Scale-Up Visa

Overview

The Scale-up Worker visa allows skilled individuals to work for approved fast-growing UK businesses for at least 6 months. Eligibility criteria include a confirmed job offer, a ‘certificate of sponsorship,’ an eligible occupation, and a minimum salary. English language proficiency is required. The visa is initially granted for 2 years, extendable multiple times for 3 years each, leading to potential settlement after 5 years. The visa permits work, study, and more, but not most benefits. During the first 6 months, changing employers requires updating the visa.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Scale-up Worker visa, you must:
  • Have a job offer from a UK scale-up business approved by the Home Office.
  • Meet salary requirements of at least £34,600 per year or the going rate for your occupation.
  • Ensure the employer adheres to minimum wage and working hour regulations.
  • Verify your job’s eligibility using its 4-digit occupation code.
  • Receive a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ confirming your eligibility.
  • Apply within 3 months of receiving the certificate.
  • Work for an employer endorsed by an approved body or one that meets specific growth criteria to sponsor you.

Knowledge of English

You usually need to demonstrate English proficiency at CEFR level B1 unless previously proven in a successful visa application. Acceptable proofs include:
  • Passing an approved English test.
  • Having certain UK qualifications.
  • Obtaining a degree-level qualification taught in English.
  • Nationals of certain countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, and others, are exempt from this requirement.

How much it costs

When applying for a Scale-up Worker visa, you need to pay:
  • The Home Office application fee of £715.
  • A healthcare surcharge (currently £624 per year).
  • Show you have at least £1,270 to support yourself.

Proof of funds for 28 consecutive days is required unless exempt (e.g., if employed in the UK for 12 months or if your employer covers initial costs). Partners and children need to demonstrate their financial capacity. Employer sponsorship can cover financial requirements.

Documents you will need

For your Scale-up Worker visa application, you’ll need:
  • Certificate of sponsorship reference number from your employer.
  • Proof of English language proficiency.
  • Valid passport or identity document.
  • Job title, salary, and occupation code.
  • Employer’s name and sponsor license number.
Additional documents might include:
  • Savings proof.
  • Family relationship evidence.
  • Tuberculosis test results.
  • An ATAS certificate if required.

Apply online once prepared. The application process depends on your current location and visa status.

If you change employer in the first 6 months

If you need to update your Scale-up Worker visa due to a change of employers within the initial 6 months:
  • Complete the update process online.
  • Ensure your new job is eligible and supported by a new certificate of sponsorship.
  • Note that your partner or child’s visa won’t automatically change.
  • Continue working in your current job during the process.
  • Prove your identity through biometrics or the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.
  • Expect a decision in about 8 weeks, with an option to expedite for a fee.
  • You’ll receive an email or letter with the decision, guiding your next steps.

Contact us

Feel free to reach out if you require any additional information or assistance.

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