Scale-up Worker Route

Scale-up Worker route

The United Kingdom allows holders of the Scale-up Worker visa to work in qualifying roles for fast-growing British companies, also known as “scale-up businesses.”


To qualify for a Scale-up Worker visa, you must:
  • have a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business for at least 6 months
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
  • have a job offer to do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid a minimum salary in your new job
Knowledge of English

Proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension of English is an essential requirement. Usually, during the application process, your proficiency in English must be confirmed.

How long you can stay
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.
If you want to stay longer in the UK
As long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria, there is no limit to how many times you can prolong your visa by an additional 3 years.
Following a span of 5 years, an opportunity presents itself for individuals to submit their applications in order to establish a permanent residency within the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as ‘indefinite leave to remain’. This prestigious status grants individuals the freedom to reside, pursue professional endeavors, and engage in educational pursuits within the country indefinitely. Furthermore, those who meet the necessary criteria may seek various benefits upon eligibility.
How to apply
You must apply online.
How you apply depends on whether you’re:
  • outside the UK and are coming to the UK
  • inside the UK and extending your current visa
  • inside the UK and switching from a different visa
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.
Your partner and children can apply to join you or stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible.
When to apply
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.
Getting a decision
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 it costs
You, your partner or children will each need to:
  • pay the £715 application fee
  • pay the healthcare surcharge for each year of your stay
  • prove you have enough personal savings.
What you can and cannot do
With a Scale-up Worker visa you can:
  • work in your sponsored job for at least 6 months
  • leave your sponsored job after 6 months
  • study
  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
  • take on additional work, including becoming self-employed
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • 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
You cannot:
  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  • work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
If your application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Scale-up Worker visa.
During the first 6 months of your stay
You cannot change employer unless you apply to update your visa.
You do not need to update your visa if you start a different, eligible job with the same employer.
After 6 months
You can:
  • continue working in your job
  • change or stop doing your job without telling the Home Office
  • be self-employed
You do not need to update your visa.
When your current visa expires, you have the opportunity to prolong your Scale-up Worker visa without seeking a new sponsor, provided that you meet the necessary criteria related to earnings.

For more information on our Scale-up Worker Routers, please get in contact where we would love to discuss further on how we could help you.

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Get in Touch

With years of experience working in UK immigration and Litigation law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps toward obtaining your goals. Get in touch today.