Here’s everything you need to know about UK’s new Scale-up visa

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Here’s everything you need to know about UK’s new Scale-up visa
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  • The Scale-up visa aims to attract top talent, including scientists, engineers, architects and programmers, to work in UK companies.
  • The duration of the visa is two years, however, one can extend their visa as many times as they like by 3 years.
  • One can apply for the visa three months before the starting date of work in the UK.
  • Indian nationals were issued the highest number of UK study, work and visitor visas in the year ending June 2022.
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Earlier this week, the United Kingdom rolled out a new type of workers visa named Scale-up visa which aims to attract top talent, including scientists, engineers, architects and programmers, to work in UK companies.

“Through our Scale-up visa, we’re enabling businesses to focus on their growth and innovation by giving them more freedom to bring in the diverse skills and experience they need, making them more attractive on an international stage." said Kevin Foster, British Minister for Safe and Legal Migration.

What is a Scale-up visa?


This visa enables businesses and companies to hire the best talent pool and highly skilled individuals. Those who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to live in the UK for two years without requiring further sponsorship or permission beyond the first six months.

“The Scale-up visa will give them greater flexibility to hire, often in-demand, talent they need so they can go to the next level, while boosting the UK’s high-skilled pool,” the UK government said in a statement.

Small businesses, tech and financial companies that achieved growth of 20% or more in either employment or turnover year-on-year for at least three years; and employed a minimum of 10 people at the start of the three years — will be eligible to sponsor this visa.

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The duration of the Scale-up visa is two years but the visa can be extended as many times as needed by three years – as long as the eligibility requirements are met.

How is it beneficial for Indians?


On Thursday, the British High Commission said that Indian nationals were issued the highest number of UK study, work and visitor visas in the year ending June 2022. Nearly 118,000 Indian students received UK study visas, registering an 89% increase from the previous year.

Over 258,000 Indians received visit visas, a 630% increase from last year when travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic were still in place. Nearly 103,000 work visas were issued to Indians in the year, including for skilled and seasonal workers. This was a 148% increase over the previous year, according to wire agency IANS.

"India first again. I am delighted that Indian nationals were issued the largest number of UK study, work and visitor visas in the year ending June 2022. More strength to the unique living bridge that connects our people," Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, said.

The Scale-up visa will afford an additional pathway for many more high-skilled Indians to work and live in the UK.

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Eligibility criteria for the Scale-up visa



  1. One must have a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business for at least six months.
  2. One must have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from the employer with all the necessary information about the job role and designation.
  3. One must have a job offer from a UK company with a paid salary.
  4. One must have good knowledge of the English language, for which one will have to pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider.
  5. One must have a degree-level academic qualification in English if one has studied abroad, or one will need to apply through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to prove that one’s qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.
One can apply for the visa three months before the starting date of work in the UK. As part of the application, one will need to prove his/her identity and provide all required documents.

One can include their partner and children in the application to stay in the UK if they are eligible.

After five years, one may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). This will give one the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as one likes, and apply for benefits if eligible.

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