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Scale-up Visas

Scale-up Visas

What is the scale-up visa?

In the February 2021 Budget, the Chancellor announced plans to introduce an elite points-based visa with a ‘scale up’ stream, enabling those with a job offer from a recognised UK scale up to qualify for a fast track visa.

This was built on in the October 2021 Budget and announced that this visa will launch in spring 2022.

This new route is likely to be of particular interest to organisations operating in the FinTech sector who have typically struggled with skills shortages in the UK.

What do I need to do to be granted the scale-up visa?

We do not yet have full details of the eligibility criteria for this visa but we do know that the applicant will need to:

  • have a high-skilled job offer from a recognised UK scale-up
  • the salary for this role must be at least £33,000pa, and
  • meet the English language requirement
What is a ‘recognised UK scale up’?

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development defines a scale up business as having “an average annualised growth greater than 20% a year, over a 3-year period, and with 10 or more employees at the beginning of the observation period “. However it is yet to be seen how UKVI will define a “recognised UK scale up”.

When will this visa be introduced?

The Government’s aim is to introduce this visa by March 2022.


Given the fast pace of change, we would stress that this information is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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