Global Work Glossary

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Table of Contents

Which types of visas require sponsorship?

Who’s eligible to sponsor a visa?

How can visa sponsorship benefit a company?

What’s the usual process of sponsoring a visa?

What are the challenges of visa sponsorship?

Are there any compliance issues related to visa sponsorship?

How can HR ensure the success of visa sponsorships?

How can visa sponsorship affect your global brand?

Support relocations anytime, anywhere with Deel

What is visa sponsorship

Visa sponsorship refers to the act of an individual or company taking responsibility for a foreign national entering the country to live, study, or work. It is a requirement of many immigrant and non-immigrant visas worldwide.

Which types of visas require sponsorship?

Sponsorship is a visa requirement for many categories, including:

  • Work visas
  • Student visas
  • Dependent visas
  • Permanent residency

Some countries make exceptions for special circumstances. For example, some US work visas allow workers to sponsor themselves if they can prove they have desirable skills or expertise. However, departments like the US Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) usually consider these visas on a case-by-case basis.

Although applicants have to meet other criteria, sponsorship isn’t usually a condition for the following visa categories:

Most individuals and companies can sponsor a visa provided they meet the following conditions:

  • A legal presence in the county
  • A clean criminal record
  • No previous visa violations
  • The financial means to support the applicant

In some cases, visa sponsors must demonstrate they have a relationship with or tie to the applicant. They might need to prove they’re lawfully married or have made them a binding job offer.

How can visa sponsorship benefit a company?

Visa sponsorship can significantly benefit companies by allowing them to recruit from a global talent pool. You have the option to bring in skills and expertise that may be scarce locally. Hiring from a wide range of candidates also enhances diversity, innovation, and understanding of international markets.

As there’s a wide range of visa categories, sponsorship also grants companies a lot of flexibility. You can offer temporary stays or permanent residency like the popular USA Green Card. Some visas allow the holder to move freely between different countries so they can travel for work.

Sponsoring visas also enables you to support your workforce, improve the employee experience, and retain top talent. You can assist with relocations and offer generous work-from-anywhere policies. If workers have family members, you can ensure they’re included on the visa as well.

See also: Worldwide Visa Support for Dependents: A Guide for Businesses

What’s the usual process of sponsoring a visa?

Visa sponsorship processes vary between countries and across different categories. However, they usually involve obtaining permission from the authorities and providing evidence that you meet the qualifying criteria.

Employment-based visas frequently require you to arrange a check through your local Department of Labor before you extend the job offer. Many countries call this process ‘labor certification’, and it establishes that no citizens are available for the role. The US, the UK, and Canada are among the countries that have a labor market test.

You then have to check candidates are eligible for the desired visa. Many categories expect skilled workers to prove they have the right qualifications and experience. Applicants may need to be in a specialty occupation or demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field.

Usually, you file a petition on behalf of your foreign worker to immigration services with any supporting documents. The candidate may also have to apply through the embassy or consulate in their home country. In this case, you may need to send them an employment contract and visa sponsorship letter.

If the visa application is successful, you must continue to meet its terms. Businesses often must keep their foreign employees in specific roles, ensure they work full-time hours, and meet minimum salary thresholds.

What are the challenges of visa sponsorship?

With employer sponsorship, the main hurdle is navigating complex and frequently changing laws and requirements. The process demands a significant time and financial investment with no guarantee of success.

If there are difficulties with the visa process, there’s also a risk of losing talented candidates. They may opt for companies that can support their move to a desirable location.

Another issue is becoming eligible for sponsorship in countries where you don’t have a business presence. Many governments require you to register with authorities and meet certain conditions. However, establishing yourself in a country is a long process and often has tax implications.

If you fail to adhere to strict immigration laws, you can incur legal penalties and lose your right to sponsor future visas. Compliance involves not only the initial visa application but also your ongoing obligations. For example, you must report changes in the visa holder’s employment status, such as promotions and pay raises.

How can HR ensure the success of visa sponsorships?

HR can enable visa sponsorships by planning and managing each step of the process while supporting foreign candidates. That means staying informed about immigration laws, preparing the necessary documentation, and keeping the applicant updated.

Small businesses, which often don’t have in-house legal teams or immigration attorneys, can outsource some of the process. Many immigration services like Deel provide legal experts who can verify eligibility and walk you through the application. We help you maintain compliance with local regulations by ensuring you meet requirements and notifying you about any risks.

If you don’t have a presence in the country or the means to support visas, another option is an employer of record (EOR). In this instance, Deel hires workers on your behalf and takes responsibility for not only their visa sponsorships but also their compensation and benefits.

See also: A Guide to EOR-Sponsored Visas

How can visa sponsorship affect your global brand?

Visa support could significantly impact your company’s reputation among potential employees, customers, and the broader industry.

By engaging in active sponsorship, you signal your commitment to attracting the best talent from around the world. You can demonstrate that you’re an industry leader who can bring in the most relevant skills and expertise and adapt to market trends effectively.

Visa sponsorship also affects how you’re perceived as an employer. Both candidates and current employees will find you a more attractive option if you can support their lifestyles and offer them career opportunities abroad. In fact, many workers choose jobs based solely on whether the company can grant them the status of lawful permanent resident in a specific location.

See also: Why is Employee Global Mobility Important?

Support relocations anytime, anywhere with Deel

Global mobility is critical to business success, but sponsoring visas in different locations can be challenging. If you don’t have a physical presence there, it may seem impossible.

With Deel, you can access support for over 30 countries and apply for a range of popular work visas. If you’ve got your eye on the US, we cover everything from the H-1B to the E-2 visas. Our platform allows you to:

  • Check visa eligibility with a few clicks
  • Track the application process
  • Monitor your team’s visas

Explore the Deel Immigration features or book a demo to ask more about the different visas we support.

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