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Scale-up visa UK – An additional pathway for high-skilled Indians

-Swapan Dutta, Director-Sales & Marketing, XIPHIAS Immigration

With an aim of attracting international skilled professionals to high-growth businesses, last month the UK government rolled out a new type of workers’ visa named the Scale-up visa. The visa enables businesses and companies to hire the best talent pool and highly skilled individuals, particularly from India, as recent British government statistics have shown that a large number of rapidly growing Indian businesses from tech and financial services are expanding and dominating the country’s skilled visa routes.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) also commended the extended visa and said that “the UK Home Office Scale-up Visa announcement directed at high-growth businesses to access a worldwide talent pool to boost their scale-up ambitions is well-timed and likely to benefit many Indian businesses and also help UK companies tap into the vast Indian talent pool.”

Under the new Scale-up Visa, small companies and those in the tech and financial services sectors that have had at least 20% annual employment or revenue growth year-on-year and employed a minimum of 10 people at the start of those three years are eligible to sponsor and employ people under the new route. Eligible businesses are expected to attract and sponsor a vast talent pool of scientists, engineers, programmers, software developers, financial and investment advisors with the new visa that falls within the country’s wider points-based immigration system.

To be eligible for a Scale-up Worker visa, one must:
– posses a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business for at least six months
– Have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued by an approved sponsor/employer
– Have a job offer from a sponsor for a role skilled to at least RQF 6 in the UK qualifications framework
– The minimum wage has to be either GBP 33,000 per annum or GBP 10.10 per hour or the current wage rate for the specific work

Language Proficiency Proof
– You must demonstrate that you can read, write, speak, and understand English at the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level B1.
– You can prove your language proficiency by having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English obtained through study at a UK school while under the age of 18
– Possess a degree-level academic qualification taught in English
– If you studied abroad, you must apply to Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) for confirmation that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degree

The Length of Stay under the Scale-up Visa
A Scale-up Worker visa allows you to stay in the UK for two years and when your visa expires, you have to apply for an extension. If you want to stay in the UK for an extended period of time, you can extend your visa by 3 years as many times as you want as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. Applicants can bring their partners and children and after 5 years they can apply for permanent settlement in the UK which is also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’. This visa will give them the right to live, work, and study in the country for as long as they want, as well as apply for benefits if they qualify.

How Indians can be benefited

As per the British High Commission, Indian nationals were issued the highest number of UK study, work and visitor visas in the year ending June 2022. According to the wire agency IANS, nearly 118,000 Indian students received UK study visas, over 258,000 Indians received visit visas and nearly 103,000 work visas were issued to Indians in the year, including for skilled and seasonal workers. And the roll out of the “fast-track” immigration route that does not require the expense and responsibility of obtaining a sponsor license to invite someone to the country will only add up these numbers and allow many high-skilled Indians to afford an additional pathway to work and live in the UK.


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