Are you seriously considering a fresh start in a new country? If you aren’t lucky enough to have pre-existing ties to that country, you’ll most likely need a work visa. Finding a job you love can be hard enough without the added complication of making sure you’re allowed to do that job. That’s why we’ve put together this 5-step guide on how to get a company to sponsor your work visa.
How to get a company to sponsor your work visa
Get familiar with the rules
Different countries have different work visa requirements, so it’s important to avoid the temptation to “wing it”. You’ll need to know exactly how the visa process works in your chosen country if you’re to stand a good chance of getting a work visa.
If you approach companies that haven’t sponsored someone’s visa before, you’ll quickly find that they don’t have an in-depth understanding of the process. If you have this knowledge you can take charge of the process, while demonstrating that you have the foresight and proactivity that most employers look for in a potential employee.
So, what do you need to understand?
- What are the different types of work visa available?
- What type of work do they allow you to do?
- How long do they allow you to work for?
- How many hours of work do they allow you to do each week or month?
- What requirements must you reach to be eligible for them?
- How early do you have to apply for and secure the visa before travelling?
- How much will it cost you or your employer?
Make sure you know the answer to all of these questions before approaching any employers.
Pay attention to certain industries
A common requirement for getting a work visa, regardless of the country, is that the key skill you have to offer is one that is in demand and usually in short supply. That’s why companies in certain industries sponsor visas more readily than others. These include banking, law, medicine and engineering.
This means that you need to think smart before approaching a company for sponsorship. Think about the role you would like to do for them and ask yourself if that role fills a sought-after need in that society. If it does, you’ll have more luck when applying for jobs.
Think smart before approaching a company for sponsorship. Think about the role you would like to do for them and ask yourself if that role fills a sought-after need in that society.
Use existing governmental databases
When looking for companies to sponsor your work visa, you could trawl job boards for vacancies, but you’ll quickly find that most advertised jobs require applicants to have eligibility to work in that country. Some don’t, but these are few and far between.
A more effective way to find a sponsor is to use governmental databases. When a company decides to sponsor an employee, they usually have to apply for a license, and once they successfully secure a license, they are usually added to a database. A simple Google search is all that’s needed to track down this list. For example, in the UK, the government has a register of licensed workers, which is an up to date list of companies that are licensed to sponsor foreign workers.
Find this list for your country of interest and apply for jobs at the companies on the list.
A word of note: Avoid applying for jobs that specifically say you need eligibility to work in that country. Unless you have a one-in-a-million skill set, tricking them into interviewing you when you don’t meet their requirements is likely to annoy rather than inspire them to sponsor your visa.
Companies need to vet employees and also budget accordingly before agreeing to sponsor a person’s work visa. This means that you need to give a company you’re interested in working for enough time to feel in control of the process.
If you’re approaching a company that’s well-known for sponsoring work visas, contact them as early as possible to find out how that process works for them, if they have an upcoming recruitment drive or if they’ve just had one. If they’ve just hired a lot of foreign employees, their budget for visas may be exhausted for the year. Ask if this budget is reviewed yearly and when would be the best time for you to get back in touch.
If you’re approaching a company that’s well-known for sponsoring work visas, contact them as early as possible to find out how that process works for them, if they have an upcoming recruitment drive or if they’ve just had one.
Take advantage of loopholes
Sometimes, the best laid plans go awry. If you follow all of the above steps and find that you still can’t find a visa sponsor, it may be time to think creatively.
You can do so by taking advantage of loopholes that work in your favour.
For example, you could enroll in a short study programme that entitles you to a student visa. Most student visas allow you to work on a part-time basis. Use this entitlement to secure a part time job with a company you like and if you can prove your worth to them first-hand, you’ll have a higher chance of convincing them to sponsor your visa for full-time employment.
Another idea is to consider remote work. Writing, graphic designing, accounting, assisting, editing and website development are just a handful of job types that lend themselves well to remote work. The beauty of working remotely is that you’ll declare your taxes in your home country, which means that you don’t need a work visa to do this type of work in a foreign country.
Want to fast-track your way to getting a visa sponsor? Good news, we’ve done the work for you. Check out this list of 16 companies that sponsor work visas.
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