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The Scale-up Visa

The Scale-up visa route was launched on 22 August 2022.

This visa was launched to allow migrants to come to the UK to do an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business. The migrant will require a job offer from a qualifying scale-up business. The scale-up business must also hold a scale-up sponsor licence.

  • A company must demonstrate the following:

    - Annualised growth of 20% or more in terms of turnover or staffing for a three-year period

    - The company must show that they had at least ten employees at the start of the three-year period

    Job offer:

    The job offer must be at graduate level (RQF level 6 and equivalent) and pay a minimum salary of £33,000 per annum or the going rate, whichever is the higher. The migrant must also have a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) issued by the employer.

    The job on offer must be on the list of eligible occupations.

    English language requirement:

    The migrant must meet the English language requirement. The minimum requirement is at least B1 CEFR level.

  • The Migrant must have £1,270 or more in their bank account. These funds must be held for at least 28 consecutive days before making a visa application. If the migrant is in the UK and has been living here for 1 or more years, they will not need to satisfy this requirement.

  • Once a successful entry clearance application is made the migrant will be granted leave for a period of 2 years, after which they can further extend their stay for an additional 3 years. After 5 continuous years of UK residence on a scale-up visa, holders can then apply to settle in the UK.

  • The immigration rules allow scale-up visa holders to leave their sponsored role after 6 months and switch to an unsponsored role. This means it is possible to switch to a different job or employer without any form of sponsorship. The scale-up visa was introduced to give visa holders the flexibility to take up employment with employers who do not hold sponsor licences. This visa route also makes it possible for the migrant to become self-employed after the initial 6-month period.

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