Introducing the UK Scale-Up Visa: Attracting Top Talent to Boost Your Business

What is the UK Scale-Up Visa?

The UK Government has introduced the Scale Up Visato help UK companies attract highly skilled professionals from around the world. This visa allows individuals to live and work in the UK for up to two years without needing ongoing sponsorship after the first 6 months.

Understanding the Scale-Up Visa

The Scale-Up Visa permits businesses to hire talented individuals with high skills. These individuals receive a two-year leave to enter in the UK, and after the initial 6 months, they don’t require further sponsorship or permission.

Why should employers sponsor under this visa category?

Advantages may include:

  • Less expensive than other immigration visa routes
  • Bring in talent for a short period of time for a specific project or setting up

Eligibility for Employers

Companies looking to sponsor individuals through the Scale-Up Visa must meet specific criteria, which includes:

  • Achieving a growth of 20% or more in employment or turnover annually for at least 3 years.
  • Employing a minimum of 10 people at the start of the 3-year period.

Who Can Apply for the Scale-Up Visa?

The Scale-Up Visa is open to “very highly skilled” and “academically elite” individuals who have secured sponsorship and meet these conditions:

  • A confirmed job offer from an approved scale-up business with a sponsor license, valid for at least 6 months.
  • Possessing a certificate of sponsorship containing job role details.
  • Receiving a job offer for a role from the list of eligible occupations.
  • Earning a minimum salary, either £30,000 annually, £10.10 per hour, or the job’s standard salary.

Applicants typically need to demonstrate English language proficiency, unless they have done so in a prior application. They can prove this through:

  • Passing a Secure English Language Test from an approved provider.
  • Holding a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English from a UK school.
  • Possessing an English-taught degree-level academic qualification, verified for equivalence by Ecctis.

Necessary Documents for Application

Mandatory documents may include the following documents:

  • Certificate of sponsorship.
  • Proof of English language proficiency.
  • Valid passport or identity document.
  • Job title and annual salary details.
  • Job occupation code.
  • Employer’s name and sponsor licence number.

Application Process and Timeline

Applications must be completed online and can be submitted up to three months before the intended arrival in the UK.

Benefits for Successful Applicants

Individuals who receive the Scale-Up Visa can stay in the UK for 2 years. They can apply for extensions, each lasting 3 years, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. After 5 years in the UK, applicants might be eligible to apply for permanent settlement. 

Individuals who opt for this route benefit from being sponsored and unsponsored.  

Application Costs

For each applicant and their dependents, the following approximate costs are likely to apply:

  • Application fee: approximately £715.
  • Healthcare surcharge: around £624 per year.
  • Proof of funds: at least £1,270 available, unless exempt.

How We Can Support You

If you’re considering applying for the UK Scale-Up Visa, our experienced team of Solicitors are ready to assist. Contact us today to navigate the application process effectively and confidently.

Request a free call back

You’re welcome to call us on +44 020 7903 6888 or email us at We aim to reply within 24 hours.