What is a Start-Up Visa?
On the 7th of March 2019, the Home Office published immigration changes advising of the termination of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route. In its place, it announced the new Start-Up visa.
The Start-Up Visa is aimed at those who want to establish a business in the UK for the first time and are from outside the EEA and Switzerland. The business idea needs to be Innovative, Viable & Scalable. These 3 requirements are assessed by one of many Endorsing Bodies.
Like the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa that the Start-Up visa replaces, there is no financial requirement.
Who is the Start-Up Visa suitable for?
- You are from outside the EEA and Switzerland
- The Start-Up visa has no minimum investment requirement
- This must be the first time you are looking to established a business in the UK
- You can stay in the UK for up to 2 years on this visa
- This visa cannot be extended
- You can apply as an entrepreneurial team
What are the requirements for a Start-Up Visa?
You need to be endorsed by one of the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) that are participating in the scheme. You can see a list of Endorsing Bodies here.
Your business needs to meet 3 criteria:
|The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.||The applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.||There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.|
- You must satisfy English language requirements
- You must show proof of having Maintenance Funds of £945, held for a minimum of 90 consecutive days and within 31 days of your application
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must prove that you’re a genuine entrepreneur
Common questions asked about the Start-Up Visa
Do I need a sponsor?
No, a sponsor is not required for the Start-Up Visa.
How long can I stay in the UK?
The Start-Up Visa is granted for a maximum of 2 years. If during this period of leave, your business shows sufficient progress, you may be eligible to apply for the Innovator Visa which will give you a further 3 years of leave. The Innovator Visa has no time limit.
When can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
This visa does not lead to settlement.
Can I bring my family?
Yes you can bring dependants to the UK on this visa. If you have family members outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), they will require a visa. When bringing dependants, you will need to prove an additional £630 in maintenance fees as per Maintenance Fees above.