HiringFast growth

The UK’s top high-growth businesses will have greater flexibility and power to entice the world’s top talent through a new Scale-up visa, according to the government.

Successful businesses will be eligible to sponsor talented individuals, from scientists and engineers to architects and programmers, to support their growth and contribute to the UK economy.

Unlike other sponsored visas, the Scale-up visa allows businesses to employ high-skilled individuals who will receive two years’ leave to remain in the UK without requiring further sponsorship or permission beyond the first six months.

The government – which has overseen the nation’s exit from the European Union – says the visa will enhance its overall offer to businesses through a points-based immigration system.

Eligible companies are those who have achieved growth of 20% or more in either employment or turnover year-on-year for at least three years – and employed a minimum of 10 people at the start of the three years.

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“Rapidly growing businesses, like small enterprises, tech and financial services, need the right level of support to go to the next level,” said Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster. 

“Through our Scale-up visa, we’re enabling businesses to focus on their growth and innovation by giving them more freedom to bring in the diverse skills and experience they need, making them more attractive on an international stage.

“By supporting our high-growth tech, financial services and small businesses, we are ensuring the UK remains a global hub for emerging technologies and innovation while enhancing productivity across the economy – creating jobs, growth and prosperity across Britain.”

Irene Graham OBE, CEO of the ScaleUp Institute, said: “The ScaleUp Institute welcomes the launch of the Scale-up visa. This is something we have recommended since our inception and should provide a much-needed fast track service to enable local growth companies to access the talent they need more quickly.

“Scaleups add over £1 trillion a year and more than 3 million jobs to the UK economy, and are present in every community, hiring people from at home and abroad, as they drive growth into their local areas and beyond.

“The visa should help with the skills demands. We look forward to continuing to work with the government as this service evolves to ensure it fully addresses scaling business needs and works effectively.”

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