Scale-up Worker visa

Since 22 August 2022, fast-growing UK businesses can attract talents under the Scale-up visa route.

Definition

A fast-growing or scale-up business is a high-growth company that has:

This definition seems in line with that of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD defines high-growth enterprises as ‘All enterprises with average annualised growth greater than 20% per annum, over a three-year period should be considered as high-growth enterprises. Growth can be measured by the number of employees or by turnover.’

A Scale-up Worker visa will allow a visa national to come and perform an eligible job for a fast-growing company.

Requirements

To qualify for a Scale-up Worker visa the applicant must:

Duration of Stay

The migrant can potentially stay for a:

  1. Sponsored stage of 2 years
  2. Unsponsored stage of 3 years

It is interesting to note that although the initial visa lasts for two years, the applicant must work for the specified sponsor for only the first six months. 

This is a welcomed option to the sponsor as after 6 months, the administrative duties imposed on the sponsor is lessened and there is no Immigration Skills Charge which represents a considerable saving to the employer.

For the employee, he or she enjoys some flexibility as to where he or she can work.

Becoming a Scale-up Sponsor

You will have to go through the normal process of applying for a Sponsorship Licence and the Sponsors who hold a general sponsor licence will need to add the scale-up option to their licence. When applying the Home Office will check the HMRC data directly and it is therefore important that the companies HMRC’s records are up to date.

Unlike the general licence, the scale-up licence cannot be renewed beyond the four years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

After 5 years of continuous stay under the Scale-up Worker visa you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK and apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Aimed at individuals who have graduated from a top global university; the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa will grant you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years or 3 years if you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification.

You must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the last 5 years. The Home Office has published a list of the eligible universities.

Under the HPI visa, you are not linked to a specific sponsor, and it was designed to attract the ‘the brightest and the best’. You can be employed or self-employed, and this route also allows you to be accompanied by your dependants.

This is also a great option to UK businesses looking to offer work opportunities without going through the challenges of sponsoring a migrant.

Acceptable qualifications

You must have been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification which Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC ) confirms meets, or exceeds, the recognised standard of a UK bachelor’s or UK postgraduate degree. 

The degree:

We have been helping talents and companies alike with their immigration requirement successfully since 2009.  Contact us.

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