You can now come to the UK for up to 2 years under the new start-up visa category. This visa is for individuals who would be starting a new business in the United Kingdom.

There is not requirement for the individual to be a graduate, nor for the individual to have initial secured funding. 

You must however meet the English language requirements and prove that you will be able to support yourself while in the UK

Getting endorsed

You must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either:

  • a UK higher education institution
  • a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs

How long it takes to get a visa

Before you apply you need to have your business or business idea assessed by an approved body.

They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is viable.

The approved body mus confirm that:

(a) The applicant’s business venture meets all of the requirements in the table below: 

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 you are “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 markets. 

(b) The endorsing body is reasonably satisfied that the applicant will spend the majority of their working time in the UK on developing business ventures. 

You must also:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • meet the English language requirement
  • be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the UK

Once successful, you will be granted leave for no more than 2 years. It is expected that before you complete the 2 years you will be able to switch to an investor visa. 

English language requirements

  • You must show that you have passed an English Language with at least CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening with an approved English Language Centre
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD
  • or be a national of the exempt Countries.

Family members

Your family members (husband, wife, partner or children under the age of 18 (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa provided you meet the financial requirements being:

You must have £630 for each dependant in addition to the £945 you need to support yourself in a bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply

You need proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

How long it takes to get a decision

The Home Office promise to make a decision within 2 months of the application being made if you used the standard service or 1 working day if you use the premium service and pay £800.00 for the super priority service.if their supporting documents need to be verified

Eligibility to apply from inside the UK 

You are allowed to switch to the start up visa if you have any of the following:

  • a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant;
  • a Tier 2 migrant;
  • a Tier 4 General student (with restrictions);
  • a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur as set out in Appendix V

Financial Requirements 

You must show that you have enough money to support yourself (and any dependants).

You must have at least £945 of personal savings and £630 for any additional dependant in a bank account for at least 90 consecutive days.

Fees

You must pay the application fee plus the health surcharge that is not included below. The application fee is calculated as follows:

Who you’re applying forApply (outside the UK)Switch (in the UK)
Yourself£363£493
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia£308£438
All dependants£363 each person£493 each person
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