What is the UK Scale Up Visa?
The UK Scale Up visa is a visa that provides an opportunity for foreign workers to move over to the UK to work for a fast-growing UK company for a minimum of 6 months. The Scale Up Visa was launched on the 22nd August 2022 with the objective of helping fast-growing UK businesses get access to skilled foreign workers from around the world.
The rules guiding the UK Scale Up visa also allows a visa holder to switch from their sponsored role to an unsponsored role after a duration of 6 months. This means you can change jobs after you’ve completed a tenure of 6 months working for the UK company that sponsored your Scale Up Visa.
Furthermore, the Scale-Up Visa allows you to stay in the UK for a maximum of 2 years, after which you will be required to apply for an extension. Typically, you can extend your stay by another 3 years – which adds up to a total of 5 years.
After 5 continuous years of working in the UK on a Scale Up Visa, you will be allowed to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain, also known as an ILR. Note that continuous residence means that you haven’t travelled out of the UK for more than 180 days during those 5 years.
If granted, scale-up visa holders can stay for an initial period of 2 years, after which they can further extend their stay for an additional 3 years. After 5 continuous years of UK residence on a scale-up visa, holders can then apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Continuous residence means that you must not have been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any consecutive year.
A final thing to note is that this visa is only eligible to people who already have an active job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued by any of the approved scale-up companies/business in the UK.
What Are Scale Up Companies?
The UK government defines a Scale Up company as one that meets the following criteria for atleast 3 years before they applied to the Home Office for a Sponsor License:
- They have be growing by atleast 20% in sales year-over-year. This could also be a 20% growth in employee count.
- They had a minimum of 10 employees 3 years before they applied for a Sponsor License.
The UK currently records about 34000 companies that meet the criteria of a Scale Up company. You can apply for a job at any of these Scale Up companies, and if hired you’ll be issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from them, which then allows you to apply for a UK Scale Up Visa.
UK Scale Up Visa Company List
This UK Scale Up Company list includes Worker and Temporary Worker sponsors. It includes information about the category of workers they’re licensed to sponsor and their sponsorship rating. Note that to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship, scale-up companies must be shown as A-rated on the list of approved UK sponsors.
List of Approved UK Scale Up Companies (Updated as of 7th September 2022): CLICK HERE
To Download the List as a CSV File: CLICK HERE