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How to Get the Best Global Talent for Your Startup With EOR Visa Sponsorship

EOR sponsored visas can help your startup attract, hire, and retain top global talent. Discover how they work and all the features of the service

Jemima Owen-Jones
Written by Jemima Owen-Jones
February 26, 2024
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Key takeaways

  1. Startups often lack the capital required to establish legal entities in all the different countries where they need to hire and relocate employees. They can miss out on talented candidates and lose essential members of the workforce.
  2. Employer of record (EOR) can sponsor and hire international employees on behalf of your startup, thereby giving you access to new markets and a wider talent pool.
  3. Our article walks you through all the features of an EOR service and how they can help you with the visa process.

Global talent acquisition is key to startup success. You need to find the best foreign employees and support key workers as they travel.

The main obstacle is establishing legal entities abroad to sponsor employee visas. With your limited resources, your startup may struggle with the high costs and complexities of the process. However, if you can’t support visas, there’s a risk you’ll miss out on talent, or you won’t be able to retain your best workers.

An EOR service like Deel can enable you to hire and relocate international talent without the need to establish entities. Continue reading to discover how EOR-sponsored visas work and what challenges they can help startups solve.

What is EOR visa sponsorship?

EOR visa sponsorship is when you allow a third-party service to hire foreign employees and sponsor their work visas on your behalf. The provider acts as the legal employer and assumes responsibility for workers within specific locations.

By outsourcing to an EOR, startups can hire or relocate abroad without establishing a presence in that country. That means you can dodge the costs of opening a local entity and enter foreign markets more quickly. You can also support employee relocations and a mobile workforce.

Global EORs maintain a presence in multiple locations, enabling you to hire and relocate workers wherever you need to. For example, Deel operates in over 110 countries worldwide. Deel Immigration has supported visas for startups in places as far-reaching as Berlin, Canada, and Australia.

Consulting company, Sweep, wouldn’t have been able to find the right talent or manage global expansion without an EOR.

Being able to work remotely with a global team [has] been super transformative for me. I can now get access to top talent without asking them to relocate, and without my company necessarily being an enterprise. My team and any applicant can stay in their home country while enjoying working for Sweep. I’ve been able to hire in London easily, Bulgaria, the United States, and more. Every company and every talent now has the same chance. Everything is possible.

Rachel Delacour, CEO and Co-Founder, Sweep

How EOR visa sponsorship helps startups with talent acquisition

EOR visa sponsorship can be a strategic asset for startups as it allows you to access a wider talent pool. Being able to find the right workers is especially crucial during the ongoing talent shortage—one in four employers say they can’t fill positions.

With an EOR, you can also streamline hiring to acquire workers from foreign countries as and when you need them. If your top talent needs to move, you can also continue to employ them in their new location.

Here’s how the EOR service can help with different aspects of the work visa process:

Ensuring eligibility for sponsorship

When you use an EOR, you have a stronger guarantee that you’re eligible to support employees for work visas. That means you won’t miss out on top candidates because you can’t sponsor their visa application. You can also move forward with international hires and relocations with less risk of legal complications and delays.

The main issue with supporting work visas directly is that startups may struggle to qualify as eligible sponsors.

Most countries require employer sponsors to have established a presence and registered themselves with the relevant authorities. For example, to become a recognized sponsor in the Netherlands, you have to apply and undergo an assessment. However, startups often lack the resources to set up operations in new locations and maintain compliance.

EORs have already established an entity in these countries and obtained all the necessary licenses. The best service providers should already have a proven track record of sponsoring different work visas. For instance, Deel has many case studies about the companies they’ve provided with visa support.

Managing the visa process

EOR services handle the visa application on your behalf including collecting the supporting documents, filing forms, and arranging any background checks. As providers like Deel use a team of immigration experts, you can ensure workers have a seamless experience and build trust with your company.

By comparison, startups are unlikely to have the expertise required to effectively navigate the visa process. While you can hire immigration specialists or learn the steps yourself, you may end up stretching your resources.

When it comes to visa renewals, the EOR service can also help you keep talent in the county and under your employment. Deel Immigration even supports long-term residency, including the EU Blue Card scheme in Europe and the Green Card in the US. 

Streamlining the setup and onboarding process

Using an EOR service helps workers get set up in their new country and integrated into your company faster. You can ensure international teams are settled and ready to start their jobs sooner.

An EOR provider lets employees monitor their visa application progress via the dashboard. They can know what stage they’re at and what’s expected of them. There won’t be any unnecessary confusion or delays as you pass information back and forth between your team and different government departments.

