What is Scale Up Visa?
The scale-up visa was launched by UK on 22nd August 2022. The new scale up visa is a new points-based route for migrant workers who have been recruited by a UK scale up sponsor, and who have the skills necessary to enable the sponsor’s business to continue growing.
The scale-up worker visa allows foreign nationals to come to the UK to work in an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business (also referred to as a ‘scale-up business’) for a period of at least 6 months.
Purposes of Scale up Visa:
- To help the country’s top high-growth businesses to attract skilled professionals, including scientists, engineers, architects, programmers, to work for them.’
- To allow foreign nationals to come to the UK to work in an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business for a period of at least 6 months.
- To make it easier for UK businesses experiencing rapid growth to hire the best skilled labour from around the world.
- To provide a suitable job offer at the required skill level from a recognized UK scale up to qualify for a fast-track visa.
- To boost the UK economy.
- Applicants on this route must be aged 18 or over on the date of application.
- have a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business for at least 6 months
- have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
- The job must be skilled to RQF 6 and equivalent (graduate level) which means have a job offer to do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
- be paid a minimum salary of £33,000 in your new job or £10.10 per hour or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work
- The sponsoring business must also be in the scale-up phase with a rapid growth.
- The candidate must be able to speak, read, write and understand English
- The applicant must show that they meet the English language requirement as set out in Appendix English Language under the Immigration Rules.
- Under the financial requirement, unless the applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been lawfully in the UK for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they must either show funds of at least £1,270, or have their UK sponsor certify that they’ll maintain and accommodate their recruit up to the end of the first month of their employment.
- the applicant must be awarded a total of 70 points to be eligible for a scale up visa first time round, including 50 points for sponsorship, and a job offer at an appropriate skill and salary level, plus 10 points each for both the English language and financial requirements.
- criminality, misconduct and breaches of immigration law will disqualify an applicant from being granted leave, except if periods of overstaying can be disregarded.Police registration will also be required for certain nationals.
How to apply?
You can apply for a Scale-up visa up to 3 months before the day you’re due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship. Applications are submitted online via the GOV.UK website.
How you apply depends on whether you are:
Applying from outside the UK
ü Documents you’ll need to apply :
When you apply you’ll need to provide:
- your certificate of sponsorship reference number – your employer will give you this
- proof of your knowledge of English
- a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality
- your job title and annual salary
- your job’s occupation code
- the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number – this will be on your certificate of sponsorship
ü Other documents you might need :
Depending on your circumstances, you might be asked to provide:
- evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, for example bank statements (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you)
- proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they’re applying with you
- your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country
- a valid ATAS certificate if your employer tells you that you need one because your job involves researching a sensitive subject at PhD level or higher
- You’ll need a blank page in your passport for your visa if you’re:
- from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
- from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein but do not have a biometric passport with a chip in it
If your documents are not in English or Welsh you’ll also need to provide a certified translation.
When you’ve got your documents ready
You can apply online once your documents are ready.
Proving your identity and providing supporting documents
As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity. How you do this depends on where you’re from and what type of passport you have.
- have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre – this is to get a biometric residence permit
- use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document – you’ll also create or sign into your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account
- You’ll be told what you need to do when you apply.
If you do need an appointment:
- the centre may need to keep your passport and documents while they process your application
- you may have to travel to get to your nearest visa application centre (this could be in another country)
As part of the application process, you will need to prove your identity by either:
- Using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document, or;
- Having your fingerprints and photograph taken at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) or at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.
Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision within:
- 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
- 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK.
Period of stay :
You can stay in the UK with a Scale-up visa for 2 years. You’ll need to apply to extend your visa when it expires. You can apply to extend your Scale-up visa as many times as you like by 3 years, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.
After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). This gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible.
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