UK Start-Up Visas
The UK Start-up visa is a new visa category that replaces the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa route. It’s open for applications from anyone who wants to set up a business in the UK and isn’t from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
However, there are some additional requirements. To set up a business in Britain you must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either a UK higher education institution or a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs.
The Start-up visa category is aimed at early-stage but high-potential entrepreneurs starting a business in the UK. The advantage of the Tier 1 Start-up visa is that there is no requirement to invest funds initially, unlike the Tier 1 Innovator route.
Start-up visa guidelines
As with any type of temporary visa, there are certain guidelines for what you can and can’t do with a start-up visa.
- Family: You can bring family members with you on a start-up visa. They will need to make a separate application, and you will need an additional £630 per dependant to prove you can support them in the UK.
- Switching: As highlighted above, it’s possible to switch to a start-up visa from other categories such as student or graduate entrepreneur
- Work: On a start-up visa, you’re allowed to work in another job as well as working for your own business. Like a permanent UK citizen, this is a good way to support your business especially in the early days.
- Professions: That said, some work is restricted for people on a Start-up visa. You cannot work as a doctor or dentist in training, or work as a professional sportsperson or coach.
- Funding: Unfortunately, people on a Start-up visa are not eligible for public funds, so any funding for your business for the duration of your visa will need to be from private bodies.
- Settlement: You cannot settle in the UK on the Start-up visa. However, you may be eligible to switch to another type of visa to extend your stay and move towards settlement.
How long does a start-up visa last?
After being accepted for a start-up visa, an applicant can stay in the UK for up to two years. The majority of that time must be spent in the UK developing the business referred to in your application.
Unfortunately, there is no option to extend the Start-up visa at the end of the two year period. However, it’s possible to switch to an Innovator visa if you meet the eligibility requirements, including £50,000 in investment funds. The Innovator visa will provide another three years in the UK.
After five years, from Start-up and Innovator visas, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. In short, that means permanent settlement in the UK without the need to reapply.
Why use Osbourne Pinner for your immigration matter?
- When you’re applying for a Start-up visa, it’s crucial that everything is right. Whether it’s funds, endorsement or dependant applications, the smallest mistake can set you back weeks or even months and make the whole process incredibly stressful.
- Osbourne Pinner can help you every step of the way to make sure your application is ready to impress. Our team has vast experience dealing with Start-up visa applications, Innovator visa applications and the Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur visa schemes that came before them.
- Put simply, we know what endorsement bodies and Government authorities are looking for. With the help of our specialist immigration lawyers, you will be able to create a Start-up visa application that showcases your business idea and its potential for the UK economy.
- Best of all, we put you first. Whatever your background, however big or small your business plans, your matter will be dealt with by an immigration expert with decades of experience and a proven track record of success. You’ll be able to contact them throughout the process to make sure everything is completely transparent. We can even provide same-day services where required.
Who we can help
Based in the centre of London, we can assist applicants from across the world with Start-up, Innovator or other visa applications. From the US and Canada to Australia and the Middle East, we’ll provide reliable, honest and professional advice on the best route for your immigration application.
Our specialist immigration services can then assist with every step of your application, whether it’s a new Start-up visa, switching to a Start-up or progressing to an Innovator visa. That includes applications that have been refused, where you are seeking an administrative or judicial review.
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