UK Scale-Up Visa

The UK Scale-up visa category is designed to make it quicker and easier for companies undergoing rapid growth to recruit the best-skilled people from around the globe. It is aimed at people who are extremely talented and have been offered work with a UK-based company.

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Scale-Up Visa for the UK

Applicants for the UK Scale-up visa will typically possess specific skills allowing a business in its ‘scale-up’ phase to continue its growth.

A ‘scale-up’ business can be considered to be a business that is going through fast growth and that is ready to transition to the next phase of its commercial development.

In order to be eligible for a Scale-up visa, it is required that you already have a job offer from a business that falls under the aforementioned definition. This will be at a very high level, and will require a certain skillset and have a certain salary expectation.

If you are interested in this type of visa, it will be available for applications from 22nd August 2022. So, make sure to note down the Scale-up visa UK launch date to ensure you are one of the first people to get their application in.

As an applicant, it is crucial that you have the best UK Scale-up visa law firm backing you up. That way, you can feel confident that no matter what decision is made, you will have the best help possible. Cranbrook Legal’s immigration experts are here to assist you with the application process. They will provide guidance about what type of visa would best suit you, and how you can be successful with your visa submission.

To learn more about how our immigration solicitors can help you, feel free to call our team on 0208 215 0053 or by booking a free consultation. We will then be able to discuss with and advise you on whether the UK Scale-up visa route could be the right one for you, so that we can take the best-advised further steps together. 

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How can we help you obtain a Scale-up visa?

Cranbrook Legal’s team of immigration experts is here to support you throughout your visa application. Our law firm has around 25 years’ experience in the immigration sector collectively. We have helped a wide range of people secure an exciting future in the UK.

This has allowed us to develop our procedures through a range of different circumstances. The progressive and dynamic mindset of our lawyers has assisted a number of businesses and individuals, and we are ready to do the same thing for you.

The Scale-up visa category is specifically designed for talented individuals and scale-up businesses. Not only can our legal specialists help you understand the fees that go along with the application, but they can also help find the most cost-effective way for you to go through this application process, in accordance with your budget.

We project manage all of our clients’ cases. After all, we want to help make sure they can have a successful future in the UK. Cranbrook Legal’s office is situated in London. At the heart of the UK’s economy, our law firm is here to guide, support and protect talented individuals that wish to obtain the UK Scale-up visa.

If you want to do your own research before you speak to our team of experts, make sure you take a look at the UK Scale-up visa GOV.UK website for more information. This will enable you to keep updated on the latest news about the UK Scale-up visa.

What is a UK Scale-up visa?

The UK Scale-up visa is designed for highly skilled individuals that have been offered a job by a UK Scale-up sponsor. These individuals will be extremely skilled within their career fields, and will possess a variety of qualifications that suit their professions. To be eligible for this visa, you must already have a job offer from a scale-up company that plans to expand.

There are two versions of the UK Scale-up visa to consider. These are the sponsored route and the unsponsored route. If you are interested in the Scale-up visa, you may also be intrigued to know that there is the possibility through this visa route to bring over your partner and any dependent children to the UK. 

What are the requirements for a UK Scale-up visa?

As we previously stated, there are two routes that can be taken if you wish to use the Scale-up visa route to come to the UK. Here are the UK Scale-up visa requirements needed for you to be successful in securing either a sponsored or unsponsored visa:

The sponsored Scale-up visa application:

  • You must be over 18 years old
  • You must be able to prove that the offered job is genuine
  • You must be provided with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your Scale-up visa UK sponsor
  • Your job must be at an appropriate skill level
  • Your English language capability must be at the level of CEFR B1/IELTS 4.0
  • Your salary must be equal to or exceed £33,000 per year, £10.58 per hour, and the ‘going rate’ for the job
  • You must have a valid TB certificate, if required
  • You must have enough money to be able to financially support yourself, without having to rely on public funds

The unsponsored Scale-up visa application

  • You must be aged over 18 years old
  • You must have previously been granted permission as a “scale-up worker”
  • You must have a valid TB certificate, if required
  • You must be financially independent, without the need to rely on public funds
  • You must have received monthly PAYE earnings amounting to the equivalent of at least £33,000 per year during at least 50% of your most recent grant of permission as a scale-up worker
  • You must be able to speak the English language to a level of at least CEFR B1/IELTS 4.0

For either of these routes, it is crucial that you speak to an immigration solicitor to ensure you receive the best support and advice possible. This will enable you to know which version of the UK Scale-up visa would suit you best.

