Scale-up visa route

A. General overview

The Scale-up route is for talented individuals recruited by a UK Scale-up Sponsor, who have the skills needed to enable the Scale-up business to continue growing. The person must have a high-skilled job offer from a qualifying Scale-up business at the required salary level.

An applicant who is applying for permission to stay must be in the UK on the date of application and must not have, or have last been granted, permission:

(a) as a Visitor; or

(b) as a Short-term Student; or

(c) as a Parent of a Child Student; or

(d) as a Seasonal Worker; or

(e) as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or

(f) outside the Immigration Rules.

B. Immigration requirements

A person seeking to come to the UK as a Scale-up Worker must apply for and obtain entry clearance as a Scale-up Worker before they arrive in the UK.

A person applying for entry clearance as a Scale-up Worker must provide a valid medical certificate confirming that they have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis and that this tuberculosis is not present in them.

C. Points requirement for a Scale-up Worker

The applicant must be awarded 70 points.

Sponsorship requirement for Sponsored Application

The applicant must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do, which must:

(a) confirm the applicant’s name, that they are being sponsored as a Scale-up Worker, details of the job and salary the Sponsor is offering them and PAYE details; and

(b) include a start date for the job, stated by the Sponsor, which is no more than 3 months after the date of application; and

(c) confirm the applicant is expected to work for the Sponsor for at least the first 6 months of their permission; and

(d) not have been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused (but can have been used in a previous application which was rejected as invalid, made void or withdrawn); and

(e) not have been withdrawn by the Sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office; and

(f) confirm whether or not the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requirement in Appendix ATAS applies.

Appropriate salary requirement for Sponsored Application

The salary for the job for which the applicant is being sponsored must equal or exceed all of the following:

(a) £33,000 per year; and

(b) £10.58 per hour; and

(c) the going rate for the occupation code.

Salary only includes guaranteed basic gross pay (before income tax and including employee pension and national insurance contributions).

If the applicant is being sponsored to work more than 48 hours a week, only the salary for the first 48 hours a week will be considered towards the salary requirements set out in SCU 7.1 (a). For example, an applicant who works 60 hours a week for £12.50 per hour will be considered to have a salary of £31,200 (£12.50 x 48 x 52) per year and not £39,000 (£12.50 x 60 x 52).

Unsponsored Application

UK earnings in most recent grant of permission as a Scale-up Worker requirement for Unsponsored Application.

The applicant must have had monthly PAYE earnings in the UK equivalent to at least £33,000 per year during at least 50% of their permission as a Scale-up Worker (for example, an applicant with 2 years’ permission as a Scale-up Worker must have had this level of earnings during at least 12 months of that permission).

For the purpose of meeting the requirement in periods of absence from work, in a job with PAYE earnings of at least £33,000 per year, for any of the following reasons will be treated as periods during which the applicant was paid the equivalent of at least £33,000 per year:

(a) statutory maternity, paternity, parental, or shared parental leave; or

(b) statutory adoption leave; or

(c) sick leave.

For example, an applicant with 2 years’ permission, who spent 6 months on the above types of leave during a 2-year permission as a Scale-up Worker, must have had PAYE earnings in the UK equivalent to at least £33,000 per year during at least 6 months of the remaining 18 months of that permission.

English language requirement for Scale-up Worker

Unless an exemption applies, the applicant must show English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of at least level B1.

The applicant must show they meet the English language requirement as specified in Appendix English Language.

The applicant will be awarded 10 points for meeting the English language requirement.

D. Financial requirement for Scale-up Worker – for the main applicant

If the applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance, or has been in the UK for less than 12 months on the date of application, either:

(a). the applicant must have funds of at least £1,270; or

(b). if the applicant is applying as a sponsored applicant, the applicant’s A-rated sponsor must confirm on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will, if necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of the first month of their employment, to an amount of at least £1,270.

The applicant must show that they have held the required funds for a 28-day period and must show funds.

E. Period and conditions of visa for a Scale-up Worker

If the applicant was awarded 50 points for meeting the Sponsored Application requirements, they will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for 2 years.

If the applicant was awarded 50 points for meeting the Sponsored Application requirements, the grant will be subject to all the following conditions:

(a) no access to public funds; and

(b) for the first 6 months of their permission, the applicant must be employed in the job for which the applicant is being sponsored; and

(c) in addition to

(b), work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, except for work as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach); and

(d) study is permitted, subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS; and

(e) if Part 10 of these rules applies, the applicant will be required to register with the police.

If the applicant was awarded 50 points for meeting the Unsponsored Application requirements, they will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for 3 years.

If the applicant was awarded 50 points for meeting the Unsponsored Application requirements, the grant will be subject to all the following conditions: (a) no access to public funds; and (b) work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, except for work as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach); and (c) study is permitted, subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS; and (d) if Part 10 of these rules applies, the applicant will be required to register with the police.

