Start Up Visa

For entrepreneurs who want to set up business in the UK

The Start Up Visa is for new entrepreneurs who want to develop a business idea in the UK. The business must promise a wider benefit to the UK economy.

The visa is open to both graduates and non-graduates from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). No initial funding is necessary. 

The business idea must be:

  • NEW- you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading
  • INNOVATIVE - you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market
  • VIABLE- with potential for growth.

Crucially, the entrepreneur must first secure endorsement from an authorised endorsing body - either a university or approved sponsor. Once this is secured, the next step is to apply to the Home Office for a Start-Up visa.

The maximum time on this visa is 2 years. The entrepreneur will then need to switch to an 'Innovator' visa if they wish to further develop the business. The 'Innovator' visa can lead to 'settlement' or indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Your application will be assessed to ensure it is genuine. You will be asked to show that you have a genuine intention to start up the business and that you are capable of doing so.  If you already have investment funds, you must show they are genuine. 

You must also show that you: 

  • Are over 18 years of age.
  • Satisfy the English Language Requirement, Level B2.
  • If in the UK already, that you already have valid UK leave under either Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, Tier 2, Tier 4 (General) or as a visitor undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur.
  • Can show minimum maintenance funds of £945.

Working with us

We can help you decide if this is the right route for you and whether you are eligible. We will help you identify the right endorsement body and we can take on the whole application process once you have endorsement. All we need from you is information and documents. We work on a fixed fee basis so there is a clear price for our work. We do not work on hourly rates. 

"Fantastic service from Sallie and the team. They came recommended to me. I would most definitely use them again or recommend to anyone seeking immigration assistance."

Ekul Star

How does the Start Up Visa application process work?

The two stage application process is:

  1. Secure endorsement. You will need a business plan setting out your idea, your projections and how you plan to put the idea into action. We can advise on the list of approved sponsors. If approved you move to the next step.
  2. Apply to Home Office. We can do this for you. If you apply from outside the UK, a decision should arrive within 3 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to have funds in place for a Start Up Visa? 

No. But you must have an endorsement from an approved body. 

I am here in the UK already - can I apply for a Start Up visa?

Yes - you can 'switch' to a Start Up Visa from  Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, Tier 2, Tier 4 (General) or as a visitor undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur.

What happens at the end of 2 years on this visa? 

You can apply to switch to an 'Innovator' visa. After a further 3 years on the Innovator visa you can apply to settle in the UK - this is indefinite leave to remain which allows you to live permanently in the UK without immigration restrictions. 

Can my family come with me? 

Yes, you can bring your partner and children. You will need increased maintenance funds if they come with you. 

Get in touch
For entrepreneurs who want to set up business in the UK
Contact us to find out more about the Start Up Visa and how we can use our expert knowledge to secure you the chance to start and build up a successful business in the UK.
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