Webinar Recap- Streamline International Hiring with EOR Visa Sponsorship blog header

Webinar Recap: Streamline International Hiring with EOR Visa Sponsorship

Deel’s mobility experts talk with ifood to share how using an EOR can accelerate global hiring and mobility and relieve HR teams of administrative burdens.

Jemima Owen-Jones
Written by Jemima Owen-Jones
July 5, 2023
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Key takeaways

  1. The pandemic disrupted the traditional notion of global mobility, which revolved around physical travel.
  2. Remote working and changing worker preferences forced companies to change how they source and retain talent.
  3. Deel aims to transform how companies navigate international hiring by leveraging EOR visa sponsorship.


Watch the webinar below or read on for the full recap

The evolving mobility landscape

Industry experts Masha, Kamylle, and Kayo shared their insights on the evolving landscape of global mobility and its implications for organizations. They shed light on the profound changes in recent years and the challenges companies face in adapting to this new paradigm. 

Masha reminisced about her pre-COVID routine, where frequent international travel was the norm for many professionals. She mentioned her weekly commutes from the UAE to Kazakhstan, highlighting the diverse experiences she encountered due to drastic climate variations. 

However, with the onset of the pandemic, everything changed. Masha described how the prolonged work-from-home period reshaped the concept of “normal,” rendering the traditional mode of mobility obsolete.

Masha shared, “Then COVID happened, and... two years later, the new normal was very different from my commute to a different country every other week.”

Kayo emphasized the transition of global mobility from a reactive and policy-driven function to a more proactive and strategic one. He noted that traditional companies primarily focused on policies, benefits, and program structures. However, the landscape has shifted towards strategic mobility discussions that involve global talent acquisition and resource allocation.

Kayo stated, “We left this more reactive place... to a more proactive and strategic place when talking about global mobility.”

Kayo shared his experience working in startups with limited mobility budgets and how shifting towards a global workforce necessitated new approaches. He highlighted the challenges HR departments face in adapting to the complexities of hiring talent from different countries.

Kayo expressed, “We didn’t discuss any hiring overseas... And now we are talking about mobility more... mobility is a new thing for them...”

Collaboration and alignment across various departments are paramount to successfully implementing global mobility initiatives. Kayo emphasized the need to engage HR, operations, IT, and leadership in discussions about global mobility’s operational and logistical aspects.

Kayo explained, “We had to introduce [global mobility] to everyone and try to update everyone about how this new country will operate... There are many details that... we had to align... with everyone.”

Shifting focus from travel to remote work

Kamylle highlighted how the pandemic disrupted the traditional notion of global mobility, which revolved around physical travel. She recalled the panic that ensued when governments implemented travel restrictions and the realization that remote work would become the new norm.

Kamylle recalled, “Before the pandemic... it’s all about travel all the time and being global... People cannot travel anymore.”

Kamylle described how the pandemic forced the transition from immigration visas and physical relocation to finding alternative ways to tap into talent across borders.

Kamylle noted, “Before the pandemic, it was more like immigration, visa...I will move this candidate to another country... and now this is not the reality anymore...”

The sudden changes brought about by the pandemic presented unique challenges for mobility professionals. Masha highlighted the need to reassess remote work policies and explore hybrid approaches while grappling with the lack of established best practices.

Masha reflected, “All of a sudden, mobility professionals had to deal with... what do you do with remote policies?... What do other companies do? Nobody had an answer... It was our [problem] to solve.”

Using mobility for strategic talent acquisition

Kayo underscored the strategic importance of global mobility in sourcing talent from different countries. Organizations can identify talent pools in other regions that align with specific positions by collaborating with hiring managers and leadership.

Kayo emphasized, “Global mobility is more strategic... [so] we can discuss with the leadership and hiring managers... where we can find a pool of talent in another country for this kind of position.”

By adapting to these changes and fostering cross-departmental collaboration, companies can effectively support their workforce and tap into talent on a global scale.


Redefining work-life balance and flexibility

The pandemic made individuals reevaluate their lifestyles and seek more meaningful moves rather than purely work-driven relocations. Kamylle emphasized the desire for flexibility and having a broader range of options to choose from.

Kamylle expressed, “All of a sudden, we are working from home... I want to move, but this should be meaningful to me... becoming more flexible, having more options.”

