponsorship licences allow you to hire skilled workers from abroad, so that you can grow your business. To be eligible for a sponsorship licence, your company must meet certain criteria. After meeting the criteria and submitting your application, you will need to wait for a decision to be made on your application. You are likely to receive a decision within 8 weeks. To get a faster decision on your application you will need to pay an additional £500. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the number of applicants who can be fast-tracked each day is limited and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Check the job role and eligibility of the intended employee

The first thing you need to do when looking for an offshore developer is check whether the candidate has the necessary qualifications and experience. You’ll also need to check their eligibility, e.g. if they’re allowed to work in the UK, if their job role is eligible for sponsorship, and if they have all of the necessary documents needed. You should also consider things like English language skills, work skills, qualifications, registration, and experience needed for the role.

Lastly, you must also ensure you are paying an overseas national the appropriate salary attached to the job role.  

How We Can Help

We are partnered with experienced immigration solicitors to help bring overseas workers to the UK, whether for a short-term, long-term, or permanent stay. The process can be as simple as possible with the help of our immigration solicitors. We assist overseas workers to come to the UK, apply for sponsor licences and conduct mock compliance audits to help your business maintain its sponsor licence.

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