How to Relocate With The UK Scale-up Visa
If you don't want to use the study route to permanently relocate to the United Kingdom, you can consider the scale-up worker visa. With this visa, you can work in the country for at least six months.
The country launched the immigration route on 22nd August 2022 to make it easier for UK businesses to hire the best-skilled labour worldwide. As a scale-up visa holder, you can leave your sponsored role after six months and switch to an unsponsored role.
Scale-Up Visa Eligibility
- have a job offer to work from an approved business for at least six months
- have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer
- have a job offer on the list of eligible occupations
- be paid a minimum salary in the job offered
- have sufficient funds to support your stay (£1,270 or more in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days before you apply)
English language proficiency requirement
- Pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT)
- Have a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English. Nigerians need to apply through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) for confirmation that their qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree, master's degree, or PhD
- have a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18
You must apply online for a Scale-up Worker visa.
- certificate of sponsorship reference number from the employer
- proof of knowledge of English
- your job’s occupation code
- a valid passport or other documents that shows your identity and nationality
- your job title and annual salary
- the name of your employer and their sponsor license number on your certificate of sponsorship
If granted, you can stay in the United Kingdom for an initial two years, after which they can extend your stay for an additional three years.
After five years on a scale-up visa, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). You must not have been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any consecutive year to qualify for ILR.
What is a scale-up business?
A scale-up business is one that, in the three years before gaining approval for a sponsor licence from the Home Office, had:
· grown by 20% each year in either employment or total sales (turnover)
· at least ten employees at the outset of the three years
Scale-up visa Minimum Salary Requirements
· £33,000 per year
· £10.10 per hour, or
· the 'going rate for your job
Scale-up Visa vs. Skilled Worker Visa
The two visas are pointed-based immigration systems that need sponsored job offers from UK employers. However, a scale-up visa allows you to switch to a new job or employer after six months. Thus, you no longer need to be sponsored at this point.
On the other hand, as a skilled worker visa holder, you must remain sponsored. The salary requirement for the Scale-Up visa is £33,000 compared to £25,600 for the Skilled Worker visa.
How soon can you apply?
Applicants can apply up to three months before the day they are due to start work in the UK.
How long can you stay with a scale-up visa?
You can stay in the UK for two years and apply to extend your visa when it expires.
How much will the scale-up visa cost?
- pay the £715 application fee
- pay the healthcare surcharge - £624 per year
- have at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt)
How to Switch to Scale-up Visa
If you’re already in the UK on a different type of visa, you might be able to apply to change to a Scale-up Worker visa.
Your partner or kids will need to apply separately to switch their visas. In addition, your application may be withdrawn if you travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man before a decision is made on your application.
- your job meets the eligibility requirements
- you can speak, read, write and understand English
Who cannot apply to switch to this visa?
If you are:
- on a Parent of a Child Student visa
- on a visit visa
- on a short-term student visa
- on a seasonal worker visa
- on a domestic worker on a private household visa
- on immigration bail
As part of your scale-up visa application, you'll prove your identity.
- give your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point
- use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document
How can Pay4Me help?
Our consultants can handle any matters relating to tuition, application, and visa fees. Contact our team if you need advice or help with making payments abroad.