Skills for Care

International recruitment is a great way to find skilled and diverse workers, but employers often tell us they have trouble navigating the legalities of recruiting internationally. 

We have information to support you to recruit internationally including: 



Becoming a Visa sponsor helpsheet for adult social care providers

Produced by the DHSC, this document takes you step-by-step through the process of gaining your sponsorship licence.

Access the Becoming a Visa sponsor helpsheet


Overseas recruitment bite-size guide

Produced by the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care, with the South East Social Care Alliance, the overseas recruitment bite-size guide for social care providers in England will help care providers explore and maximise opportunities that overseas recruitment offers.

Access the Overseas recruitment bite-size guide



DHSC and Home Office guidance

Code of practice for international recruitment

Employers have a responsibility to ensure they recruit overseas colleagues in an ethically responsible manner. This Government guide sets out principles and best practice benchmarks to be adhered to by all employers when recruiting international health and social care personnel.

Code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel in England

Ethical Recruiters List

A comprehensive list of recruitment organisations, agencies, and collaborations that operate in accordance with the code of practice.

Ethical recruiters list

Ensuring ethical recruitment

Dave Howarth from the DHSC explains what ethical recruitment is and the Code of Practice for International Recruitment.

Duration 13 mins 35 secs


Home Office – Social care: points-based immigration

See key information about changes to the shortage occupation list, the health and social care visa and right to work checks.

Duration 28 mins 5 secs


PDF - 586 KB
This acompanying document answers some common questions about recruiting from overseas.


UK Visas & Immigration - Applying for a sponsor licence

Andy Edgar explains the key stages of licence applications and how to provide a thorough and effective application. 

Duration 24 mins 45 secs



Safer recruitment

PDF - 109 KB

Recommendations that employers can take to gather and assess criminal record information for all applicants, including displaced people, to demonstrate you are taking a fair and consistent approach across all candidates.

PDF - 75 KB
This checklist covers a step-by-step process to recruiting safely and fairly. It will help you ensure you are taking all possible approaches to information gathering and able to evidence your actions.



Government guidance

Access more guidance and information around recruiting from overseas.


Employer experiences

Country Court - recruiting from overseas

Helen Meadows, Head of People at care provider Country Court, shares their experience recruiting internationally and gives a step by step overview of employing from overseas.

Duration 13 mins 13 secs


Askham - a perspective on international recruitment

Aliyyah Nasser of Askham shares their experience recruiting internationally, becoming a sponsor, supporting newly-arrived staff and the value they bring to their workforce.

Duration 19 mins 42 secs


Recruiting outside the UK - becoming a home care employer of overseas workers

This session includes shared learning from providers who have recruited from overseas and guidance from the Home Office.

Duration 1 hour 50 min




International recruitment virtual event (2021)

The Government announced social care workers, care assistants and home care workers will become eligible for the Health and Care Visa. This is in addition to senior care workers and registered managers who are already included in the list of eligible roles for the Health and Care visa. Skills for Care held a series of virtual events to provide information and guidance around these changes. 

Duration 1hour 53 mins



Pastoral support

Pastoral care guide for international recruitment in social care
The National Care Forum has created this guide containing links to useful resources that will help social care employers explore resettlement support and pastoral care for overseas recruits, including refugees and/or displaced people who are settled in the UK with the right to work.




Additional supporting guidance

PDF - 587 KB
This short guide, developed by Fragomen, covers the impact the end of free movement has had on immigration rules.


People performance management toolkit -The toolkit highlights the importance of supervision.


Blogs and articles on international recruitment

How international recruitment can support the social care sector

Jeanine Willoughby and Amanda Ashworth, project managers for workforce capacity and transformation at Skills for Care, look at how recruiting from overseas can support social care providers and the realities of how it’s being the blog.


How to get started using international recruitment to build your team

How can international recruitment help with building your workforce? We look at how social care providers are recruiting from overseas, and what you need to know to get started’ the blog.


What to cover during induction for new social care staff

Getting it right from the start is key to keeping staff long-term. We look at what to cover during the induction the blog.