This route is expected to open on 22nd August 2022, for individuals with job offers from qualifying UK scale-ups to qualify for an alternative, fast-track visa. This is a sponsored route, and individuals must have a job offer that meets the relevant minimum salary and skills level from an authorised UK scale-up company.
To sponsor someone under this route, qualifying UK start-ups will need to apply for a sponsor licence in advance. They must:
- have an annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period in terms of turnover or employees; and
- had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of this 3-year period.
Qualifying individuals will be granted a visa to work in the UK for an initial period of 2 years and they can also bring certain dependants with them to the UK.
Those with Scale-Up visa will be required to work in the qualifying role they are sponsored to do for their sponsor for a minimum of 6 months. After this initial six-month period, they are able to work for any employer in the UK at any skill or salary level. However, to extend their visa or to settle in the UK, individuals must be able to evidence PAYE earnings of at least £33,000 per year for a prerequisite period of time.
Further details on the changes to the rules can be found in the Statement of Changes and Explanatory Memorandum.