Table of Contents
UK Start-Up Visa Requirements and Information
The UK Start-Up visa is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to set up their first business in the UK. This visa is valid for two years and offers a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to establish their business ideas in Britain and benefit the UK economy.
To apply for the UK Start-Up visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old or over.
- Have not previously established a business in the UK (unless you previously held leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur).
- Be endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed your business idea for innovation, viability, and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend the majority of your working time in the UK on developing your business venture.
- Your endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Start-up visa application.
- Genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application.
- Meet the English language requirement to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
- Have enough funds to support yourself, your dependent partner, and your children.
- Contact Primus Solicitors on 01612225860 to receive free general immigration advice online via email, online chat, or an enquiry form. For detailed advice, book an appointment with their expert immigration solicitor.
- Ensure you meet all the UK Start-Up visa requirements.
- Obtain endorsement from an approved UK endorsing body.
- Submit your visa application within 3 months of receiving your endorsement letter.
- Attend a biometric appointment.
- Wait for a decision on your visa application.
You do not need to have any funds to invest in your business for a Start-Up visa. However, the requirement to have an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea means that, in practice, you may need to have funds available to invest. Some endorsing bodies may require a certain level of funding as a condition of endorsement.
For your business proposal to be endorsed, an approved endorsing body will need to be satisfied that your business idea meets all the following criteria:
- Innovation: You have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
- Viability: You have, or are actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to successfully run the business.
- Scalability: Your business plan has the potential for job creation and growth into national markets.
The Home Office has released a list of currently approved endorsing bodies for Start-up visa applications. This guide provides information on how to obtain a Start-up visa endorsement, switch to the Start-up visa category, and other key information.
Our team of experienced business immigration specialists can help entrepreneurs from all over the world prepare successful Start-up visa applications. If you are eligible, we can also assist you in obtaining a Start-up visa endorsement.
Direct contact with investment panel members and transparent and timely decision-making is ensured through our partnership with Primus Solicitors.
It is possible to apply for a Start-up visa from outside the UK or switch to the category from within the UK. However, you cannot apply if you have previously been granted permission as a Visitor, Short-term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household, or outside the Immigration Rules.
If you are interested in joining an existing business as a Start-up visa holder, this category may not be suitable for you. It is recommended that you apply for leave to remain in another work visa category.
After approval by a Start-up visa endorsing body, you will receive a Start-up visa endorsement letter. This letter must be submitted as part of your Start-up visa application. Strict requirements in the Immigration Rules regarding the information that must be included in the endorsement letter can be met with the help of our immigration lawyers.
Your initial Start-up visa will be valid for two years. However, if you have previously been granted leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, your leave will expire after reaching the maximum two-year limit.
It is not possible to extend a Start-up visa, and Start-up visa holders are not eligible for settlement. After two years, you can apply for further leave to remain in the Innovator category to continue developing your business. This can lead to settlement after three more years.
Hire our specialist immigration lawyers to help you through this process and ensure a successful outcome for your UK Start-Up Visa application. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you with your immigration matter.