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Posted on September 02 2022

Here’s how to live and work in the UK with a UK Scale-up visa

By Editor
Updated July 25 2023

News highlights

  • Learn how the new UK Scale-up visa helps you live and work in the UK.
  • Learn what you can do with a UK Scale-up Visa.
  • Understand how it’s a great choice for skilled workers including engineers, scientists, programmers, architects, etc.

Let’s understand the new UK Scale-up visa and learn how it allows you to live and work in the UK.

As it’s well-known among potential immigrants, the UK has umpteen opportunities for skilled professionals, especially in the service sector. Skilled migrants can make it big in the UK. One of the visas that act as a pathway for you to move to the UK is the Scale-up visa.

An introduction to the new UK Scale-up visa

As already mentioned, a Scale-up visa allows you to arrive in the UK to do a job deemed eligible, for a UK business identified as fast-growing. In other words, such a business is called a “scale-up business".

If you want to migrate to the UK on this visa, an employer in the UK has to sponsor you. That employer has to meet specific criteria for eligibility to sponsor you as a scale-up worker in the business establishment.

Who needs this visa?

Unless you or your family hail from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, or Iceland, you will need a UK work visa to arrive in the UK. So, eligibility for a UK Scale-up visa will be possible if you:

  • have a confirmed job offer to get employed for a scale-up business that’s approved, for a minimum period of 6 months
  • have a sponsorship certificate from your UK employer that has information about the job role you are offered in the UK
  • have a job offer to do a job that’s enlisted among eligible occupations
  • are paid a minimum salary in your new job

Coming to the requirements related to English language skills, you must be able to speak, write, read, and understand English. You must prove that your skill in the English language is of at least B1 on the CEFR scale (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

You can prove your skills in the English language in the following ways:

  • Passing a SELT (Secure English Language Test) offered by an approved provider
  • having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English - if you studied abroad, you’ll need to apply through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) for confirmation that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD
  • Having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18

If you are a national of the following countries, you won’t need to prove your knowledge in English:

Antigua and Barbuda

the Bahamas





Dominica Guyana Grenada Malta `Jamaica New Zealand

St Kitts and Nevis

St Vincent and the

St Lucia

Trinidad and Tobago



You can live in the UK with a Scale-up visa for 2 years. You can apply for an extension to your visa when it reaches its expiry period.

It’s allowed that you extend your visa any number of times by 3 years. For this, you have to meet the eligibility requirements for the visa.

After 5 years, you may be able to apply for a permanent settlement in the UK. This is known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’. It gives you the right to live, study, and work in the UK for any period of time. During this period, you can apply for benefits that you are eligible for.

Also read: You won’t require police registration to study in UK on new study visas

How to apply for a UK Scale-up visa?

You must apply for the visa online. Here are the documents to be submitted:

  • proof of your knowledge of English
  • your sponsorship certificate reference number provided by your UK employer
  • your job title and annual salary
  • a valid passport/other document showing your identity as well as your nationality
  • the occupation code of your job
  • your employer’s name and their sponsor license number (given on your sponsorship certificate)

You can file an application for this visa not more than 3 months before the day you are bound to start your work in the UK. You can find this date listed on your sponsorship certificate.

Know your eligibility to immigrate to UK through Y-Axis UK Immigration Points Calculator.

After applying online, in the normal course, you will get a decision on your Scale-up visa within:

  • 3 weeks, if you are outside the UK
  • 8 weeks, if you are inside the UK

Are you wondering how much to spend for a UK Scale-up visa? You and each of your partner/children must pay:

  • £715 as an application fee
  • surcharge for healthcare for each year you stay in the UK, which comes to £624 per year

Besides this, you have to prove that you have sufficient personal savings. You will also need to have a minimum of £1,270 available with you to support yourself once you arrive in the UK.

If you are willing to migrate to UK, talk to Y-Axis, the leading immigration and career consultant in the UAE.

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