As soon as the visa is approved, an EOR service manages all the necessary documentation. You can have employees upload any paperwork or digitally sign forms.

Most countries also require migrants to register with specific offices or join certain services during or after the visa process. For example, they may need to open a national bank account. An EOR can inform workers about their options and guide them through these steps.

Administering payroll and benefits

Managing global payroll and benefits is easier through an EOR provider. The service takes responsibility for both making payments and administering benefits in compliance with visa requirements.

For example, many work visas are contingent on the sponsor:

  • Offering pay above a minimum salary threshold
  • Withholding taxes at the correct rates
  • Employing workers for full-time hours
  • Paying wages at a set frequency
  • Enrolling workers in certain benefits
  • Meeting national guidelines for paid time off

Without a dedicated payroll team, startups may not be able to manage different international payments and benefits. They may also find these administrative tasks pull their team’s focus from key strategic initiatives. Outsourcing to an EOR ensures you stay compliant with tax and labor laws and allows you to allocate resources more effectively.

Top EOR providers source and manage the best local benefits packages. For example, Deel finds the best health insurance, worker’s compensation, and retirement plans at competitive prices. Employees can log into our system to look at their choices and enroll in schemes.

Maintaining compliance with local tax and employment laws

Once you’ve hired or relocated talent, an EOR provider ensures your workers continue to meet the conditions of their visa. Neither you nor your team will have to worry about them suddenly having to leave the country or being unable to work.

For instance, many work visas only support specific types of employment. If you want to promote or transfer a worker, your EOR can help you craft a new contract that still meets the conditions of their stay. 

If you’re hiring within the EU, maintaining compliance can be critical. Businesses often operate across borders as there’s a single market. You need to be sure employees can travel between member states without triggering work or visa authorization issues.

Learn how software company, Mixtiles has used Deel to stay compliant while hiring team members from across the world:

Some of the challenges that we have faced dealing with bringing on people from around the world is related to just making sure that we're compliant when it comes to the contracts that we use and paying people in the currencies that they want to be paid in, those sorts of things.With Deel to date, we have hired over 125 team members across 11 different countries including The United States, Australia, Canada, The UK and more. When we first saw all of the information that we used to have in other formats, all in the Deel platform, all clean and in one place, it really was pretty, pretty powerful.

Mixtiles, technology software company, Tel Aviv

How to sponsor a work visa through Deel’s EOR

Deel has built EOR visa sponsorship into our global HR platform. Startups can easily check a worker’s eligibility and request the service while drafting a new contract. 

Watch our video to see how it works:

The benefits of using EOR sponsored work visas

Aside from helping you manage global employment, EOR sponsored visas can bring other advantages. Here are some of the main benefits startups can expect:

  • Access to additional features: EOR providers often include other useful tools and services besides visa sponsorship and payroll. For example, Deel has equipment provisioning, time tracking, and engagement plug-ins
  • Support for independent contractors: Many EORs help you hire freelancers compliantly and eliminate the risk of misclassification. Deel even assumes liability for your contractors
  • Extra operational efficiency: By handling time-consuming administrative tasks, EORs allow your team to focus on core operations. You don’t need to expand your finance or procurement teams until you’re at the right development stage
  • Sustainable startup growth: When you don’t have to hire legal or immigration specialists, you can maintain a lean team and tight labor cost percentages
  • Greater staff wellbeing: The visa process can be stressful for both applicants and the team supporting them. Having an EOR handle the process could alleviate some of their concerns
  • Improved employee satisfaction: EORs support a remote-first work culture that allows your team to travel freely or perform their jobs from convenient locations. When you can accommodate their needs and preferences, employees are more likely to be engaged and satisfied
  • Higher hiring and retention rates: You can attract and retain more talent if you can offer them work from anywhere policies or relocations to desirable places. One in five workers say the biggest benefit to remote work is living where they choose
  • Availability in different time zones: If you’re mostly based in North America, for example, organizing visas in an Asian time zone may be challenging. However, EOR services are normally available 27/4 

Hire and relocate anywhere with Deel 

Outsourcing visa sponsorship to an EOR provider can give startups a strategic advantage. You can manage your global workforce more effectively to tap into emerging talent pools and relocate key workers to desirable locations.

Deel remains the largest global EOR provider, with over 1000 entities. We have local legal and immigration experts with in-depth knowledge of the sponsorship process and local laws in every country where we have a presence. We’ve also partnered with immigration experts, Legalpad, to cover a wide range of different visas and work permits.

Wondering if Deel could help your startup secure the best talent? Book a demo to learn more about our features and services.

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