As mobility professionals continue to navigate these changes, embracing flexibility and redefining work-life balance will be vital in supporting the evolving needs of the global workforce.

Kayo recounted how employees, recognizing the newfound flexibility from remote work, expressed their desire to pursue personal dreams and live in different countries while remaining employed by ifood. The cases presented unique challenges involving individuals with families and young professionals seeking new experiences.

Kayo shared, “When we talked about the remote, most people thought now’s the time to run after my dreams... living in another country and trying to have another life...”

Using EOR visa sponsorship to retain talent

EOR stands for employer of record. Using the EOR model, companies don’t have to build out their own legal entity in a foreign country to hire or sponsor an international worker. 

Kayo shared his experiences utilizing Deel’s EOR visa and immigration service to address specific employee requests and retain valuable talent. He discussed two recent cases where employees expressed a desire to continue working for ifood while living in different countries for personal or family reasons. Kayo highlighted the role of EOR, particularly Deel, in facilitating the seamless employment of these individuals. 

Kayo explained, “We use EOR as the entity that hired this employee for us in the country we needed... Deel was able to hire those employees for us.”

Kayo emphasized the versatility of EOR services in handling different scenarios. He shared two specific cases: one involving a family with a husband, wife, and three children and another involving a single young professional. Kayo aligned the necessary details with Deel, ensuring both employees could access ifood’s systems and benefits seamlessly.

Kayo said, “I handled two cases with Deel’s EOR model... Now they are part of our operation. They are hired by Deel but working for ifood.”

Operational efficiency

Kayo praised the strategic value of Deel’s EOR model and its ability to solve complex global mobility challenges. By partnering with Deel, he ensured smooth operations and addressed employees’ needs while maintaining compliance with local regulations.

Kayo expressed, “That’s a strategic place where I can bring to the company and the operation answers... I think Deel helps me to bring the answers.”

From a strategic standpoint, Kayo highlighted how he calculates the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) cost to demonstrate the potential savings and improved experience of working with Deel. When comparing the costs and time required to absorb the operation internally versus utilizing Deel’s services, the EOR method is superior. 

Addressing country-specific nuances with local expertise 

Kayo emphasized the value of working with a partner with local expertise and can address country-specific nuances, leading to a more efficient and confident immigration process.

Having worked with Deel on multiple visas while building their processes, Kayo provided feedback. He highlighted the importance of local expertise and how it brings confidence to the immigration process. Kayo mentioned his experience with other immigration companies in Brazil that lacked the necessary knowledge and context for operations in other countries. 

A significant advantage is the ability to meet with someone local who understands the specific requirements and can provide clear answers in a language that non-lawyers can understand. It simplifies the process, reduces the need for multiple meetings, and enhances the employee experience.


Providing a positive immigration experience

Deel goes beyond being an EOR to provide comprehensive support and solutions that make employees feel valued and connected to the company. 

Kamylle emphasized that a remarkable worker experience encompasses more than just the visa process and relocation. Employees want to feel a sense of belonging to the company, even if hired through Deel. To meet this expectation, Deel positions itself as a problem-solving company, offering solutions beyond traditional EOR services.

Kamylle explained, “We’re not just an EOR. We provide solutions for almost everything... Running payroll alone is not enough. You want to make sure that you offer your employees, wherever they are, the same experience they would have if hired through the company. And that’s what we do at Deel.”

Kamylle emphasized the importance of providing personalized support and attention to detail to ensure an exceptional worker experience. This includes assisting employees with practical aspects of remote work, such as finding suitable workspaces, managing equipment, and overcoming logistical challenges like shipping electronics internationally.

Masha agreed, “It’s not enough, only to hire... Every single person that we hire should have that employee experience. They should have that very human experience that somebody cares and will figure that out no matter how far away you are...”

Kayo also emphasized the significance of demonstrating care and attention to detail in immigration and relocation processes, remembering the names of employees and their families, explaining the dynamics of the new location, and considering personal factors like school arrangements and rent payment methods all contribute to building confidence and trust.

Kayo explained, “As long as we show that we care about the details, they will have more confidence making this move...”

A human-centric approach

During the webinar, the discussion revolved around how Deel assists companies during times of strife or conflict when employees may risk losing their work authorization in a specific country. Deel aims to alleviate stress and provide comprehensive support to individuals.

