Home > Overview of UK Start Up visa from experienced Immigration Solicitors in the UK

Overview of UK Start Up visa from experienced Immigration Solicitors in the UK

The UK Start-up visa is for individuals who are new entrepreneurs and want to establish a business in the UK for the first time.  You do not need to be a graduate or have secured any initial funding. However, you will need to have an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea that has been approved by an endorsing body.

Start-up visas are one-off visas, valid for 2 years and the category does not lead directly to settlement in the UK.  However, Start-up visa holders may extend their stay in the Innovator visa category and qualify for ILR three years later.  Start-up visa applicants can bring their partner and any children under the age of 18 to the UK.

Who is the Start-up visa for?

The Start-up visa category is suitable for early-stage, but high-potential, entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business in the UK for the first time.

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.

If you are an experienced businessperson seeking to establish a business in the UK then the Innovator visa may be more appropriate.  If you wish to join an already trading business then the Skilled Worker visa may be more appropriate.  If you wish to invest in an already trading business then you may wish to consider the Tier 1 Investor visa route.   If you are a senior employee of an overseas business looking to establish a commercial presence in the UK then you may like to consider the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa.

What are the requirements for the Start-Up Visa?

In order to qualify for a Start-up visa you will need to prove that:

  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You 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 are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking);
  • If you are outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months then you have at least £1270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child and £200 for each additional child.

How can we help?

Need help with your Start-Up Visa application? Contact our expert business immigration lawyers at Davenport Solicitors here.

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