Scale-up visa

A. Overview

A Scale-up Worker visa allows foreigners to come to the UK to perform an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business (sometimes called a ‘scale-up business’).

A UK employer must meet specific eligibility criteria to sponsor scale-up workers.

B. Eligibility

To qualify for a Scale-up Worker visa, an applicant must:

  • have a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business for at least 6 months
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
  • have a job offer to do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid a minimum salary in your new job

To discuss your visa application

Please contact with one of our immigration lawyers by phone +44 (0) 207 907 1460 (London), +971 509 265 140 (Dubai) or complete our enquiry

Contact us

C. Validity

A person can stay in the UK with a Scale-up Worker visa for 2 years. 

D. Extension

The visa can be extended for an unlimited number of times by 3 years, as long as the applicant still meets the eligibility requirements.

After 5 years, a person holding this visa may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’).

To discuss your visa application

Please contact with one of our immigration lawyers by phone +44 (0) 207 907 1460 (London), +971 509 265 140 (Dubai) or complete our enquiry

Contact us

E. Application process

The application is carried out online, and the process differs depending on whether the applicant is a) outside the UK, or b) inside the UK and either extending a current visa or switching from a different visa.

F. Eligibility of ‘dependents’

Partners and children can apply to join applicants for the scale up visa.

G. Application deadline and decision timeline

Applications can be made up to 3 months before the day applicants are due to start work in the UK. 

Once a fully completed application has been submitted, a decision can be expected within:

  • 3 weeks, if the applicant is outside the UK
  • 8 weeks, if the applicant is inside the UK

H. Rights and Restrictions

With a Scale-up Worker visa, foreign nationals can:

  • work in a sponsored job for at least 6 months
  • leave a sponsored job after 6 months
  • study
  • bring partners and children with them as ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
  • take on additional work, including becoming self-employed
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) if they have lived in the UK for 5 years and meet the other eligibility requirements

Holders cannot:

  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  • work as professional sportspersons, for example a sports coach

I. Job Requirements

All of the following requirements must be fulfilled for a person to be eligible for a Scale-up Worker visa:


  • the job must be eligible for this visa
  • a UK scale-up business that’s been approved by the Home Office
  • salary requirements must be met
  • the person must work in the sponsored job for at least 6 months

J. Salary requirements

The applicant needs to be paid whichever is the highest out of the following 2 options:

  • £34,600 per year
  • the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing

Each occupation code has its own annual going rate. 

To discuss your visa application

Please contact with one of our immigration lawyers by phone +44 (0) 207 907 1460 (London), +971 509 265 140 (Dubai) or complete our enquiry

Contact us

K. Approved UK employers

The job offer must come from an approved UK employer before an applicant can apply for this visa. The employer must be an eligible scale-up business to get approved.

L. Eligible scale-up businesses

The employer must either:

  • have been endorsed by an approved body, also known as an endorsing body 
  • be an eligible fast-growing business (sometimes called a ‘scale-up business’)

To be an eligible fast-growing business, in the 3-year period immediately before they were approved by the Home Office to sponsor scale-up workers, they must have:

  • grown by 20% on average in each year in either employment or total sales (turnover)
  • had at least 10 employees at the start of the 3-year period

M. Documents

An applicant needs to provide as a minimum:

  • A certificate of sponsorship reference number 
  • proof of his/her knowledge of English

N. Knowledge of English

Applicants must prove they can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

O. Other documents applicants might need

Depending on the circumstances, applicants might be asked to provide:

  • evidence of enough personal savings to support themselves in the UK, for example bank statements (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you)
  • proof of their relationship with their partner or children 
  • your tuberculosis test results if they are from a listed country 
  • a valid ATAS certificate if the employer determines that this is needed

P. Costs

An £822 application fee and an annual healthcare surcharge (usually £1,035 per year), as well as funding of own living costs (usually at least £1,270) are the minimum costs associated with this visa. 

Q. Administrative Review (Entry clearance and extension applications)

If the entry clearance or extension application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post or by the Home Office, the applicant will be given a right to make a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of the decision if application was submitted outside the UK or 14 days if application is made inside the UK. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information/documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide or submit any fresh evidence with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.

What services can we offer?

  • We can advise on the procedure of making the Scale-up Visa application in line with the sponsorship certificate
  • We can assess the job and the applicant`s details and advise on the likelihood of the applicant being sponsored under the Scale-up Visa
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making their leave to remain/entry clearance applications in line with the certificate of sponsorship
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making their Indefinite leave to remain applications for the main applicant and dependent family members
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependants to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s application is refused for some reason


Whatever the case, we are here to assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of their immigration matters.

Prices for Scale-up visa

Scale-up as the main applicant

starting at £ 1800

Spouse or partner by category Scale-up

£ 990

Child by category Scale-up

£ 590

Initial consultation (45 min.)

(the cost is deducted from the cost of further purchased services of the company)

£ 150

Second consultation (15 min.)

free of charge

Applying for a visa when there is a refusal or in other difficult cases

starting at £ 2000

Case's Review

starting at £550

Enquiry to Home Office

£ 550

Still have questions?

Contact us