What documents are required for the Scale-up visa in the UK?

One of the most important things you will need in order to be eligible for a Scale-up visa is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer. This is crucial if you intend to go down the sponsored route of obtaining a UK Scale-up visa. The certificate ultimately proves that your employer is approved by the Home Office to sponsor you as a worker in the UK.

To act as your sponsor,your employer will need to prove that they:

  • Have had three years of annual average revenue or employment growth of 20%
  • Have had over 10 employees by the start of these three years
  • Are on the Home Office’s list of licensed sponsors as an A-rated company

In order for your CoS to be valid, it must have been issued at least three months before you send in your Scale-up sponsorship application. You must have your personal details listed on your certificate. These will include your name, address, job, salary, starting date, and confirmation that you have not applied for a previous visa that has been granted, rejected or is in the process of being approved.

Additional documents include paperwork about your qualifications, passports, your birth certificate, and evidence that can prove your right to work or that you have had a genuine job offer. Speak to your solicitor for more information about the types of documents that you will need in order to move forward with your UK Scale-up visa application.

If you have been approved for the UK Scale-up visa, you may also need biometric documentation to prove your identity. This will include your fingerprint and photograph. You can go to a visa application centre to have your biometrics confirmed.

Once approved, you will be able to access your biometric data online in order to prove you are who you are say you are. You can use this biometric information in the future if you need to renew your visa or decide to change pathways and pursue a different visa altogether. 

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What is the minimum salary for the UK Scale-up visa?

If you intend to apply for the UK Scale-up visa, there is a minimum salary range that you need to reach. This is £10.58 per hour, or at least £33,000 a year. Don’t forget that if you are going through the unsponsored UK Scale-up visa route, you will need to have had this wage during at least 50% of your most recent grant of permission as a scale-up worker.

Do I need a sponsor for the Scale-up visa?

When you work with a UK Scale-up visa law firm, you will find that they will recommend that you take one of two routes for your visa:

  • A sponsored visa
  • An unsponsored visa

Once you have shown that you have had a genuine job offer that can be proven to the Home Office, you can decide to move forward through one of these two visa routes.

If you are an existing Scale-up worker, you may have the option of staying in the UK without sponsorship, based on your previous UK PAYE earnings.

The unsponsored visa route can feel a little more complicated than the sponsored visa route. But rest assured, your Scale-up visa UK lawyer will be there to support you. If you go for the sponsored Scale-up visa, you will be required to prove that your sponsor will support you as a scale-up worker.

The skill level of this job must be at RQF Level 6. The UK Government will have a list of professions that will qualify for this level. For these professions, codes, job titles and occupation types will be listed. Make sure that your employer chooses the appropriate job code.

From there, they can speak to the Home Office and prove that they are in genuine need of your employment within the UK, and discuss whether or not it complies with the immigration system.

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How can I apply for a UK Scale-up visa?

If you intend to apply for the UK Scale-up visa, it is important to remember that you will need to fulfil a number of requirements. With regard to the application process for the Scale-up visa, UK Government figures have decided that it will only be available for workers from August 2022.

To apply for the UK Scale-up visa, you will need to have met the following criteria:

  • Have a salary of at least £33,000
  • Have a strong understanding of the English language
  • Be highly skilled or be part of the academic elite/have a range of academic qualifications
  • Have a job offer that is from a UK business that is a scale-up company

With that said, you can work with Cranbrook Legal’s team of immigration specialists to get started with your UK Scale-up visa application. Not only can they advise you on what route to take, but they can also help you get all of your documents together in preparation for your application. A UK solicitor can help ensure that no mistakes are made throughout the paperwork. That way, your application won’t be invalidated.

Once your solicitor has helped you complete the application, they will send it in to the UK Government’s visas and immigration department for approval. If you are successful in this application, you will be invited to have your biometric information taken for your passport in order to prove who you are when you need it the most, especially if you need to renew your visa in the future.

