UK Scale-Up Visa from Ireland

If you are a foreign national who is talented and highly skilled and wish to travel and help a UK Scale-up business to continue growing, you will need to apply for a scale-up visa.

For advice and assistance with your visa application, contact Total Law today at +353 (0) 61 518 025 or use the online contact form to get in touch.

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    What is a Scale-Up Visa?

    A scale-up visa is a type of work visa for the UK that enables highly trained foreign nationals to travel and work for scale-up firms and supports their continued expansion. This visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 2- 3 years. You can bring your immediate family to the UK on a scale-up visa.

    In May 2021, the Home Office published its policy paper, “New plan for immigration: legal migration and border control strategy statement,” which first hinted at how this may work. It stated: “in Spring 2022, we will also introduce a new, unsponsored points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK, with a particular emphasis placed on the very high skilled and academically elite. This new fast-track visa is known as the scale-up worker visa.

    A qualifying Scale-up business must have made the applicant a high-skilled job offer at the necessary pay rate. A person who requests permission to remain in the country must be present in the country at the time of application, and they must not have been granted hold the following permission in the past:

    • As a visitor
    • As a short-term student
    • As a parent of a child student
    • As a seasonal worker
    • As a domestic worker in a private household outside the immigration rules.
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    What is the Certification of Sponsorship Requirements for Sponsored Application?

    To be eligible for a scale-up visa work, you must have a valid certificate of sponsorship, which your sponsor must issue. Your certificate of sponsorship is a reference number that contains your immigration status, roles, and duration of employment. The certificate of sponsorship must meet the following requirements:

    • Confirm the applicant’s name, the position they are being sponsored, salary, and PAYE details.
    • Include a start date for the position no later than three months from the application date as specified by the UK scale-up sponsor.
    • Confirm that the applicant will be required to work for the UK employer for at least the first six months after obtaining permission.
    • Not have been used in a prior application that was either approved or denied (but can have been used in a previous application that was rejected as invalid, made void, or withdrawn)
    • Not been cancelled by the Home Office or withdrawn by the Sponsor.
    • Confirm whether or not ATAS applies to the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requirement.

    What are the Appropriate Salary Requirements for Sponsored Application?

    You need to meet the salary requirements when applying for a scale-up visa. The applicant’s sponsored job must pay at least as much as all of the following:

    • An annual salary of £36,300
    • The going rate for the occupation code

    Only guaranteed basic gross pay is included in salary (before income tax and including employee pension and national insurance contributions). When determining whether an application meets the pay requirements outlined in SCU 7.1(a), only the first 48 hours of the applicant’s weekly schedule will be considered. For instance, a candidate who works 60 hours per week at the rate of £12.50 will be seen as earning £31,200 (£12.50 x 48 x 52) per year rather than £39,000 (£12.50 x 60 x 52).

    What are the Appropriate Salary Requirements for Unsponsored Application?

    Existing scale-up workers must have made at least £36,300 (or £33,000 if your most recent permission on this visa was granted before 11 April 2024)  in annual PAYE wages in the UK during at least 50% of their time as a Scale-up Worker (for instance, an applicant with a two-year Scale-up Worker permit must have made this amount of money during at least 12 months of that permit).

    To fulfil the criterion in times of absence from employment, any of the following reasons shall be regarded as periods during which the applicant was paid the equivalent of at least £36,300 per year:

    • Statutory maternity, paternity, parental, or shared parental leave
    • Statutory adoption leave
    • Sick leave.

    An applicant with a two-year permit who spent six months on the types mentioned above of leave while working as a scale-up worker during that permit’s first year would need to have earned PAYE wages in the UK equal to at least the minimum threshold annually for at least six of the permit’s remaining 18 months.

    Our team is happy to assist you with your Scale-Up visa application. Contact us

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      What are the Financial Requirements for Scale-up Workers – for the Main Applicant?

