Global: Preferred Employer Schemes for Hiring Foreign Talent

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Many countries offer expedited processing and reduced document requirements for eligible employers hiring foreign talent. These benefits are offered through various sponsorship schemes and government supported processes. The options below are programs offered by several global locations for employers to consider. Some of these programs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and processing times may be longer but the options remain available. 


Under the Global Talent Stream (GTS) program in Canada, employers and their foreign national employees benefit from a simplified Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process and expedited visa processing. Eligible companies can present a Labor Market Benefits Plan (LMBP) that demonstrates how the company will generate growth and promote skills training of Canadian workers through the transfer of knowledge.   

Companies can be eligible for the GTS under two different categories: category A or category B. Category A of the GTS requires companies to hire unique and specialized foreign national workers that will help grow the company and who have been referred to GTS by a designated referral partner. Category B of the GTS is intended for companies hiring workers in job shortage roles on the Global Talent Occupations List. Companies may apply directly to the Canadian government to use the GTS system.    


Denmark offers a Fast-Track scheme for certified companies to recruit foreign national employees with special qualifications. Under this scheme, application processing times are reduced to one to two months and employers are responsible for the application process. To qualify, employers must be certified by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) and meet other criteria as specified by SIRI. The Fast-Track scheme is divided into four tracks, including the pay limited track, the researcher track, the educational track and the short-term track.   


In Ireland, employers can benefit from streamlined immigration application processes and reduced application paperwork under the Trusted Partner Initiative (TPI). Through this initiative, employers can apply for Trusted Partner status and, if approved, will be granted their own employment permit application forms as well as a unique Trusted Partner Registration Number. This status is ideal for employers who regularly file employment permits for foreign national employees.  

In order to qualify, an employing company must be registered with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Companies Registration Office. The company must also be able to provide documents including tax information and more. For a list of required documents to be granted Trusted Partner status, click here 

The Netherlands 

In the Netherlands, a recognized sponsor can apply for a residence permit application for highly skilled migrants prior to their arrival in the country. A recognized sponsor is an employer or business that has applied and been accepted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Recognized sponsors benefit from streamlined visa application processing and can apply on behalf of the employer for the residence permit. Several legal requirements must be met in order to become a recognized sponsor in the Netherlands, including meeting certain tax obligations, meeting the Netherlands’ code of conduct for businesses and being listed in the Commerical register in the Netherlands.  


In Portugal, certified Portuguese technological and innovative companies can apply through the Tech Visa program. Under this program, employers who received certification from the Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (IAPMEI) benefit from reduced deadlines for residence visa processing and reduced documentation requirements throughout the visa process.   

To qualify, employers must be legally established in Portugal, have an established presence in the global market and meet other criteria defined by the government of Portugal. Applicants sponsored by a certified Portuguese company under the Tech Visa program must meet certain work qualifications, be citizens of a country outside of the European Union and European Economic Area and meet certain language requirements.   

New Zealand   

In New Zealand, employers must be accredited to be eligible to sponsor an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) for any foreign national employee with a permanent contract in the country. If granted this status, the employer will be able to file and support work visa applications under specific visa categories only open to accredited sponsors.  

The type of accreditation varies depending on the number of foreign nationals a company is looking to hire or transfer each year. Standard Accreditation allows employers to hire up to five foreign national workers through the program. High-Volume Accreditation is for employers who want to have six or more foreign national workers on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) at any one time 

To qualify for accredited business status, employers must apply to Immigration New Zealand (INZ), hold a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), produce sufficient capital or external investment or funding and more. Foreign nationals employed under an AEWV must be paid standard market rates and all the terms and conditions of work must meet national employment law standards.  


In Australia, accredited sponsorship is granted to employers that regularly employ individuals who require visa sponsorship. Applications that are submitted by accredited sponsors receive some preferential application treatment, including faster processing times and relaxed labor market testing requirements. Most Accredited Sponsor nomination applications are processed within approximately five business days.   

 For a business to be eligible to apply for accredited sponsorship, the organization must be publicly listed or a private entity and generate a specific income each year. Sometimes accredited sponsorship is required to apply for certain visas, such as the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 Visa.    


In countries around the world, many employers can benefit from government-approved immigration schemes that help to reduce documentation requirements and create expedited application timelines. This article provides a sample of what these schemes look like. However, there are more programs and schemes across the globe that provide similar benefits to many companies.  

If you are interested in global immigration news, subscribe to Envoy’s Global blog Digest, and we’ll deliver the latest stories to your inbox every week. 

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.