Start-up Visa

Start-up Visa

The Start-up visa category was introduced on the 29th of March 2019 and it is designed for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants will have to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body.
This category offers leave for 2 years and does not lead directly to settlement in the UK, but applicants may progress into the Innovator visa category.
It is mandatory to provide an endorsement letter issued by an endorsing body in the UK.
The endorsement letter can be issued if the applicant can show that has an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body.

The applicant’s business venture must meet the below requirements in order to obtain an endorsement letter from the endorsing body in the UK .

Innovation – The applicant must show that has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

Viability – The applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.

Scalability – There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

The start up is designed for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants will have to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body.

The start-up visa is for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time and no requirement for investment of £50,000 into their business.

The innovator visa is for experienced business people that are ready to invest
£50,000 of their own money or obtain funding from endorsing body in the UK.

The innovator visa leads to settlement while the start-up visa does not. The start up visa can be issued for up to 2 years while the innovator visa can be issued for 3 years and extended every 3 years (there is no limit on extension).

  1. Applicants must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body.

The applicant’s business venture must meet the below requirements in order to obtain an endorsement letter from the endorsing body in the UK .

Innovation – The applicant must show that has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

Viability – The applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.

Scalability – There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

  1. Does not need to invest any specific amount into the business;
  1. Must also show that they meet the English language requirement and is able to support themselves, their family and/or their dependents for the duration of their stay in the UK.

Applicants need to prove their knowledge of the English language. This can be proved in the following ways:

  1. By passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening; or
  2. By holding an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree level or above; or
  1. By being a national of an English speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, etc.
  2. Applicants will also need to show that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and their family dependents in the UK without claiming any public funds.
  3. Must demonstrate that has had £945 in the last three months and £945 for each dependant who is applying for a dependant visa.

If the application is successful then a Start-up visa can be given for up to 2 year.

Any time you’ve already spent in the UK on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa counts as part of the 2 years.

The credibility assessment will be carried out by the decision maker (immigration officer) to determine whether the applicant is genuine and the business idea is credible. The decision maker (Immigration officer) must be satisfied that all of the following requirements are met:

  1. (i) The applicant genuinely intends to undertake, and is capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in their application.
  2. (ii) The applicant does not intend to work in the UK in breach of their conditions.
  3. (iii) Any money which the applicant claims to be available is genuinely available as described, and the applicant intends to use it for the purposes described in the application.
  4. (b) The decision maker will take into account any endorsement of the applicant required under the Innovator visa route, and may also take into account any or all of the following factors:
    1. (i) the evidence the applicant has submitted and its credibility
    2. (ii) the applicant’s previous educational, work and immigration history
    3. (iii) declarations made to other government departments regarding the applicant’s previous employment and other activity in the UK
    4. (iv) any other relevant information
  5. (c) The decision maker may request additional information and evidence from the applicant or (where relevant) the applicant’s endorsing body.

(d) The decision maker may ask the applicant to attend an interview.

An endorsing body is recognised by the Home Office as an organisation with a proven track record of supporting UK entrepreneurs, including resident workers in the United Kingdom.

The endorsing body is responsible in issuing an endorsement letter in support of the innovator visa application and they must be able to competently assess applicants’ business ventures against the endorsement criteria set out in the immigration rules.

Yes, you must have a business plan which you will provide it to the endorsing body in order to obtain an endorsement letter.

You can apply for this visa if you are in the UK and hold one of the below visas.

  1. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  2. any Tier 2 visa
  3. Tier 4 (General) student visa
  4. Standard Visitor visa – if you came to the UK to get funding and had a supporting letter from an endorsing body.

How long it takes to get a decision

A decision will be made for in country applications:

  1. within 8 weeks of their application date if they use the standard service
  2. within 1 working day of their UKVCAS appointment if they pay an extra £610 to use the super priority service

They’ll be contacted if their application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  1. if their supporting documents need to be verified
  2. if they need to attend an interview

because of their personal circumstances (for example if they have a criminal conviction).

Applicants may bring their spouse and children (under 18 years old) as dependents.
Yes, applicants’ spouses can work and study in the UK as dependents.

Yes, children can study in the UK.

This visa category does not lead to settlement. You can only change your immigration status to an innovator visa.
The start-up visa does not lead to naturalisation as a British citizen.
Our success rate is 100% and we work on a no win, no fee basis (in country applications only).