UK Start-up Visa

This new Start-up visa route, which replaced the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa, opened to new applicants at the end of March 2019. The category aims to appeal to individuals wanting to start a business in the UK; importantly it does not require financial investment, nor even a university degree.


What are the requirements for a Start-up visa?

The Start-up visa sits alongside the UK’s new innovator category; in common with that route, it requires an individual to establish that they have a business idea that is innovative, viable and scalable.

  • You must receive endorsement from an approved body listed on the government website prior to applying for the visa. The list can be accessed here
  • Rules require that the endorsing body remains in contact at 6, 12 and 24 months from the grant of leave; they must inform the Home Office if contact is missed, or if an individual isn’t making reasonable progress with the business
  • You must present a credible business plan to the Home Office and endorsing body which demonstrates innovation, viability, and scalability. The start-up route doesn’t require any jobs to be created, unlike the innovator category, and the old entrepreneur route it replaced
  • You must hold at least £1270 in a personal bank account for days prior to the date of application. This maintenance requirement may be certified by your endorsing body. You may not have to prove this if you have been in the UK with leave in certain categories for over 12 months
  • You must satisfy the English Language requirement to Level B2 CEFR, which is higher than the B1 requirement in the old entrepreneur category

What are the endorsement criteria?

Before applying for a UK Start-up visa, you will be required to gain endorsement from a specified body.  The current list of endorsers is likely to grow as this visa route develops.

All applicants will be required to present a detailed business plan to the endorsing body, alongside any other documentation which is requested to prove that the visa requirements are satisfied:

  • Innovation – You will need to display that you’re business plan is innovative, whilst meeting market needs or creating a competitive advantage in an existing market
  • Viability – You will need to show you have or are developing the skills to run a successful business
  • Scalability – You will be required to present evidence that the business has sufficient growth opportunity through structured planning

How we can help

We have ensured that we are appropriately prepared for the arrival of the Startup visa category, and our experts are perfectly placed to assist you with your application. Even if you’ve been rejected from previous routes, the change in rules could mean you’re now eligible to start a business in the UK through the Start-up route.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Our expert solicitors have extensive knowledge in all aspects of inbound immigration, human rights and nationality law. We have an excellent track record of assisting clients in the most complex cases and issues which can arise from applications, extensions and switching into other categories.

We are proud to have the largest business immigration law team in the North West and are accredited by Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. Get in touch with an expert today to begin your journey to starting a business in the UK.

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All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 01/07/2021