Bridge Partners

Scale-Up visa

The Scale-up Visa is designed for talented individuals recruited by a UK Scale-up Sponsor, who have the skills needed to enable the Scale-up business to continue growing.

Can I apply for a Scale-Up visa?

We can help you. It’s what we do.


The Scale-up Visa is designed for talented individuals recruited by a UK Scale-up Sponsor, who have the skills needed to enable the Scale-up business to continue growing.  You will need to have a highly-skilled job offer from a qualifying Scale-up business at the required salary level.  The Scale-up Visa route will open on 22 August 2022 and will lead to settlement in the UK.


The Scale-up Visa offers both a Sponsored Application and an Unsponsored Application route.

To qualify for a sponsored application, you must be 18 or above and have a Certificate of Sponsorship from your UK sponsor for the job you will be undertaking. You must be able to prove that the job is genuine and at an appropriate level. Your salary must equal or exceed both £33,000 per annum, £10.58 per hour and the ‘going rate’ for the job. You must also be able to show sufficient English language proficiency and that you are able to support and maintain yourself financially without recourse to public funds.

To qualify for an unsponsored scale-up application, in addition to the age, English language and maintenance requirement, you must have previously been granted permission as a Scale-up worker. You must also be able to show that you had monthly PAYE earnings in the UK equivalent to at least £33,000 per annum at least 50% of your most recent grant of permission as a Scale-up worker.

Indefinite leave to remain

You can apply for settlement in the UK as a Scale-Up visa holder, subject to meeting certain conditions. You must have lived and worked in the UK for 5 years, still be employed with a minimum salary of £33,000 per year during the last 24 months of the last 3 years before the application and you meet the English language requirement.

Frequently Asked Scale-Up visa Application Questions

To get a scale-up visa, you will need to have a confirmed job offer from an approved scale-up business for a genuine job that will help the business grow. Once you have a job offer, providing you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for the Scale-up visa.  

The Scale-up worker visa allows fast-growing businesses to employ highly skilled workers from around the world to expand even further. Unlike employing skilled workers, employers can sponsor a scale-up worker for 6 months and after this period, their sponsorship duties end which means that they do not need to report to the Home Office. Also, if you are a scale-up sponsor, you can employ scale-up 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.  In addition, there is no Immigration Skills Charge to pay.  

A qualifying Scale-up sponsor is one that has an annual growth of 20% (minimum) in employment or turnover for the previous 3 years and had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the 3 years. Scale-up companies will also need to apply for a sponsor licence in order to be able to hire scale-up workers. Organisations that already hold a valid sponsor licence can apply to add the scale-up route to their existing licence. The type of licence needed is a ‘Temporary Worker’ licence. The scale-up sponsor licence will be valid for 4 years and unlike other routes, this cannot be renewed beyond the 4-year period.  

You can apply for the Scale-up visa up to 3 months before the day you start work in the UK. The start date can be found on your certificate of sponsorship. 

Your job will be eligible for the Scale-up visa if it appears on the list of eligible occupations. Types of jobs that qualify for the Scale-up visa vary from financial managers to marketing directors to social services managers. All roles are highly skilled and have a minimum skill level of 6 RQF. Scale-up workers must be paid a minimum annual salary of £33,000 per year (based on a maximum 48-hour week) and at least £10.10 per hour. Alternatively, they can be paid the “going rate” for the particular occupation, whichever is higher. 

The Scale-up visa has two applications, sponsored and unsponsored. A scale-up worker can do an unsponsored job if they meet certain criteria. The main requirement is that they have already worked on a Scale-up visa in the UK for a UK scale-up sponsor for a minimum of 6 months and have earned at least £33,000 per year. Having an unsponsored job means that workers can work for any other employer without being tied to a specific one and having to reapply to renew their visa.  

Request a call back

We can help you

The process of applying for a UK Scale-Up visa can be lengthy and frustrating without the right guidance. Bridge Partners have years of experience in obtaining UK visas and in-depth knowledge of this new category.