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Scale Up Visa

Sep 09, 2022

From the 22nd of August a new visa, the Scale-Up visa was launched. This is a work visa for those with high levels of skills and qualifications. The introduction of this visa is intended to help companies in the ‘scale-up’ phase to hire the talented foreign nationals, it is also to ensure that companies do not move overseas to acquire skilled workers. One of the main factors that makes this route attractive is the exemption from the immigration skills charge. Additionally, through this new visa there is expected to be two routes, namely a sponsored and unsponsored route however, the unsponsored route is for those have previously been granted permission as a scale-up worker.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify it is expected that you must:

  • Be offered a genuine job skilled up to at least RQF Level 6 (graduate equivalent)
  • Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Meet the minimum salary threshold equal to or higher than £33,000, £10.58 per hour or the going rate for the job. The minimum salary threshold is based on a 48-hour working week.
  • Meet the English language requirement through a test and achieve B1, (you can rely on your degree if the medium on instruction was English, and it was verified by ECCTIS)
  • TB certificate if applicable.

The employer must also be able to demonstrate that they:

  • Hold a sponsor licence
  • Have held a growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period in turnover or staff.
  • Have had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the three-year period.

For an unsponsored route it is expect that you must:

  • Have previously been granted entry clearance as a scale-up worker
  • Meet the minimum salary threshold of at least £33,000


With the visa it is expected that you can:

  • Work for your employer for the first 6 months of residence. After the 6-month period you are permitted to work for any employer and can undertake any work except for as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
  • Study
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK
  • Do voluntary work
  • Bring your dependant family members over on a dependant visa

You cannot:

  • Access public funds

Length of Stay

  • On the sponsored route an applicant will get entry clearance for two years and on the unsponsored route an applicant will be granted entry clearance for a period of three years.


  • The scale-up visa can lead to settlement in the UK.
  • To be eligible for indefinite leave to remain the visa holder must meet the five-year residence requirement as well as meet the knowledge of the life in the UK, be in employment with a salary of at least £33,000 and have monthly earnings for at least 24 months of the three-year period before the date of application.

When should you apply?

It might be the right time to secure a sponsor licence to be able to sponsor a scale-up visa holder or you may be interested in other visa options. Please feel free to contact our friendly and helpful team for support in immigration matters.


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    Human Resources Advisor
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    Members of the team are responsive and come back to our queries quickly, they are always polite, and go out of their way to be as helpful as possible. Thank you to all of the team for the wonderful ongoing support you provide!

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