Masha stated, “We’ve had so many of these situations where companies come to us, and they talk about strife or war and want to help their employees... This is where we really love to plug [Deel] because it comes back to humanity. You really feel like you’re giving back, you’re helping, and you’re really taking a lot of stress away from individuals.”

For instance, in a hypothetical situation involving a war in Russia, a client may express concerns about the safety of their employees and inquire about alternative locations. Deel can provide insights into suitable countries, considering the requirements and costs of such a move.

By partnering with Deel, companies can avoid the complexities associated with entity setup, payroll management, and hiring through their own organization.

The webinar participants discussed the personal connections that can develop when working with Deel Immigration. Masha shared an anecdote about individuals she helped when the team was small and how they have become friends who reach out for support regardless of her role or title. This connection exemplifies the human aspect of the work and the understanding of the challenges faced from both a business and personal perspective.


Why choose Deel Immigration_v1

Navigating the complexity and bureaucracy associated with immigration

Legislation surrounding immigration remains rooted in outdated bureaucratic systems and fails to reflect the rapidly evolving global landscape. To shed light on this matter, we turn to Kamylle and explore Deel’s approach to revolutionizing the immigration experience. 

Deel recognizes the need for change and aims to transform how people navigate immigration processes worldwide. By challenging traditional norms and leveraging innovative solutions, Deel strives to simplify and streamline the immigration journey, making it more efficient and user-friendly. 

Kamylle: “First, we must understand the company’s pain points. When a company approaches us, they don’t want us to prepare a report for them and send it over for review. They want answers. Immigration is complex. They want to understand how to sponsor a visa in a country. Should they open an entity to do this?... And we are going to provide you with answers. 

...I don’t think our clients want to learn immigration; they want to know how to get an outcome. I want to understand what the best outcome is for you in the long term. And I want to figure out how to make that happen for you in the simplest way possible because it can get complicated..."

Deel’s future plans for immigration

Deel aims to empower individuals to navigate visa eligibility independently by investing in automation and user-friendly tools.

Masha: “We are investing in building specifically for immigration and mobility products at Deel. You’ll be able to go in and figure out whether or not you are eligible for a visa quite soon on your own. You wouldn’t need us. I love automating myself out of a job. That’s the whole point. And so I think there’s just so much there that we can improve on, automate, make easier, speak a normal human language.”


What are STEM visas? 

STEM visas, particularly in the context of the United States, refer to visas that allow individuals with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields to stay and engage in practical training in the US. The most common programs associated with STEM visas are Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

In the case of OPT and CPT, individuals with STEM degrees from US universities can extend their stay in the US to gain practical work experience related to their field of study.

Deel actively supports STEM visa applications and offers comprehensive services to facilitate the training and compliance requirements associated with these visas.

How does Deel handle employment separations for a non-at-will country of employment? 

With Deel as the EOR taking on the core compliance responsibility of the employer, the organization handles employment separations for non-at-will countries of employment by considering each country’s specific legislation. Deel has developed a structured and automated process to address these requirements.

Deel leverages the expertise of its legal team, which provide guidance and support on the legal aspects of employment separations in non-at-will jurisdictions. In addition, Deel has integrated this knowledge and expertise into its platform, making it easier for clients to navigate the complexities of termination processes.

How does Deel ensure a smooth and enjoyable relocation and immigration experience? 

Transparency plays a crucial role in ensuring a positive experience. Deel acknowledges that some aspects of the immigration process, such as government regulations and protectionist policies, are beyond their control. However, by being transparent about their efforts on behalf of the employees and acting as their advocate, Deel aims to make a significant difference. Even in cases where outcomes may not meet expectations, transparency helps employees feel that Deel did everything possible for them.

Masha: “Transparency is the most important in ensuring a good experience... If you’re transparent about everything you’re doing on their behalf, that you are their advocate, it makes a huge difference... Transparency is paramount in this business.”

Aligning expectations is another crucial aspect of providing a positive relocation experience. Deel recognizes the importance of addressing specific cases and individual circumstances, such as the expectations of married employees and their families. By discussing potential challenges and changes in the immigration landscape, Deel ensures that employees are well-prepared for the journey ahead.

Kayo: “When we align expectations... the person will be trying to be more ready for what’s going to come, what the journey is bringing... Expectations and transparency go hand in hand.”

