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Your Comprehensive Guide to the UK Scale-Up Visa

For entrepreneurs with an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea, the UK Scale-Up Visa provides the opportunity to establish and grow their business in the UK’s dynamic business environment. Let’s dive into what you need to know about this unique visa category.

Understanding Your Sponsor Company’s Obligations

A crucial part of the UK Scale-Up Visa application process is understanding what requirements your sponsoring company must meet. These requirements ensure that the company is able to provide the support and resources necessary for your successful integration into the UK job market. Here are the key criteria your sponsoring company must fulfil:

Annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous 3 year period in terms of turnover or staffing; and
Has a minimum of 10 employees at the start of this three year period
Companies must have the Scale Up visa route added to their existing Home Office Sponsor Licence if applicable, or apply for a new one

Scale-Up Visa Eligibility and Requirements

As with any visa application process, understanding and fulfilling all the requirements is paramount. This ensures that your application is not only accurately presented but also stands a high chance of success. Below we have outlined the key criteria and necessary documentation for the UK Scale-Up Visa. Remember,  each application is unique and may require additional specifics.



You must receive a minimum annual salary of £33,000, or the amount as stated on the Occupational Code (OC code), whichever is higher
The role you intend to undertake must be considered as at or above bachelor’s degree level (RQF 6)
You must obtain sponsorship from an employer registered as Home Office sponsor under the Scale-Up route. Upon sponsorship, you will be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), this is like an online UK work permit
You must meet the English language requirement of CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening, or be from an ‘English speaking country’
You must have held £1,270 in savings for 28 days prior to the date of application, or an A-Rated Home Office sponsor may certify that they will provide this on the CoS. Further funds must be held for each dependant family member applying

The Scale-Up Visa Application Process Explained

The Scale-Up Visa application process involves several stages, including securing an endorsement, obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship, and completing the visa application. Each stage requires meticulous attention to detail and strict compliance with UK immigration laws.


Yes, following 6 months sponsorship in the UK, you are free to work for any employer in the UK, doing any job whilst the visa remains valid.  You may also extend on this basis.

Scale up sponsored visas are usually granted for an initial period of either up to 2 years. However, sponsorship from a UK company is only required for the first 6 months of the visa

It is possible to apply for work visa extensions from within the UK as many times as required.  Extensions are usually granted for 3 years.

It is possible to apply to switch visa category from within the UK into this visa type, if you are not currently in the UK holding one of the following visa types:

  • Visitor visa
  • Short-Term Student visa
  • Parent of a Child visa
  • Seasonal Worker visa
  • Domestic Worker visa
  • Any Discretionary visa

Please however note that you may still need to meet the requirement to have worked for your employer outside of the UK for the required period, unless exempt. 

Yes, following 5 years continuous residence under the Scale-Up visa category should usually be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Spouses or partners and children under the age of 18 may apply for visas to accompany you to the UK as your ‘dependants’.  Your spouse or partner should be permitted to work.

It is permitted to switch into the Scale Up Worker immigration category from within the UK if you were last granted long term visa, i.e. not a short term student or visitor visa.  In all other circumstances, initial applications should be submitted from outside of the UK, either from your country of nationality or legal residence.

UKVI aim to process visas as follows:

Visa applications submitted outside of the UK:

  • Standard processing: 15 working days
  • Priority Service processing: 5 working days


Visa applications submitted inside the UK:

  • Standard processing: 8 weeks
  • Priority Service processing: 5 working day


Important: UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) do not guarantee processing times and delays do occur. We advise that you do not book any non refundable travel until your visa has been approved and your work visa is in your possession.  Priority services can be suspended without notice and may not be available at the time of application.

The UKVI application fee is as follows:

  • Visa up to 2 years duration: £715

In addition, you will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which is £624 per year of the visa duration.

Our professional fee will depend on the level of service you require. Please see the options below or contact us for further information.

Why Choose Immtell for Your Scale-Up Visa Journey?

Navigating the visa application process can be daunting, but with Immtell, you have a trusted partner by your side. Our dedicated team provides expert guidance and assistance at each step, simplifying the process and enhancing your chances of a successful application.

Experience the Immtell Advantage

With a deep understanding of UK immigration laws and an unwavering commitment to client success, Immtell can provide invaluable support in your visa application process. Let our expertise simplify your journey to scaling success in the UK.