News & Insights

Scale-Up visa

The UK Innovation Strategy published in July 2021 promised a number of new visa routes to the UK to attract the top global talent to the UK.

A new unsponsored points-based route with a particular emphasis on the very high skilled and academically elite will be introduced in Spring 2022.

This will be called a ‘Scale-Up visa’ and will allow individuals with a job offer from a recognised UK scale-up company to qualify for a fast-track visa, without sponsorship. The core details on the visa eligibility were set out in the budget.

What is the new Scale-Up visa?

The Scale-Up visa is aimed at individuals with high levels of skills and qualifications but unlike the skilled worker visa, no sponsorship is required.

The visa is to allow companies who are experiencing rapid growth to hire the best talent from a global pool.  There will be a minimum skill level to the role together with an English language requirement. The job offer must be from an eligible UK company with a minimum salary of £33,000.

According to leading endorsing bodies, a scale up company is a company with high growth of 20% or more year on year for at least 2 years.  The company must also have a minimum of 10 employees.  There are estimated to be around 34,000 scale-up companies in the UK.

It is, therefore, possible to see why Rishi Sunak and the Home Office are so keen to put a visa in place which specifically supports business at this stage of growth.

What is the difference between the Skilled Worker and the Scaleup visa?

The Skilled Worker visa requires applicants to be formally sponsored, whereas the Scale-Up does not.  Both come under the New Points Based System and require a formal job offer from the UK.  The salary level for the scale-up visa is higher at £33,000 compared to £25,600 for the Skilled Worker visa.

Details to follow

More details on the new Scale-Up Visa will be published by the Home Office in due course.  We will keep you updated with any new developments as they are released.

FSP are well placed to help you navigate through these changes to ensure you leverage the most appropriate opportunities. For advice on inbound visa routes to the UK, please contact our Head of Immigration, Imelda Reddington at [email protected]