Every year, thousands of qualified specialists and ambitious entrepreneurs from all over the world come to the United Kingdom looking for an ideal job. And they have a reason to do it. Here are some of the most obvious advantages of working in the UK:
To stay in the UK, you will need one of the long-term UK work visas that will allow you to apply for permanent residence. Here are the most popular options:
In this article, the focus will be on the fifth immigration route from the above list that successful British companies use to hire talented foreign specialists for positions from the shortage occupation list.
A UK Scale-up Worker visa offers several benefits:
A Scale-Up Worker visa has all the advantages of a long-term UK work visa:
To get a UK Scale-up Worker visa, you need to be invited to the UK by a British scale-up company that experiences a shortage of qualified specialists. The company must be registered as a sponsor, have a sponsorship licence, and be able to exercise its right to issue certificates of sponsorship.
The British authorities have two main requirements for sponsors:
But what if a scale-up business exists for less than three years? Imperial & Legal’s specialists recommend getting an endorsement for your application from a relevant endorsing body. The list of the available endorsing bodies for a UK Scale-up Worker visa category is regularly updated on the government website.
A certificate of sponsorship is an electronic document created using your sponsor’s sponsorship management system. In your application for a UK Scale-up Worker visa, you will have to include the ID of your certificate of sponsorship as well as information about your job and your sponsor.
A certificate of sponsorship must contain the following data:
Here are the four main requirements for UK Scale-up Worker visa applicants:
There are also some standard requirements for UK work visa applicants:
You can apply for a UK Scale-up Worker visa online from the comfort of your home. You need to fill in a form on the government website, attach the relevant supporting documents, and pay an application fee.
To get a biometric residence card, all the applicants outside the UK must confirm their identity. As a rule, non-EU citizens must visit a visa centre to submit biometrics and have their photo taken. EU citizens can use the UK Immigration: ID Check application to upload scans of their documents or log in to the UK Visa and Immigration online service.
If you want to switch to another visa category or extend your UK Scale-up Worker visa, you do not have to go to a British visa centre and will be able to apply inside the country.
If you want to take your spouse or children with you, they will have to apply for a UK Scale-up Worker visa separately. To get the visa, they will have to prove that they are dependent on you. Your children who are older than 18 can obtain a UK Scale-up Worker visa only if they have already been your dependants on another UK visa. They must be supported by you, and they cannot have a family of their own.
You can apply for a UK Scale-up Worker visa three months before your certificate of sponsorship becomes valid. Experienced immigration advisors can significantly reduce the time you spend preparing all the required documents.
After your application is submitted and your identity is confirmed, the processing will take up to:
To obtain a UK Scale-up Worker visa, you need to consider the following costs:
Let us consider each cost separately.
An application fee is paid when you apply for a UK Scale-up Worker visa. It is £715 for each applicant. If you add your spouse and children to your application, the fee is multiplied by the number of dependants.
If your application is refused, an application fee will not be refunded. Not to lose time and money, it is recommended to contact immigration advisors.
This fee is paid for the whole period of your stay in the UK so that you can get qualified medical assistance at any time. An annual charge amounts to £624 multiplied by the number of years your visa is valid for.
Like an application fee, a healthcare surcharge for each dependant is paid separately.
The UK government needs to be sure that a UK Scale-up Worker visa holder will be able to support themselves in the UK without applying for public benefits. An applicant must have at least £1,270 deposited in their bank account for at least 28 days prior to the application. A bank statement is requested to prove it.
If you want to bring your family with you, you must have additional funds to support them.
Sometimes, a British sponsor can guarantee to cover their employee’s living costs until they receive their first salary in the UK. In this case, you will not have to prove that you have enough money to cover your living expenses; a corresponding record will be made in a certificate of sponsorship. A sponsor must be ready to pay at least £1,270 for their foreign employee.
To apply for a UK Scale-up Worker visa outside the UK and EU, you must submit biometrics in a British visa centre. If you do not have such centres close to your place of living, you might want to put some money aside to cover the cost of travel.
A UK Scale-up Worker visa is valid for two years. You will be able to extend your visa for three more years as many times as you wish.
As has already been mentioned above, you won’t need a new certificate of sponsorship to extend your UK Scale-up Worker visa. However, to have your application approved, you need to meet some requirements:
One of the main advantages of a UK Scale-up Worker visa is an opportunity to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after five years of stay in the UK.
The requirements for a potential permanent resident are stricter than for a holder of a long-term visa. You need to prove that you have good knowledge of English and pass the Life in the UK test.
One more year later, you will be able to naturalise and apply for a British passport. Your family will also be able to obtain ILR and then British citizenship.
There is a misconception that it is almost impossible for a foreign specialist to relocate to the UK for work. However, a UK Scale-up Worker visa proves the opposite. If your occupation is from the shortage occupation list and you have found a British sponsor, you will most certainly get your visa.
Not to waste time and money, you can contact Imperial & Legal’s immigration advisors who will help you avoid unnecessary costs and hassle. We also offer relocation support to the UK, including the search for suitable accommodation and a nursery or a school for your children.
To apply for a UK Scale-up Worker visa, you will have to submit the following documents:
If you want to take your unmarried partner to the UK with you, you will also have to collect evidence that you have shared a household for at least two years.
If your job, from your sponsor’s point of view, requires a PhD or doctoral degree, you will need a valid ATAS (the Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate.
Unfortunately, to extend a UK Scale-up Worker visa, you can only rely on the earnings from your sponsored job (even if you left your sponsor after six months of work). Income from another job or self-employment will not be considered.
If your currency is convertible into pounds, you do not need a separate bank account with savings in pounds. You just need to obtain a bank statement confirming that you have the sum that is equivalent to at least £1,270 (or more if you add dependants to your application) at the current exchange rate.
To £1,270, you will have to add:
If you apply for a UK Scale-up Worker visa inside the UK and have already been living in the country for 12 months on another visa, you do not need to show your savings.
We will work with you to find a customised solution for your immigration, second citizenship, business, tax and other needs.
UK Scale-Up Worker visa
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UK Global Talent Visa
UK Global Business Mobility visas
UK Expansion Worker Visa: Great Tool for Business Development
Visa for entrepreneurs
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