UK Start-Up Visa: A Guide for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Effective from April 13, 2023, the Start-Up Visa route will exclusively cater to individuals possessing a valid Start-Up endorsement issued prior to April 13, 2023. As of July 13, 2023, this route will cease to accept new applications. However, aspiring start-up entrepreneurs yet to receive endorsement may explore eligibility for the Innovator Founder Visa. Additionally, those interested in establishing or owning an existing UK business can consider the Skilled Worker visa via self-sponsorship.

The UK Start-Up Visa is a type of visa designed for entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. It was introduced in March 2019, replacing the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur visas. This visa is valid for 2 years and cannot be renewed. After 2 years, you can convert it to an Innovator Visa.

The UK Start-Up Visa is for applicants with innovative business ideas that are different from existing business types on the market and have room for development. You will need to get approval from an accredited body and provide proof of sufficient savings to support your life in the UK. Additionally, if you are already in the UK and hold certain types of long-term visas, you can directly convert to a Start-Up Visa.

  1. Be at least 18 years old.
  2. Have an innovative business idea approved and recognized by a certification body.
  3. Meet the English proficiency requirement, which is at least CEFR B2 level in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. You can prove your English proficiency by passing a recognized English proficiency test, such as IELTS, or by having completed a UK equivalent of a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate at an English-taught university recognized by UK NARIC.
  4. Prove that you have sufficient savings to support your daily life in the UK, which is currently £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before submitting your application.

You can apply for a Start-Up Visa up to 3 months in advance. The application process typically takes 3 weeks if you apply outside the UK and 8 weeks if you apply in the UK. However, the processing time may vary depending on the peak season.

As a Start-Up Visa holder, you can:

  • Bring family members to the UK
  • Work on your business idea
  • Study, but not as your main purpose

However, you cannot:

  • Work for another business
  • Access public funds
  • Have recourse to public funds

While direct investment isn’t mandatory, possessing funds to support a viable and scalable business idea is recommended. Some endorsing bodies may stipulate funding levels as a prerequisite for endorsement.

Endorsing bodies evaluate business proposals based on innovation, viability, and scalability, ensuring applicants commit significant time to UK-based business development.

The Home Office maintains a list of approved endorsing bodies for Start-Up visa applications, each with specified endorsement criteria and application processes.

Our immigration barristers specialize in assisting entrepreneurs worldwide with successful Start-Up visa applications, providing comprehensive support in securing endorsement.

Start-Up visa holders can apply for further leave to remain in the Innovator category after two years. This route facilitates continued business development and potential settlement after an additional three years.

While no specific residency obligations apply, regular communication with endorsing bodies at 6- and 12-month intervals is mandatory. Non-compliance may result in endorsement withdrawal. Start-Up visa holders may undertake alternative employment but must adhere to stipulated conditions.

Kash Legal Services prides itself on providing expert guidance to start-up businesses navigating the complex UK immigration landscape. Our team of immigration experts ensures seamless adherence to Home Office regulations, facilitating successful Start-Up visa applications for aspiring entrepreneurs.

With Kash Legal Services, embark on your entrepreneurial journey with confidence, backed by our commitment to delivering clear, reliable immigration advice tailored to your business aspirations.

Shamaz Mehmood
Shamaz Mehmood
2024-05-23
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AYOMIDE AKINLOSOYE
AYOMIDE AKINLOSOYE
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ps4 lovers
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2024-05-05
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