      The applicant does not need to provide evidence of funds if they have been in the UK for at least a year at the time of application and are seeking permission to stay. If the applicant is requesting entrance clearance or has been in the UK for less than a year at the time of application, one of the following applies:

      • The applicant must have at least £1,270 in cash savings. The applicant must demonstrate that they have kept the needed funds for 28 days and that they have the cash at hand.
      • If the applicant is applying as a sponsored applicant, the applicant’s sponsor must state on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will take care of and accommodate the applicant till the end of the first month of their job, to a value of at least £1,270.

      Dependent Partner ("Partner") and Dependent Child ("Child") of a Scale-Up Worker

      Before travelling to the UK, a person who wishes to join their partner or child of a Scale-up Worker must apply and acquire entry clearance in that capacity.

      When applying for entry clearance as a partner or child via the Scale-up method, the applicant must show a current medical certificate attesting to the fact that they have completed testing for active pulmonary tuberculosis and are free of the disease.

      What are the Financial Requirements for a Partner or Child on the Scale-Up Route?

      Dependants of the scale-up visa holder do not need to provide proof of funds if they have been living in the UK for at least a year and are seeking permission to stay. However, the financial requirements for partner or child of scale-up visa holders or applicants include:

      • At least £285 for a partner in the UK or applying for entry clearance
      • At least £315 for the first child in the UK or applying for entry clearance
      • At least £200 for each additional child in the UK or entry clearance.

      If you have any questions about your Scale-up visa eligibility, our team is happy to assist you. Contact us

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        Application Process for the Scale-Up Visa

        The applicant must meet the UK visa and immigration eligibility criteria and apply for entry clearance. When applying for a scale-up visa, you must take certain procedures and actions for a successful application.

        To avoid errors that could result in a visa being refused, you must read the Home Office’s application guidelines before beginning the application process. You must carry out these actions to apply for this visa.

        Step 1: Apply online through the website under the “Settle in the UK in various immigration categories: form SET(O)”.

        Step 2: Submit all your supporting documents

        Step 3: Fill in all the requested information, provide answers as instructed, and submit your application.

        Period and Conditions of Visa for a Scale-Up Worker

        If your application for the scale-up visa is approved and it was awarded 50 points for meeting the sponsorship application requirements, you will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for 2 years. However, the grant will be subject to all the following conditions:

        •  You are not permitted to access public funds.
        • The applicant must be employed in the job for which the applicant is being sponsored for the first 6 months of their permission.
        • Work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, excluding professional sportspeople and sports coaches.
        • The study is permitted, subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS

        If the applicant was awarded 50 points for meeting the Unsponsored Application requirements, they would be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for 3 years. The grant will be subject to all the following conditions:

        • You must not access public funds
        • Work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, excluding work as a professional sportsperson and sports coach
        • The study is permitted, subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS

        How can Total Law help?

        Total Law’s excellent immigration lawyers are vastly experienced in dealing with the UK scale-up visa application and provide advice and support to make your application process smooth.

        Our professional immigration lawyers will help you determine that you meet the eligibility criteria for a UK scale-up visa. They will advise you detailedly on which supporting documentation you should have. In addition, years of experience with this process have made us aware of the common mistakes that applicant make that causes application refusal. Therefore, we will help you avoid these errors to ensure that your application is consistent and readily accepted.

        If you’ve had a previous refusal, Total Law can help you file an appeal or walk you through the re-application process to ensure you get accepted. So contact us today at +353 (0) 61 518 025 to start your journey toward a successful UK visa application.

        We can help you if you need help with your Scale-Up Visa reapplication. Contact us

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    The applicant must demonstrate English proficiency on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) of at least level B1, which is equivalent to IELTS 4.0. However, there are cases where the applicant can be exempted from providing an English language proficiency test result. If the applicant satisfies the English language criterion, they will receive 10 points in their application.

                    The applicant will be allowed to request a review of the decision if the application for entry clearance or an extension is denied by the Home Office or the ECO in the British diplomatic post. This option must be exercised within 28 days of the date the decision was served if the application was submitted outside the UK or 14 days if it was submitted inside the UK.

                    The applicant will only be able to rely on the data/documents already presented with the application; no additional data or documents may be supplied or submitted with the request for a review.