Scale Up Visa

November 11

The Scale-Up Visa


OTB Legal

As part of the Autumn Budget presented at the end of October, the government formally announced a new work visa. The ‘Scale-Up’ visa. Expecting to launch in Spring 2022, the visa will present an alternative to the current skilled worker route.

Who is eligible for the Scale-Up Visa?

The Scale-Up visa will allow workers in high skilled jobs to come to the UK to work.

Successful applicants will benefit from:

  • The permission to work
  • Ability to switch between jobs or eligible employers 
  • Option to extend their visa
  • Being able to apply for settlement

While full details have yet to be announced, we anticipate that this will differ from the regular skilled worker visa. Currently, the skilled worker visa aims to fill roles in sectors considered necessary to the economy. Working by catering to any business that is experiencing rapid growth.

What are the Scale-Up Visa requirements?

Applicants will be required to have a ‘high skilled’ job offer from an ‘eligible business’ with a minimum salary of £33,000. They will also need to meet an English language proficiency requirement.

The government have not yet confirmed how they will identify high skilled jobs, however we do have some details about who they will consider to be an eligible business. Current guidance suggests that a business will be eligible if they meet the following three criteria:

  • Achieving an average growth of greater than 20% of either annual revenue or employment over a three year period
  • Have a minimum of 10 employees at the start of that three year period
  • Can demonstrate an expectation of strong growth in future years

The application for employers to be recognised as an eligible business, is being described as a fast-track verification process. While this suggests that some form of sponsorship licence will be required, it is not clear whether this will fall within the existing licencing system or whether a new licence will be created.

Additional concrete information should emerge in the coming months, but for now this route creates an exciting new prospect for employers and workers alike.

Alternatives in the short term:

Looking to recruit and can’t wait until the Spring? It may be worth considering obtaining a sponsor licence. Enabling you to hire workers through skilled worker, temporary worker or intra-company transfer routes.

If you’d like to talk to us about these options, click the button below to book a free consultation.

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