If you feel confused about how to begin your UK Scale-up visa application, speak to our experts at Cranbrook Legal. They can help you get started and guide you in the right direction when it comes to gathering your paperwork together.

How long does it take to apply for the Scale-up visa?

The amount of time it takes to apply for a Scale-up visa depends on the circumstances of the applicant. Some applications may take longer than others to complete. For instance, the amount of time needed may differ between applicants who apply from inside the UK and those who apply from outside the UK.

In the case of the existing Skilled Worker visa route, it can sometimes take around three weeks to receive a decision for applicants who apply from outside the UK, and eight weeks for those who apply from inside the UK. However, although we are still waiting for more specific details, it may be possible for applications through the Scale-up visa category to be processed in just a few days via a fast-track route.

Keep in mind that you may experience delays, especially if you have a criminal record. Therefore, it’s wise that you remain as patient as possible. You may even find that you need extra time to get all of your documents together. So, take your time and make sure you are ready before you apply. That way, you can feel confident about your application’s chances of success.

Your UK Scale-up visa solicitor will be able to provide you a timeline outlining how long it may take to complete your application and have it processed by the Home Office. They can keep you alerted to any potential delays and inform you about any issues that arise during the process.

It’s understandable that you may need time to collect your documentation, biometric information, and evidence to back up your visa application. That’s why we would highly recommend that you take your time for the Scale-up visa process. Every personal situation is different, but having a specialist immigration solicitor on your side should provide you peace of mind, even if it takes a while to hear back from the Home Office about a decision.

What are the costs of applying for a UK Scale-up visa?

As the UK Scale-up visa is still very new, and applications will not be accepted for it until August 2022, so far, the fees for this type of visa have not been specified. Another thing that has not been specified is whether or not there will be an Immigration Health Surcharge payment, which could add to the fees that you may have to pay.

You can discuss the costs of applying for this type of visa with your solicitor. The type of visa you have may affect its cost. For instance, if you intend to apply for indefinite leave to remain, you may need to change visas. Therefore, it will end up costing more.

Make sure to speak to your UK immigration lawyer before you decide on which visa is best for you. This way, you will be able to feel confident that you are making the right choice for you and your family.

Can I switch into another visa category without returning to my home country?

Honestly, switching into another visa category without returning to your home country can be complicated, especially if you are seeking indefinite leave to remain. What makes this more complicated is that the UK Scale-up visa has not been finalised yet. Therefore, it is impossible to know how lenient and flexible the scheme will be. This is why it is crucial that you speak to your solicitor for guidance and advice.

With that said, it is expected that there will be possibilities through the Scale-up visa route for those who wish to eventually settle in the UK with their family and loved ones. It is estimated that extensions of this visa will allow holders to stay for as long as five years. Once this period of stay has been completed, it is likely that the holder of the UK Scale-up visa will be allowed to apply for settlement.

There may even be a chance that the Scale-up visa could actually work in the favour of the applicant and, therefore, accelerate the process.

If you are unsure about whether or not the UK Scale-up visa would be right for you, speak to your solicitor.

You may be able to switch from the UK Scale-up visa to:

  • Permission as a visitor
  • Short-term student
  • Seasonal worker
  • Parent of a child student
  • Private household domestic worker

Speak to your solicitor to learn more about what type of visa would best suit you. Then you can move forward and figure out how you are going to move to the UK.

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What length of visa will I be issued if successful?

The amount of time that is issued for your visa will depend on the type of job that you come to the UK for. Ultimately, the UK Scale-up visa should allow you to come to the UK for around two years if you come through the sponsored route. However, if you come through the unsponsored route, you should be allowed to live in the UK for around three years.

Keep in mind that if you decide to go through the sponsored route, you will need to be employed in the job for which you are being sponsored for an initial period of six months. After this initial six-month period, your immigration status will cease to be tied to your original sponsoring employer. This will give you the freedom to take on additional or alternative work without the need to be sponsored. You will also be permitted to study. 

