UK Scale-up Worker Visa

How To Apply For A UK Scale-up Worker Visa

UK Scale-up Worker visa allows you to come to the UK to do an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business (sometimes called a ‘scale-up business’).

Applicants for this visa should note that their UK employer must meet specific eligibility criteria to sponsor scale-up workers.

Eligibility For A Scale-up Worker Visa

To qualify for a UK Scale-up Worker visa, you must:

  1. Have a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business for at least 6 months
  2. Posses a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
  3. Have a job offer to do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  4. Be paid a minimum salary requirement in your new job
  5. You must be able to speak, read, write and understand English. You’ll usually need to prove your knowledge of English when you apply.

What If I am not eligible for a Scale-up Worker Visa?

If you’re not eligible for a Scale-up Worker visa, you may be eligible for another type of visa to work in the UK.

What is the duration of a Scale-up Worker visa?

You can stay in the UK with a Scale-up Worker visa for 2 years. You’ll need to apply to extend your visa when it expires.

Can I stay longer in the UK with a a Scale-up Worker visa?

You can extend your visa as many times as you like by 3 years, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.

When Can I Apply To Settle Permanently In The UK?

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 in the UK for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible.

How To Apply For A a Scale-up Worker Visa

  1. You must apply online.
  2. How you apply depends on whether you’re:
    1. outside the UK and are coming to the UK
    2. inside the UK and extending your current visa
    3. inside the UK and switching from a different visa
  3. If you want to change your employer during the first 6 months of working in your sponsored job, you must apply to update your visa.
  4. You can include your partner and children in your application to stay in the UK if they are eligible.

When Can I Apply For a UK Scale-up Worker visa?

You can apply for a 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.

As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents.

You may need to allow extra time if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need one when you start your application.

What Is The Turnaround Time For A UK Scale-up visa?

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within:

  • 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
  • 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

You may be able to pay to get a faster decision. How you do this depends on whether you’re outside the UK or inside the UK.

How much does it costs to process a a Scale-up Worker visa?

You, your partner or children will each need to:

  1. pay the £715 application fee
  2. pay the healthcare surcharge for each year of your stay
  3. prove you have enough personal savings

Advantage of A Scale- Up Work Visa

With a Scale-up Worker visa you can:

  1. work in your sponsored job for at least 6 months
  2. leave your sponsored job after 6 months
  3. study in the UK
  4. bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
  5. take on additional work, including becoming self-employed
  6. do voluntary work
  7. travel abroad and return to the UK
  8. apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years and meet the other eligibility requirements

Limitations Of A UK Scale-Up Visa

Holders of the visa cannot;

  1. apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  2. work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach

During the first 6 months of your stay

  1. You cannot change employer unless you apply to update your visa.
  2. You do not need to update your visa if you start a different, eligible job with the same employer.

After 6 months

You can:

  1. continue working in your job
  2. change or stop doing your job without telling the Home Office
  3. be self-employed
  4. You do not need to update your visa.

You can extend your Scale-up Worker visa without a new sponsor when your current visa expires. You must meet the earnings requirements.

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