• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Explainer: What to know about UK’s new immigration visa

On Monday, the United Kingdom introduced its new Scale-up visa in a bid to intensify its efforts towards attracting young talents from other countries.

The visa allows foreign nationals to come to the UK to work in an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business for a period of at least six months.

A statement by the British government said its top high-growth businesses would have greater flexibility and power to entice the world’s top talent through the new Scale-up visa.

“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,” it said in its immigration website.

It also added that the visa would further enhance the government’s overall offer to businesses through the points-based immigration system to hire eligible employees from anywhere in the world.

Irene Graham, chief executive officer at ScaleUp Institute, said: “Scaleups add over £1 trillion a year and more than three 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.”

Since 2020, the UK has been flexible in its immigration system and routes due to its withdrawal from Brexit. This has created a lot of job vacancies at the middle and low levels in the economy. Some of the routes introduced are Graduate route, High Potential Individual visa and Global talent visa.

For some Nigerians, especially the youth, this initiative has created a new opportunity for them to immigrate to the UK.

According to the British government, the number of sponsored study visas given to Nigerian students increased by 529.5 percent to 58,887 in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022 from 9,355 in the same period of 2020.

The number of skilled work visas granted to Nigerians also rose by 214 percent from 4,091 in Q1 2020 to 12,862 in Q1 2022.

“UK is becoming the go-to place for Nigerian talents. And the pace at which this is happening is really fast. This will cost us our human capital which will ultimately affect the growth of our economy,” Kemi Ogunkoya, a leadership development strategist, said.

Read also: EXPLAINER: Implications of new UAE visa rules for Nigerian travellers

Here are more details of the Scale-up visa


Before applying for the visa, you must have a confirmed job offer to work for an approved scale-up business for at least six months.

Have a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) from your employer with information about the role you have been offered in the UK.

Have a job offer to do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations such as scientists, engineers, programmers, software developers, research and development professionals, economists, architects, technicians, financial and investment advisers.

Be paid a minimum salary in your new job and must be able to speak, read, write and understand English.

When to apply

You can apply for a visa up to three months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. The date is listed on your COS.

How to apply

Once you have applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within a period of three weeks, if you are based outside the UK or eight weeks, if you’re inside the UK.

Cost requirements

When you apply for the visa, you’ll need to have enough money to pay the £715 application fee, pay the healthcare surcharge that is usually £624 per year and have enough savings of at least £1,270 to support yourself in the UK.