The UK Start-Up Visa was introduced on 29 March 2019 and requires endorsement by a designated organization.
Awards and Accreditations
The Start-up visa category was introduced in April 2019 and is for entrepreneurs who want to establish a new business in the UK. You will need an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an approved endorsing body.
What are the main eligibility requirements for a Start-up visa?
In order to qualify for a Start-up visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are at least 18 years old;
- Your score a minimum of 5.5 in an IELTS English test;
- You have not previously established a business in the UK;
- You have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed your business idea for innovation, viability and scalability;
- You genuinely intend to undertake business activity in the UK and do not intend to work in the UK in breach of conditions;
- You have at least £945 available to support yourself without relying on public funds.
There is no investment funds requirement, meaning that in theory a Start-up visa can be obtained without any investment funds.
Key Elements of a Start-up visa
Your initial Start-up visa will be valid for 2 years.
It is not possible to extend a Start-up visa and Start-up visa holders can’t apply for settlement. However, at the end of 2 years you will be able to apply for further leave to remain in the Innovator category in order to continue developing your business. The Innovator category can lead to settlement after a further 3 years.
As a Start-up visa holder you will not be required to spend any particular amount of time in the UK and you will be permitted to undertake employment other than working for the business or businesses that you have established.
However, you will need to stay in contact with your endorsing body with checkpoints at 6 and 12 months. The endorsing body will need to be satisfied that you are continuing to work on your business venture and have demonstrated reasonable progress in relation to either your original or a new business idea. Your endorsement may be withdrawn and your visa curtailed if this is not the case.
Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany or join you as your dependant(s).
How our immigration lawyers can help
Our team of immigration lawyers has experience in assisting all types of startup businesses. Our lawyers are experts in the immigration options for startups and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We can assist with drafting a Start-Up Visa compliant business plan demonstrating that your business is innovative, scalable and viable and has the potential to create jobs. We will prepare you for interview by the relevant endorsement body as well as by the UK immigration authorities.
For further information, please schedule a consultation.