What Is the New UK Scale-up Visa? Eligibility and Benefits


Have you heard of the new UK Scale-up Visa? In this article, we aim to help you understand the ins and outs of this new visa program and how it can benefit your organisation. 

Key Facts

  • UK Scale-up visa is part of a new immigration process to help encourage skilled labour in migrating to the UK.

  • Businesses need to meet certain criteria to qualify as scale-up companies and therefore benefit from this visa program.

  • UK Scale-up visas can help companies recruit talent in light of post-Brexit immigration changes and global challenges to the labour market.

What Is the UK Scale-up Visa?

The UK Scale-up Visa is a recently introduced fast-track immigration programme for businesses to attract highly skilled labour from around the world. Workers who meet the required skill levels qualify for a Scale-up Visa. 

The visa permits workers entry into the UK as a sponsored employee. They must work for the sponsoring employer for at least six months. After five years, the employee and their family can settle in the UK permanently without the condition of employment.

The UK Scale-up Visa was passed as part of the government’s changes to post-Brexit immigration rules. The programme opened for applications 22 August 2022.

Who Is Eligible for a UK Scale-up Visa?

There are certainly requirements when it comes to this new visa program. Here is who qualifies for a UK Scale-up Visa.

High Growth Companies

To quality, businesses need to demonstrate that they qualify to sponsor overseas workers. At present, eligibility requires that the company demonstrates 20% overall employee growth and three years of average revenue. Qualifying companies must also have at least 10 employees at the beginning of that aforementioned three-year period.

According to the ScaleUp Institute, there are more than 36,000 high growth businesses that  qualify under that criteria. The government is considering softening the requirements to include other companies that are anticipating high growth, as well.

Qualified Workers

Due to the newsness of this visa programme, not every  requirement is confirmed yet. However, it’s expected that applicants will be able to qualify if they meet the following criteria:

  • A high-skill job offer from a confirmed scale-up company in the UK

  • A minimum £33,000 annual salary

  • High proficiency or academic credentials in their field

  • Spoken English proficiency 

This new visa will additionally provides a path for international workers to settle permanently in the UK along with their families. 

But, for the first six months of their residency, skilled workers need to stay with the company that sponsored them. Following a five-year period of continuous employment, they can apply for settlement in the UK.

Benefits of a UK Scale-up Visa for Businesses 

The UK Scale-up Visa is coming at a fortuitous time for business. Recent disruptions in the labour market have made hiring a challenge for some companies, including scale-up companies that rely on international talent. 

This new visa programme provides incentives for highly-skilled workers to make their way to the UK. This is to help expedite the process, to avoid companies needing to migrate out of the UK to access talent pools in other countries.

The UK Scale-up visa also makes it easier for companies to recruit talent in light of free movement changes between the European Union (EU) and a post-Brexit UK. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the UK Scale-up Visa

What Are the Requirements for a UK Scale-up Visa? 

Potential visa-eligible employees need to meet several qualifications, including salary requirements, English proficiency and industry knowledge, in order to be eligible for a UK Scale-up visa. Similarly, hiring companies need to be classified as ‘high growth’ to participate in this programme. 

What Are the Benefits of a UK Scale-up Visa for Businesses? 

The Scale-up UK visa widens a rapidly-growing company’s pool of potential talent. The Benefits of a scale-up UK visa for businesses goes into more detail about this benefit.

Find Top Talent Faster

The search for highly skilled workers is becoming increasingly competitive, with the UK Scale-up visa designed to help bring international labour to your doorstep. When these new employees join your team, you’ll need to ensure that you complete all necessary paperwork to ensure your participation in the programme. 

With Personio’s HR management software, you can manage the employee journey from start to finish, from posting job adverts to creating an employee file regarding their UK Scale-up status. Book your free demo to learn how Personio can help you manage everything in one place.


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