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In a bid to attract world’s top talents, the UK government has introduced new Scale-up visa and pointed out ‘it will help the country's top high-growth businesses to attract skilled professionals, including scientists, engineers, architects, programmers, to work for them.’

Using the Scale-up visa, businesses, now, will be able to employ skilled individuals who will receive 2 years’ leave to remain in the UK without requiring further sponsorship or permission beyond the first 6 months.

“The Scale-up visa will give them (businesses) greater flexibility to hire, often in-demand, talent they need so they can go to the next level, while boosting the UK’s high-skilled pool," the UK government said earlier this week. 

What are the benefits of the Scale-up visa?

The Scale-up visa is mainly a “fast-track" immigration route that does not require the time, expense and responsibility of obtaining a sponsor licence to invite someone to the country. Earlier this year the Home Office hinted about the Scale-up visa in its policy paper, stating, “in Spring 2022 we will also introduce a new, unsponsored points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK, with a particular emphasis placed on the very high skilled and academically elite."

To immigrate under the Scale-up visa, an individual will require a “high skill" job offer from a UK employer for which the minimum salary requirement is £33,000. It needs to be pointed out here, £33,000 will be a lower salary threshold than that required by many of the Skilled Worker occupations commonly employed by Scale-ups.

For the uninitiated, under the UK’s points-based immigration system, to come to the UK via the Skilled Worker route, IT analysts and systems designers must be paid the going rate of £36,600 unless they have other tradeable points that make up for being paid less, a report said.

UK scale-up visa 2022 requirements: 

  • A job offer from a UK-based company lasting a period of at least 6 months
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from their employer
  • minimum salary requirements of £33,000 per year
  • English language proficiency
  • Sufficient funds to support themselves

Who will be eligible for the Scale-up visa?

Scale-up visa is a part of the UK’s points-based system for immigration. Currently, a high-skilled job with a minimum paycheque of £33,000 and English language proficiency are announced to be the only requirement for obtaining this visa. 

The government notified that companies that have achieved growth of 20% or more in either employment or turnover year-on-year for at least 3 years and employed a minimum of 10 people at the start of the 3 years will be eligible to sponsor talented individuals through the Scale-up visa.

Eligible businesses will be able to attract highly skilled talent including, scientists, engineers, programmers, software developers, research and development professionals, economists, architects, technicians, financial and investment advisers.

What are scale-up companies:

  • Achieved 20% growth in each year in either employment or total sales (turnover)
  • at least 10 employees at the outset of the 3-year period

Currently, there are 33,445 firms with 20% annual increase in growth of employees or turnover in 2019, employing 3.2 million people and generating a total turnover of £1.1 trillion

People on a Scale-up visa will be able to change jobs and employers. Their visas should be extendable, so it is likely there will be a route to settlement. However, there is not yet any announcement regarding whether family members join applicants. 

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