To sponsor a Scale-up worker in the UK you need to ensure the following:

  • You have an eligible Scale-up business
  • Your business has a valid Scale-up sponsor licence
  • You are employing an eligible Scale-up worker

What is the new Scale-up visa?

The new Scale-up visa allows UK companies to employ talented individuals from across the globe to contribute to the growth of the company.

Who is eligible for the Scale-up visa in the UK?

A Scale-up worker must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a job offer at skill level 6 (RQF) for a role on the list of occupations.
  • Be paid a salary of £33,000, £10.10 per hour or the “going rate” for the job occupation, whichever is higher.
  • Have obtained level B1 English language.
  • Be expected to work in the role for the first 6 months.

What is a Scale-up sponsor?

A qualifying Scale-up sponsor is one that:

  1. Has an annual growth of 20% (minimum) in employment or turnover for the previous 3 years.
  2. Had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the 3 years.

The Home Office will verify this by checking the company’s PAYE information and/or VAT returns that have been submitted to HMRC.

What are the Scale-up sponsor requirements?

If your company does not already hold a sponsor licence in the UK, you will need to apply for one to employ Scale-up workers.

The Scale-up route is classed as a Temporary Worker route which means that a Temporary Worker licence is required and temporary certificates of sponsorship should be assigned.

On the other hand, if your company already has a sponsor licence, you can apply to add the Scale-up route to this.

Before you employ a worker you must ensure that they meet the above immigration requirements and that they are required for a genuine role within the company. They must have the required skill level and you must be able to pay them the appropriate salary. The role must appear on the list of occupations created by the Home Office.

Once you have identified a suitable candidate for the job, you must assign them a certificate of sponsorship within the Sponsor Management System (SMS).

When the individual is granted the Scale-up visa, they can begin working with you. As the Scale-up sponsor, you must adhere to certain sponsorship duties such as making sure the individual can carry out the role, monitor their attendance and keep accurate records for the worker.

For the Scale-up visa route, after the initial 6-month period of sponsoring the employee under the sponsored Scale-up route, your sponsorship duties end.

You can also employ workers under the unsponsored Scale-up route from within the UK if they have already been sponsored by another company for the first 6 months of their visa.

Is there an Immigration Skills Charge for the Scale-up visa?

There is no Immigration Skills Charge for the Scale-up visa route.

How long does the Scale-up sponsor licence last?

The licence will last for 4 years unless it is revoked by the Home Office.