(a new business immigration category launched on 22nd August 2022)
A Scale-up Worker visa allows talented individuals to come to the UK to do an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business at the required salary level.
The Scale-up immigration route is a route to settlement. Dependant partners and minor children can apply to join you in the UK, if they are eligible. UK. Partners will have full right to work in the UK and minor children will be able to attend state schools free of charge.
To apply for a visa, the you as a prospective employee must receive a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from a UK-based employer. In this certificate reflects information about the role you have been offered in the UK (position, duration of employment, salary, employee data, etc). Your UK-based employer must have a Sponsorship licence, which gives him the right to hire and sponsor scale-up foreign workers.
To register as a Scale-up Sponsor, your UK-based employer will need to demonstrate that they have had an annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period based on either turnover or staff count. Your UK-based employer will also need to have had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the relevant 3-year period.
Specialists at Westland Mark Limited assist employers in obtaining a sponsorship licence.
The Scale-up Visa route has been introduced in two various types: Sponsored Application route and an Unsponsored Application route. The second is solely available to those applicant, who have previously been granted permission as a Scale-up Worker.
You can stay in the UK on a Scale-up Worker visa for up 2 years. You’ll further need to apply to extend your permission when it expires.
You cannot change employer (unless you apply to update your visa) during the first 6 months of your stay
You can continue working in your job, change or stop doing your job without telling the Home Office or be self-employed after 6 months of you stay A Scale-up Worker visa. You do not need to update your visa.
You’ll need to be paid whichever is the highest out of the following 3 options:
• £33,000 per year (based on a maximum 48-hour week)
• £10.10 per hour
• the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing
Only guaranteed basic gross pay (before income tax and including employee pension and national insurance contributions) will be taken into account, however other allowances, pay or benefits (ex. accommodation or cost of living allowances) will be disregarded.
Level of English
You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the CEFR scale. You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you are a national of one of the English speaking countries or had been awarded a degree taught in English.
You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK. You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa. You usually need to show proof of this when you apply, unless either: you had been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months prior to your application or your UK-based employer can and will cover these costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270.
The price for the Scale-up visa application is (as of February 2023):
Application fee – £715 per person
In addition, each applicant will need to pay IHS insurance – £624 per year per applicant (depending of the length of your Scale-up Worker visa visa); for example if the CoS is issued for 2 years, then each applicant will pay £624×2 = £1248
A Scale-up Worker visa will allow you to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement) in the UK in 5 years, both to the main applicant and to dependant family members (children who are under 18 years of age at the date of the initial application, minor children and partner) and leads to British citizenship.
We draw attention to the requirement for the days of absence in the UK to be qualified for Indefinite leave to Remain (ILR): both A Scale-up Worker visa holder and dependant family members must not be absent from the UK for more than 180 days each during any consecutive 12 months.
Obtaining British citizenship is possible after 6 years of continuous residence in the country. Requirements for days of absence when applying for naturalization (British citizenship) differ from the requirements for obtaining ILR. All applicants can spend no more than 450 days outside the UK during 5 years, including no more than 90 days each during the last 12 months before application.