UK launches Scale-up visa to ease work permits for skilled professionals

All You Need to Know About Uk’s New Scale-Up Visa for Skilled Foreign Professionals

The UK government has launched a new visa route, known as the Scale-up visa, that will allow businesses to employ high-skill foreign workers for up to two years with provision for extension. The visa permits fast-growing UK businesses also known as ‘scale-up businesses’ to recruit high-skilled professionals who will receive two years permit to stay in the UK without requiring further sponsorship beyond the first six months.

Through this new visa, businesses that meet specific criteria can apply to sponsor individuals working in roles such as software development, engineering, and science R&D. 

Regarding the new visa, Kevin Foster, Minister for Safe and Legal Migration, said, “Through our Scale-up visa, we’re enabling businesses to focus on their growth and innovation by giving them more freedom to bring in the diverse skills and experience they need, making them more attractive on an international stage.”

He also added that businesses that are rapidly growing, like tech, financial services, and small enterprises, need the right level of support to grow their business. 


What is Scale-up Visa

A Scale-up Worker visa or Scale-up visa allows workers to stay in the UK to undertake an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business. However, the UK employer must meet specific eligibility criteria to sponsor scale-up workers.


Eligibility Criteria to Qualify for a Scale-up Worker Visa

  • Be paid either of the three – £33,000 per year; £10.10 per hour; or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work  
  • A ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from employer with information about the role offered in the UK
  • Possess a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business for at least six months
  • English proficiency – passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider; or having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English 


Cost of Scale-up Visa

The application fee for the Scale-up visa is £715. Additionally, a healthcare surcharge of around £624 per year will be levied. One must also have at least £1,270 available in a bank account for self-support for the first month.

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