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Start-up Visa UK

To make a successful UK Start-up visa application, you must meet all the Start-up visa eligibility requirements 2022 and submit all the supporting documents.

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Start-up Visa UK & Requirments 2023

The UK Start-Up visa is for ambitious entrepreneurs looking to set up their first business in the UK.

The Start-Up Visa is a 2-year visa route for high potential, entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants who are successfully granted 2 years leave on start-up visa.

After a set period, holders of Start-up visas may be able to progress to the Innovator category to extend their stay and further develop their businesses in the UK.

The Start-Up Visa is for people setting up a new business in the UK which is innovative, viable, and scalable, with the ultimate aim that the business has the potential to become fully integrated and a contributing part of the UK economy.

Our highly experienced immigration solicitors based in Levenshulme, Manchester can provide free general immigration advice online via email, online chat, or an enquiry form. For detailed advice, please book an appointment with our expert immigration solicitor today.

Apply Start-up visa to set up a new business

If you are looking to apply for a Start-up visa UK to set up an innovative business in the UK for the first time, our business immigration solicitors can help.

Generally, Start-up visa applicants will not already have started setting up their business in the UK. However, where they have, the new business should not yet have started trading.

The only exceptions to this are if the applicant has already been granted leave under the Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) categories, or under the Tier 4 doctorate extension scheme. The Start-up visa category is for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants will have an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea that is supported by an endorsing body.

The UK Start-up visa offers a great opportunity for businesspersons to start their career by pursuing a business idea in Britain that will bring wider benefit to the UK economy. Most importantly, you do not require any initial funds to invest in their business like the UK Innovator visa.

What are the requirements for a UK Start-up visa?

To qualify for the UK Start-up visa, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old or over;
  • You must have not previously established a business in the UK (unless you previously held leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur);
  • You have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed your business idea for innovation, viability, and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend the majority of your working time in the UK on developing your business venture;
  • Your endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Start-up visa application;
  • You genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application;
  • You must meet the English language requirement to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking);
  • You have had at least £1270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child, and £200 for each additional child.

How long you can stay

You can stay for 2 years if you either:

  • come to the UK on a Start-up visa
  • switch to this visa from another visa while in the UK

If you want to stay longer in the UK

You cannot apply to extend this visa.

You may be able to switch to an Innovator visa if you set up a business while on a Start-up visa and:

  • your endorsing body assessed and agreed it
  • it is active, trading and sustainable
  • you have day to day involvement in it

Investment funds requirement for a Start-up visa

You do not need any funds to invest in their business for a Start-up visa. However, the requirement to have an ‘innovative’, ‘viable’ and ‘scalable’ business idea means that, in practice, you may need to have funds available to invest. Some endorsing bodies may require a certain level of funding as a condition of endorsement.

Endorsement criteria for a UK Start-up visa

For your business proposal to be endorsed, an approved endorsing body will need to be satisfied that your business idea meets all the following criteria:

  • 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 are actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business;
  • Scalability: Your business plan has potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

List of approved endorsing bodies for Start-up visa

The Home Office has published a list of endorsing bodies for Start-up visa applications. This list of endorsing bodies contains the names of all currently approved Start-up visa endorsing bodies, as well as links to their websites and, where available, details of their application process and endorsement criteria.

Obtaining a Start-up visa endorsement

Our highly experienced business immigration experts can assist entrepreneurs from around the world to prepare successful Start-up visa applications. We can also assist applicants to secure Start-up visa endorsement. United Solicitors is a trusted introducer to several endorsing bodies, ensuring eligible clients direct contact with investment panel members as well as transparent and timely decision-making.

Switching into the Start-up visa category

Applications for Start-up visas can be made from outside the UK, but it is also possible to switch into the Start-up visa category from within the UK provided you do not have, or were not last granted, permission as a Visitor, Short-term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household or outside the Immigration Rules.

Joining an existing business as a Start-up visa holder

If you are looking to join an existing business as a Start-up visa holder, then this visa route is not suitable for you and you should look into apply for leave to remain in other work visa category.

Start-up visa endorsement letter

If your application to be endorsed by a Start-up visa endorsing body is approved, you will be issued with a Start-up visa endorsement letter. This letter must be submitted in support of your Start-up visa application. The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the information that must be included in a Start-up visa endorsement letter. Advice from our immigration lawyers will ensure that your endorsement letter satisfies the requirements of the rules.

Start-up visa validity period

Your initial Start-up visa will be valid for 2 years unless you were previously granted leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, in which case you will be granted leave for a period that will take you to the maximum 2-year limit.

Extending a Start-up visa and applying for ILR

It is not possible to extend a Start-up visa and Start-up visa holders are not eligible for settlement. However, at the end of 2 years, you will be able to apply for further leave to remain in the Innovator category to continue developing your business. The Innovator category can lead to settlement after a further 3 years.

Our legal fee

We charge a fixed fee starting from:

  • £1500 + VAT to £2000 + VAT for a business plan.
  • £2500 + VAT to £4000 + VAT for endorsement.
  • £1000 + VAT to £12000 + VAT for legal services in relation to UK Start-up Visa application.

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.

How Can We Help With Your UK Visa Application?

Our expert UK immigration solicitor will guide you through every step of your application process including advice about legal requirements, eligibility criteria and required documents.

  • Detailed immigration advice
  • List of documents and assessment of supporting documents
  • Direct Access to your case handler and supervisor
  • Remote & face to face service
  • Submission of your immigration application after your approval
  • We book an appointment for you to enroll your biometrics
  • We prepare our legal representations/cover letter
  • We upload all the supporting documents
  • Unlimited chase up letters to the Home Office
  • We keep you updated with every stage of your application
  • 24/7 support in urgent matters

Call us for a free legal advice

0161 225 8181

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Start-up Visa UK