Scale Up Visa

The Scale Up visa is one of the visa categories provided by the UK, specifically designed for talented entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their successful business projects within the UK. This type of visa was introduced to attract and support innovative business leaders and accelerate the country’s economic growth by integrating foreign innovation and entrepreneurial ideas.

This visa is designed for those entrepreneurs who already have a successful business outside the UK and want to scale their business in the UK market. It offers the opportunity to introduce and develop their business projects, giving them access to the UK market and a network of professionals.

It is worth noting that the Scale Up visa not only opens the door for business development in the UK, but is also the first step towards permanent residency in the country. Upon successful fulfillment of certain conditions and criteria, holders of this visa can apply for permanent right of residence, which makes it particularly attractive for ambitious entrepreneurs seeking long-term integration into the economic and social life of the UK.

Scale Up Visa Requirements

To be eligible for a Scale Up visa through a sponsorship application, applicants need to meet certain criteria. Specifically, prospective visa holders must consider the following conditions:

  • The candidate must be at least 18 years of age;
  • An approved certificate from a recognized sponsor in the field of scaling up for the intended job is required;
  • The intended position or occupation does exist and is relevant;
  • The position held is at least at the tertiary level;
  • The expected annual income from employment is at least £34,600 and is in line with the standard rate for the job;
  • The applicant is fluent in English as evidenced by CEFR B1 level or IELTS 4.0 equivalent;
  • The applicant has the necessary means for themselves without recourse to state aid;
  • If medically required, a current TB certificate has been provided.

Compliance with the above requirements is a prerequisite for consideration of an application for this visa category.

CoS Visa Certificate Requirements

To successfully apply for a visa under the sponsorship program, you must provide a certificate from your prospective employer confirming their willingness to sponsor you. There are several main ways to obtain this certificate:

Standard Method

Under this method, the UK Home Office analyzes the growth patterns of the sponsoring company over the last three years, based on data submitted to HMRC. To successfully pass this method, the company must show at least 20% growth over the period in terms of employment or turnover. Also, the company must have a minimum of 10 employees at the start of this three-year interval.

Approving Body Method

This method is designed for those companies that cannot meet the requirements of the standard method due to their relatively short history of HMRC record keeping. However, they can demonstrate clear potential to achieve the required growth over the next 4 years. In this case, a specialist approving body audits and confirms the company’s eligibility for a sponsor license. The employer, in turn, must convince this body that they meet all the necessary conditions to successfully claim sponsor status.

Additional Requirements For a Scale-Up Visa

In order to successfully obtain a visa under the scale-up program, it is important not only to have a sponsor as an employer, but also to meet certain requirements related to the job itself. Consider these requirements:

  • Matching the job listing 

Your occupation or job opening must be on the scale-up program’s list of eligible occupations. This list is tailored to the needs of the UK labor market and is based on occupations that require highly skilled personnel.

  • Proof of qualifications

Applicants will need to provide evidence of their skills, experience and suitability for the vacancy. This may include diplomas, certificates, letters of recommendation and other evidence of qualifications.

  • Proof of employer need

The employer must justify why this particular candidate is needed for a particular position, as well as indicate the reasons why it is impossible to find such a specialist on the local labor market.

  • Occupation code

An important step is to select an appropriate occupation code that accurately characterizes the vacancy. If the Home Office considers that the chosen occupation code does not correspond to the candidate’s actual activity, it may result in the visa being refused.

Salary Requirements

In order to successfully obtain a visa under the scale-up program, applicants need to meet certain financial requirements related to salary level. First of all, the main indicator that is taken into account when considering a visa application is the employee’s gross salary. This ensures that the employee has sufficient financial security to live in the UK, with calculations based on working 48 hours per week.

It is also worth noting that when calculating the annual income, it is important to take into account any periods where the employee is not paid, such as unpaid leave or absence for any other reason. This can affect the employee’s average monthly income and, as a result, their compliance with the minimum wage requirements for this type of visa.

Meeting the salary requirements is a key aspect when considering an application for a scale-up visa. Candidates and their employers are advised to carefully consider all aspects of salary and ensure that they are eligible.

What are The Language Requirements

In order to successfully obtain a scale-up visa in the UK, potential applicants must meet certain English language requirements. This is to ensure that the applicant is able to communicate effectively and adapt in an English-speaking environment.

The main methods of proving English language proficiency at the required level include the following:

  • Being a citizen of a state where English is the primary language of communication;
  • Successfully passing an accredited English language proficiency exam;
  • Obtaining an academic degree from an institution where instruction was given in English;
  • Completion of education in the UK, including passing English language examinations at GCSE/A level or equivalent;
  • Previously approved documentation showing that you have met the B1 level of English language proficiency in previous visa applications.

How Much Does It Cost To Apply For a Scale-up Visa

To successfully obtain a scale-up visa in the UK, applicants must meet certain financial requirements. One of the key points is to have sufficient funds in the applicant’s bank account.

According to the requirements, the applicant must have at least £1,270 in their account. These funds must be set aside and maintained in the account for at least 28 days prior to the date of the visa application. This requirement is an assurance that the candidate has the necessary financial resources to stay and work in the country.

It is important to note that the employer can also provide financial support to the candidate. This can happen regardless of the route chosen by the applicant, whether it is a sponsored or non-sponsored route. This emphasizes the flexibility and cooperation between employers and their potential employees in the process of obtaining this type of visa.

How Long a Visa is Granted For

Scale-up visas in the UK are granted for varying amounts of time, depending on the candidate’s chosen immigration route.

If the candidate chooses the sponsorship route, their visa will be valid for 2 years. This implies that the candidate is sponsored by a certain company or organization that is ready to sponsor him/her and support him/her in the process of adaptation and employment in the new place.

In case the candidate applies for a scale-up visa through the non-sponsor route, his visa will be valid for 3 years. This route implies that the applicant independently confirms his/her qualifications and professional suitability for work in the UK without involving a sponsor in this process.

The choice of a particular route depends on the individual preferences and capabilities of the candidate, but in both cases the scale-up visa provides a wide range of opportunities for career development in the UK.

Conditions of Stay on a Scale Up Worker Visa

The UK Scale-up visa provides the applicant with certain conditions and rights of stay in the UK. One of the key points of this visa is freedom of movement: an individual is allowed multiple entries and exits from the UK during the period of validity of the visa.

A very important condition is the need for employment. The holder of this visa must find a job and start working within the first 6 months of their stay in the country. After the expiration of this six-month period the right to employment expands and the person can independently look for a job and choose a place of work in accordance with his/her professional interests and qualifications.

In addition, the scale-up visa gives the right to receive British education. This allows the applicant to enroll in UK educational institutions and undergo training. However, it is worth remembering that holders of such a visa are not accessible to public funds, which limits the possibility of receiving some social benefits and subsidies.

Thus, the scale-up visa provides a wide range of opportunities for integration into the UK society, career development and education.