Maintaining clear and realistic expectations is crucial, as people tend to hear what they want to hear. By being transparent and setting accurate expectations, Deel helps employees understand the timeline and potential obstacles involved in the visa and immigration process. This approach makes employees better prepared and reduces the likelihood of disappointment or misunderstandings.

Masha: “When you say, ‘Hey, the visa is going to take two to four months,’ what do you think people walk away with? Two. It’s going to take two months. And I find that very, very interesting. We hear what we want to hear. So expectations and transparency actually go really hand in hand there."

Once a visa is approved, can you change employers?

It depends on the country. Everything in immigration is ‘it depends’ and ‘do you qualify?’ But in theory, if you’re eligible and there is an option for transfer, which most countries do have, then yes, absolutely, you can change your employer. And it’s a pretty straightforward process in most countries.

Has Deel developed a solution to align compensation to make a fair, competitive offer from an immigration perspective?  

Deel’s 100+ entities worldwide and extensive internal data across various roles and industry surveys allow them to deeply understand each country’s specific nuances.

This local knowledge helps support clients by providing insights beyond simply hiring in a particular country, considering factors like job titles, positions, and benchmarking salaries.

By combining all this information, Deel’s intuitive platform can advise its clients on compensation from an immigration perspective. When filling in salary details for contracting, the platform compares the salary to others in similar positions. This feature explains how the compensation aligns with the local market, ensuring competitiveness and long-term retention.

What is Deel’s responsibility for managing the relationship between employer and independent contractor?

Masha: The relationship between an independent contractor, Deel, and the employer evolves over time…with Deel Shield, the contractor is ours, and we lend them to you. In that scenario, we take on all the risk, all the compliance, and all the interactions. Whereas, if it’s your contractor and you’re not under Shield, you take all the interactions, but Deel is there as a platform to help you automate some of these interactions." 

Kamylle added, “...through Shield, we can hire the contractors on your behalf and provide you with compliance, payment, and everything that you need to support them…”

How much admin will the HR teams need to factor in during the visa procurement process?

Deel handles the entire immigration procedure, allowing clients to focus on aligning expectations and preparing for the employee’s onboarding.

Kamylle highlighted the benefits of using Deel’s EOR service for immigration sponsorship, stating, “If we are doing this through an employee of record, we are going to be the one who sponsored the visa... All documents are going to be through Deel.” 

Kamylle also highlighted the relief provided by Deel’s handling of corporate documents and compliance requirements. They explained, “All of that goes away. You don’t have to think about it... We do all of that."

Kayo shared their positive experience with Deel’s immigration support, expressing how they appreciated the direct communication between Deel and the employer. They stated, “I talked to Deel right away, and I already had the answer... I didn’t have to intermediate in kind of conversation or translating.” 

Furthermore, Kamylle mentioned the challenges clients face regarding visa timelines and setting up entities in different countries. They noted that Deel’s solution allows for immediate hiring, even in cases where visa processing times are lengthy or uncertain. This efficiency enables businesses to secure talent promptly and avoid losing valuable candidates to competitors.

Can a US company hire an Egyptian independent contractor and employee say in Portugal?

Masha: “Yes. That’s exactly what you can do under the EOR model. And you don’t have to build out your own legal presence in that country, which can be very difficult.”

Can Deel help us keep up with visa expiration dates and renewals to avoid disrupting our operations? 

Masha: “Absolutely. We have an entire product feature that is already out. We keep iterating on the automation around it that will alert you, the employee, the client, and us when the visa is coming up for renewal. Then we will get your approval to move forward with the renewal, easy peasy.”

Streamline international hiring with Deel

We handle everything, from assessing eligibility, selecting the proper visa, collecting required documentation, providing visa sponsorship, filing applications, and working with local governments to streamline the process for everyone involved. 

With Deel, you’ll receive the following: 

One-on-one support: Whether you have a case-specific question or a general inquiry, we are always available to provide the information and guidance you need.

Accelerated immigration: Leave all admin to our experts. We handle the visa sponsorship, application process, and compliance in a fraction of the time.

Real-time application updates: Track the status of your application via your Deel dashboard. 

How Does Visa Sponsorship Work at Deel_-1

Ready to onboard your next international hire? Learn more about how Deel’s visa and immigration support, or book a 15-minute slot with an expert to get your questions answered. 


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