Scale-up Scheme


As of 1 January 2021, anyone, including EU citizens, need to obtain a Skilled Worker visa in order to be eligible to work in the United Kingdom.

It is possible to switch to Skilled Worker visa within the UK from the eligible visa categories.

There is no limit on the amount of time a Skilled Worker visa holder can spend in the UK. It is possible to be granted permission to enter/remain in the United Kingdom up to a maximum of five years at a time, with unlimited extensions.

The Skilled Worker applicants are allowed to bring dependents in the UK (partners and children). The Skilled Worker visa leads to settlement in the United Kingdom.

In order to be successfully granted Skilled Worker visa, an applicant must earn at least 70 points by meeting mandatory criteria and “tradeable points” requirement.

Mandatory criteria to be met when applying for Skilled Worker visa are split into validity, suitability, eligibility, financial and criminal record requirements.

In addition, the applicant must be aged 18 or over and needs to score 50 mandatory points from the following:

  • Sponsorship (20 points)
  • Job offer at an appropriate skill level (at or above RQF level 3 or equivalent) from a UK based company who is a Licensed sponsor (20 points)
  • English Language requirement at level B1 (intermediate) in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) (10 points)

When applying for permission to stay in the United Kingdom and having resided in the UK with permission for 12 months, the applicant will automatically meet the financial requirement. If not, the applicant must have held the funds of at least £1,270 for a 28-day period or have a confirmation from their A-rated Licensed sponsor that they will meet the maintenance associated with the visa application.

“Tradable points” requirement (20 points):

The “tradable points” requirement can be met through a combination of points for the salary on offer, a job in a shortage occupation or a relevant PhD.

Settlement in the United Kingdom

In order to be eligible to apply for settlement under the Skilled Worker route, the applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK, which must consist of time with permission to enter/remain in the UK on any of, or any combination of, the following routes: Skilled Worker, Global Talent, Innovator Founder, T2 Minister of Religion, T2 Sportsperson, Representative of an Overseas Business or as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant.

The specified continuous period must not be broken at any time during the 5-years’ period.

The applicant must also meet the Knowledge of Life in the UK requirement by taking the Life in the UK test and demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the English language.

In addition, the applicant must meet the sponsorship and salary requirement for settlement as a Skilled Worker. As such, the sponsor who has issued the applicant with the most recent Certificate of Sponsorship must still be approved by the Home Office under the Skilled Worker category on the date of the decision and the applicant’s salary must be at least £20,960, or £26,200 per year depending on the applicant’s circumstances or the going rate according to the applicable occupation code, whichever is higher.

For further information about Skilled Worker visa and for the tailored advice to a specific case scenario please do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Team.

Our regulated advisers have had many years of experience assisting applicants and their family members with their relocation to the UK as well as with their extension and Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement) visa applications.

*Please note that requirements may vary from case to case based on the nuances of your situation, and the information on this page is not intended to replace legal advice.