There will be opportunities for you to extend the visa. But keep in mind that you will have to re-apply to be considered for an extension. After you have stayed in the UK for around five years, you may be able to be granted indefinite leave to remain. Your solicitor will be able to help you figure out whether you need an extension or decide to settle in the UK.

What if my Scale-up visa application is refused?

If there is reason to suspect that you do not have a legitimate job offer or that your employer has not been approved by the Home Office, it is likely that your application for a Scale-up visa will be refused.

Keep in mind that if your Scale-up visa application is ultimately refused, you can reapply or appeal the decision. Your solicitor can help you understand which option would be best for you, and will go over your application to see what went wrong. They can also recommend whether you need to change the type of visa you have applied for. That way, you can find the easiest way to move to the UK in accordance with your particular circumstances and needs.

Cranbrook Legal can help you with your UK Scale-up visa

Are you ready to get started on your application for a Scale-up visa? The immigration process can be difficult to navigate on your own. This is why we would highly recommend that you look for a UK Scale-up visa immigration law firm.

The solicitors at Cranbrook Legal are situated in London, the heart of business and trade in the UK. With our collected experience, we will ensure that you are fully supported throughout the application process. We will check over your documentation and let you know if any problems occur. You will always know what to expect when you start your UK Scale-up visa application with our help.

Book your first consultation with Cranbrook Legal to find out how you can get started attempting to secure the Scale-up visa. You can enquire to our immigration law firm to find out how we can help you. Call 0208 215 0053 or book an online consultation through our website.

UK Scale-Up visa FAQs

1. When will I be able to apply for a UK Scale-up visa?

Right now, the UK Scale-up visa is not yet open for applications. As it is a new scheme, the UK Government is still figuring out all of the specifications that will be required from the applicant. It will be open for applications from 22ndAugust 2022.

With that said, you should keep in mind that it is still important to start your preparations for applying for this visa. In the run-up to the visa scheme opening, you should be speaking to your solicitor about whether or not you will be eligible, and collecting the documents that will be needed in order to apply for this visa.

Speak to your immigration solicitor now to find out more about how you can prepare for your visa application. That way, you will be able to feel confident when you can finally send in your application in August. 

Yes, the UK Scale-up visa will offer a route for settlement in the UK. This is also known as “indefinite leave to remain”. As long as you keep your job offer in the UK, and maintain a high salary level, you will be able to eventually apply for settlement.

Just keep in mind that this may take several years of living in the UK. So, be patient and focus on your present-day work. Eventually, you are likely to have the opportunity to apply for settlement.

The main difference between a sponsored and unsponsored UK Scale-up visa application is with regard to a UK sponsor being involved in the process.

An unsponsored application will need evidence that the applicant has been granted permission to enter the UK as a Scale-up worker. However, a sponsored application likely has a UK employer that has already offered them a job.

Speak to your solicitor to find out which of these routes will be best suited for you.

Every applicant has personal circumstances that are going to be different from others. This is why it is crucial that you understand whether or not the UK Scale-up visa will be suitable for you.

If you wish to eventually settle in the UK, have a genuine job offer and high salary, then you may well choose this pathway. However, it is also worth speaking to your immigration solicitor to determine the full range of options. Other visas may fit your specific needs more closely, so bear this in mind.

As the UK Scale-up visa is a new type of pathway into the UK, it can be difficult for applicants to understand what they can and cannot do on this visa, and what will be needed in order to ensure a successful visa application.

This is why it is crucial to have a skilled and experienced immigration team on your side to ensure no mistakes are made. A UK Scale-up visa immigration specialist can provide you with advice to get you started and help you fill out the application. This can help you avoid simple mistakes that could ultimately invalidate your visa application.

It is the job of a UK immigration solicitor to be open-minded and prepared to fully understand a case from head to toe. That way, they can find the best pathway for you and help you move forward with your life. Therefore, it is worth investing in a UK immigration team to assist you with getting started.

One of the best things about the UK Scale-up visa is that you can bring your dependents with you. Usually this will be your partner and children. Keep in mind that you may have to pay additional fees for your dependents to live with you, and you may be asked to prove that you have enough finances to maintain their independence without relying on UK public funds. More will be known about this as we get closer to August.

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