F. Settlement as a Scale-up Worker

A person applying for settlement as a Scale-up Worker must apply online on the gov.uk website on the specified form, “Settle in the UK in various immigration categories: form SET(O)”.

G. Qualifying period requirement for settlement as a Scale-up Worker

The applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK.

The 5-year continuous period must consist of time with permission on any of, or any combination of, the following routes:

(a) Scale-up; or

(b) Skilled Worker; or

(c) Global Talent; or

(d) Innovator; or

(e) T2 Minister of Religion; or

(f) International Sportsperson; or

(g) Representative of an Overseas Business; or

(h) as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).

H. Knowledge of life in the UK requirement for settlement as a Scale-up Worker

Unless an exemption applies, the applicant must meet the knowledge of Life in the UK requirement as set out in Appendix KOL UK. UK earnings in most recent permission requirement.

The applicant must be in employment in the UK with a salary paid through PAYE of at least £33,000 per year, on the date of application.

The applicant must have had monthly PAYE earnings in the UK equivalent to at least £33,000 per year during at least 24 months of the 3 years immediately before the date of application.

I. Dependent partner (“partner”) and dependent child (“child”) of a Scale-up Worker

A person seeking to come to the UK as a partner or child of a Scale-up Worker must apply for and obtain entry clearance as a partner or child of a Scale-up Worker before they arrive in the UK.

A person applying for entry clearance as a partner or child on the Scale-up route must provide a valid medical certificate confirming that they have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis and that this tuberculosis is not present in them.

Relationship requirements for a partner on the Scale-up route.

The applicant must be the partner of a person (P) and one of the following must apply:

(a) P has permission on the Scale-up route; or

(b) P is, at the same time, applying for (and is granted) permission on the Scaleup route; or

(c) P is settled or has become a British citizen, providing P had permission on the Scale-up route when they settled, and the applicant had permission as P’s partner at that time.

If the applicant and their Scale-up Worker partner are not married or in a civil partnership, all of the following requirements must be met:

(a) they must have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least the two years before the date of application; and

(b) any previous relationship of the applicant or their Scale-up Worker partner with another person must have permanently broken down; and

(c) the applicant and their Scale-up Worker partner must not be so closely related that they would not be allowed to marry or form a civil partnership in the UK.

The relationship between the applicant and their Scale-up Worker partner must be genuine and subsisting.

Relationship requirement for a dependent child on the Scale-up route.

The applicant must be the child of a person (P) and one of the following must apply:

(a) P has permission on the Scale-up route; or

(b) P is, at the same time, applying for (and is granted) entry clearance or permission on the Scale-up route; or

(c) P is settled or has become a British citizen, providing P had permission on the Scale-up route when they settled, and the applicant had permission as P’s dependent child at that time.

The applicant’s parents must each be either applying at the same time as the applicant, or have permission to be in the UK (other than as a visitor) unless:

(a) the parent applying for or with entry clearance or permission to stay on the Scale-up route is the sole surviving parent; or

(b) the parent applying for or with entry clearance or permission to stay on the Scale-up route has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing; or

(c) the parent who does not have entry clearance or permission to stay on the Scale-up route:

(i) is a British citizen or a person who has a right to enter or stay in the UK without restriction; and

(ii) is or will be ordinarily resident in the UK; or

(d) the decision maker is satisfied that there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child entry clearance or permission to come to, or stay in, the UK with the parent who is applying for or has entry clearance or permission to stay on the Scale-up route.

The applicant must be under the age of 18 at the date of application unless they were last granted permission as the child of their parent or parents.

If the applicant is aged 16 or over at the date of application, they must not be leading an independent life.

J. Financial requirement for a partner or child on the Scale-up route

If the applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.

The funds required are:

(a) at least £285 for a partner in the UK or applying for entry clearance; and

(b) at least £315 for the first child in the UK or applying for entry clearance; and

(c) at least £200 for each additional child in the UK or applying for entry clearance.

K. Settlement for a partner or child on the Scale-up route

A person applying for settlement as a partner or child of a Scale-up Worker must apply online on the gov.uk website on the specified form, “Settle in the UK in various immigration categories: form SET(O)”.

Qualifying period requirement for settlement as a partner on the Scale-up route

The applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK with permission as a partner of the person (P).

English language requirement for settlement as a partner or child on the Scaleup route

Unless an exemption applies, the applicant must show English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in speaking and listening to at least level B1.

Knowledge of life in the UK requirement for settlement as a partner or child on the Scale-up route

Unless an exemption applies, the applicant must meet the knowledge of Life in the UK requirement as set out in Appendix KOL UK.

L. Settlement Prospects

The Scale-up route is a route to settlement for both the main applicant and dependent family members.

M. 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.

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