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Analysis of the new Scale-up immigration route

factory workers

Lexis legal analysis

3 August 2022

What is the Scale-up route?

The Scale-up route is intended for talented individuals recruited by a UK Scale-up sponsor, who have the skills needed to enable the Scale-up business to continue growing. It is a five-year route to settlement that, although initially sponsored, transitions into an unsponsored route. A dependent partner and dependent children can also apply on this route.

The Scale-up route has been promoted as a smoother and fast-track route, intended to complement the other sponsored work routes like Skilled Worker and the newly reorganised/rebranded Global Business Mobility routes. Unlike the Skilled Worker category and the Senior or Specialist Worker route under the Global Business Mobility category, there is no Immigration Skills Charge.

What are the requirements under the Scale-up route?

The Scale-up Worker visa involves two stages. The first stage requires a job offer from a Scale-up sponsor and the applicant must score points for sponsorship, skill level and salary, as well as English language and a finance requirement, similar to other sponsored routes. The second stage allows existing Scale-up Workers to score points without sponsorship, based on previous UK PAYE earnings.