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Scientist with Microscope

Scale up Visa

The Scale-up visa (launch 22.8.22) must be sponsored by a company that qualifies as a 'Scale-up' by:

* Being at least 3 years old

* Having had a at least 10 employees three years ago

* Having grown their headcount OR turnover by a compound annualised rate of 20% (ie 72.8% over 3 years)

* Registering as a Scale-Up with the Home Office

Scale Up Visa

Launches 22 August 2022

In his November 2021 budget, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, confirmed that 2022 would see the launch of a 'Scale up Visa'.

“A third of our science Nobel Laureates have been immigrants. Half of our fastest growing companies have a foreign-born founder.” 

“So, an economy built on innovation must be open and attractive to the best and brightest minds.”  

There are more restrictions with a Scale-Up visa than with Skilled Worker visas:

  • The job must be skilled at RQF Level 6 (graduate level), which is more senior than the current RQF Level 3 threshold for Skilled Worker Visas


  • The salary must be at least £33,000 pa (or the going rate, whicher is higher)

  • The visa will be granted for an initial maximum of 2 years [Skilled Worker Visas can be granted for up to 5 years]

  • During the first six months in the UK, the individual must work for the sponsor (individuals on Skilled Worker visas can be re sposnored and change employer at any time). 

  • Scale Up visas may be extended for a period of up to 3 years. BUT The Scale Up route does not lead to Settlement within 5 years (it counts towards the longer 10 year route) 


The key advantage of the Scale-Up visa is that it is quick to process.  But a Skilled Worker visa can usually be processed within 17 working days , and when premium processing is available, a Skilled Worker visa can be processed witin a week.  The lack of a path to Settlement in 5 years may well undermine the attractiveness of this well intentioned route.

But at least the intention is good, if we look at the Chancellor's announcements: The Trade secretary’s new Global Talent Network, launching initially in the Bay Area, Boston and Bangalore will identify, attract and relocate the best global talent in key science and tech sectors. All part of our plan to make our visa system for international talent the most competitive in the world,” 

If you would like a Scale-Up visa, GET IN TOUCH

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