What is the difference between a Skilled Worker visa and a Scale-up visa?

15 Dec 2022, 40 mins ago

There is a number of different work visas available for those wishing to come to the UK to take up employment, such as the Skilled Worker and the Scale-up visas.

The Skilled Worker visa

The Skilled Worker visa caters to non-British nationals who have been offered a job with a UK-based company. This company would need to hold a sponsorship license issued by the Home Office, enabling them to sponsor migrant workers. This visa is tied to the employer, and if the worker wishes to change their employer after coming to the UK, they will need to apply for a new visa with sponsorship from the new employer.

Skilled Worker visas can be extended and lead to settlement (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR) after five continuous years of living and working in the UK.

The Scale-up visa

The Scale-up visa is a relatively new type of work permit. This visa is designed for UK-based companies that are going through a rapid expansion phase. It caters to businesses that can demonstrate a sustainable period of growth and need workers in order to support and continue this development. Such a company will have to apply for a Scale-up sponsor licence before it can employ migrant workers.

Unlike other work permit routes, the Scale-up visa only requires the visa holder to work for their sponsoring business for an initial period of 6 months. At the end of this initial 6-month period, the duties of the sponsoring business fall away, and the visa holder is able to choose to either remain employed by the initial sponsoring business, or leave and seek other employment without the further need of sponsorship.

What do they have in common?

Both routes require the sponsoring business to issue the workers with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) in order to enable them to submit visa applications. Both routes allow for dependent spouses and children to apply alongside the main applicant, and both routes lead to settlement in the UK. However, the Scale-up route can allow for more flexibility in employment status after the initial 6-month period.

Both routes have salary and job specification requirements that must be met, though the exact way of satisfying such requirements will depend on different applicants’ circumstances, jobs, and sponsoring companies.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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