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Scale Up Visa

To assist UK companies with attaching the world’s most talent skilled professionals to work for them, the UK Government has announced the Scale-up visa, via which individuals will have the right to remain in the UK for up to two years and will not require sponsorship beyond the first 6 months.

What is the Scale-up visa?

According to the gov.uk website, the scale-up visa shall allow businesses to employer high-skilled individuals who will receive 2 years’ leave to remain in the UK without requiring further sponsorship or permission beyond the first 6 months.

Which employer’s will be able to utilise the Scale-up visa?

To be eligible to sponsor individuals through the Scale-up visa, companies will need to:

  • Have achieved growth of 20% or more in either employment or turnover year-on-year for at least 3 years; and
  • Have employed a minimum of 10 people at the start of the 3 years.

Who can apply for a Scale-up visa

“Very highly skilled” and “academically elite” individuals can come to the UK via a Scale-up visa, provided they can obtain sponsorship and:

  • Have a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business, who have obtained a sponsor licence, for at least 6 months
  • Have a certificate of sponsorship from their employer which contains information about the role they are coming to the UK to do
  • Have a job offer to do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations
  • Will be made a minimum salary in their new job, the higher of:
    1. £3,00 per year
    2. £10.10 per hour
    3. The ‘going rate’ for the job

Applicants will usually need to prove their knowledge of the English language as part of their application, unless they have done so as part of a previous application. This can be done in one of the following ways:

  • Passing a Secure English Language Test from an approved provider; or
  • Having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when they were under 18
  • Having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English. If the applicant studies abroad, they will need to apply through Ecctis for confirmation that the qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.
  • What documents are required to support a Scale-up visa?

    Applicants will be required to submit the following:

    • Certificate of sponsorship
    • Proof of knowledge of English
    • Valid passport or other document that shows their identity and nationality
    • Job title and annual salary
    • Job occupation code
    • Name of employer and their sponsor licence number

    How and when are applications made?

    Applications must be made online and can be made up to three months before the applicant intends to arrive in the UK.

    What can successful applicant’s do in the UK?

    Successful applicants can stay in the UK for 2 years. Applicants can make as many applications as they like to extend their visa by 3 years, as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Once the applicant has been in the UK for 5 years, they may be eligible to apply to settle permanently in the UK.

    How much will it cost to submit a Scale-up visa application?

    Each applicant and their dependant will need to:

    • Pay the application fee: approximately £715
    • Pay the healthcare surcharge: approximately £624 for each year
    • Provide evidence that they can support themselves when they arrive in the UK by having at least £1,270
      available, unless they are exempt.

    How we can assist

    If you’re interested in applying for the UK start-up route, we can help. Our team of experienced business immigration lawyers are on hand to guide you through the application process. Contact us today to learn more.

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