Three images of different locations in Oxfordshire. River Glym, Cottages and Oxford Centre.

Overseas Recruitment

Information for employers on recruiting outside of the UK

Recruiting from overseas is an effective way to support your workforce, but it is not a quick fix. The Government supports overseas recruitment and has added Care Roles to the Skilled Worker Visa.

Overseas recruitment isn’t for everyone. It’s a serious commitment with significant responsibilities on you, the employer. However, most say the benefits outweigh the challenges, cost and effort involved.

Take a look at the steps below to find out whether you are ready to get started.

Do you have?

  • Permanent vacancies for roles that pay a minimum £20,480 or £10.10 per hour (based on 39 hour week)?


  • Capacity to support the whole process?


  • Dedicated people in your organisation who will take responsibility for the end to end process?

  • A long term workforce plan?

How much does it cost?

Application Cost

The application costs vary depending on size of business from £536 for an organisation employing 50 or less with assets under 5m to £1476 for larger organisations.

Health and Care Visa

The Health and Care Visa application is processed faster, has lower fees and qualifies for an exemption from the immigration health surcharge, so care workers will benefit from cheaper and quicker visa applications.

Priority Service

UKVI offer a priority service which is currently limited to 10 organisations per day. This operates on a first come first serve basis and costs £500. This service can turn around applications within 10 days.

What are the benefits?

A loyal and committed workforce

Transferable skills on arrival

High retention rates

Future recruits from word of mouth promotion

How do I recruit from overseas?

You’ll need a sponsor licence to employ someone to work for you from outside the UK. This process is managed by UKVisas and immigration (UKVI)

How do I get a sponsorship licence?

Step 1

Check your business is eligible

Step 3

Decide who will manage the sponsorship within your organisation. There are three areas to cover, this can all be done by the same person.

  • Authorising officer – a senior and competent person responsible for the actions of staff and representatives who use the SMS
  • Key contact – your main point of contact with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
  • Level 1 user – responsible for all day-to-day management of your licence using the SMS.

Step 4

Apply for the sponsorship licence, you will need to supply:

• Online Application Form
• Covering Letter
• Supporting Documents
• Hierarchy Chart

The process should take eight weeks to complete, but it can take longer.

Once you have a licence you will need to obtain an appropriate certificate of sponsorship (CoS)

The Certificate of Sponsorship relates to the workers who are linked to the sponsorship licence. There is one certificate required for each worker.

Where can I find more information on recruiting overseas?

OACP Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers

Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers (OACP) have got resources and information available on their website for employers and prospective candidates.

The Local Government Association have lots of useful information on their website, including this case study of someone who has been through the process.


The UK Government website has up to date information and advice on applying for working Visa’s. All of the information you need should be available on this website.