The UK Startup Visa is a new visa route that allows new entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in the United Kingdom. The UK Start-Up Visa has replaced the previous Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa and is mainly aimed at applicants who are looking to establish a business for the first time.
You will be required to get an endorsement from an endorsement body that is approved by the Home Office. You also need to have an innovative and viable business idea that must be approved by your endorsing body. This visa is valid for Schemes and this category does not directly lead to settlement in the United Kingdom.
There are a few requirements you have to meet to become eligible for a UK Startup visa. A few of them are mentioned below:
Before applying for a UK Startup Visa, you must have your business or business idea checked by an endorsing body. They will give you an endorsement letter if your business or business idea is viable. To get your business approved, the endorsing body will have to be satisfied that your business idea falls under the following criteria:
The endorsing body must also be satisfied that you will be spending most of your working time in the UK carrying out and developing business ventures.
The UK Startup Visa category is suitable for fresh but high potential entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a new business in the UK. If your project includes multiple founders, you will still be able to apply for the startup visa but you will have to fulfil all the requirements on an individual basis. Usually, individuals who apply for a Startup Visa will not already have a business set up in the UK.
However, if they have one, the new business should not have started trading yet. The applicant can be exempted from this if they have already been granted leave under the Startup or Tier 1 categories (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme.
Under the UK Startup Visa, you are allowed to stay in the country for two years. You are also permitted to bring your family members, including a partner or spouse and children who are under the age of 18. You are allowed to stay for 2 years if:
You cannot apply for an extension of your visa if you want to stay longer. However, you are allowed to switch to an Innovator Visa if you successfully set up a business while you are on a UK Startup Visa if:
While applying for a UK Startup Visa, you will have to provide an endorsement letter that shows an endorsing body has assessed and approved your business. You will also need to provide the following documents:
You may need to provide additional documents as per your circumstances. Get in touch with our legal advisors for guidance regarding your documents and application.
The application for a UK Startup Visa is done online. You will have to prove your identity as a part of your application and the process for doing this depends on where you're from and what type of passport you hold. You will have to either:
You will be instructed on what you need to do when you apply. If you have been told to book an appointment the centre may have to keep your passport and other documents while they process your visa application. You may have to travel to the nearest visa application centre, which could be in another country.
Under the UK Startup Visa, your partner and children can apply with you to stay in the UK as your 'dependents' if they meet the eligibility requirements. If their visa application is accepted, their visas will be valid till the same date as yours. A dependant partner or child can be any of the following:
Every family member or dependent will need to fill a separate application and pay the visa fee. They will have to apply before they plan to travel to the United Kingdom. While filing their application, they will also require the application number that you will get when you apply. This number is called the Global Web Form (GWF) Or a Unique Application Number (UAN). You will find this number in the emails and letters that you get from the Home Office regarding your application.
If you are applying for your partner or child on a UK Startup Visa, there are a few requirements that must be fulfilled such as:
You will have to show proof of your relationship by proving that either:
If your child is living with you, you will have to provide any two of the following documents to confirm their address:
Your partner and children will be required to have a certain amount of money available to support themselves while they are in the UK. Apart from the £1,270, you are required to have to support yourself, you, your partner or child will need:
After applying for the visa online, you will need to prove your identity by providing the required documents. You may need extra time if you have to book an appointment to do this. You will be informed about this when you start your application. Once you are done with applying online, proving your identity and providing your identity, you will get a decision regarding your visa within:
3 weeks if you have applied from outside the UK
8 weeks if you have applied from inside the UK
If you have to go to an appointment, you may get the option to pay to get a faster decision regarding your visa. The availability of a visa priority service depends on whether you are outside the UK or inside the UK.
There are various requirements you have to meet to obtain Startup Visa, depending on your personal and professional circumstances. Following are some important requirements:
There are no specific funds required for applicants who want to apply for a UK Startup Visa. However, you are required to have a ‘viable’ and ‘scalable’ business idea which means that, in practice, you will need to have available funds to invest. A few endorsing bodies require a certain level of funding as a condition of endorsement. The Home Office has published a list of all currently approved endorsing bodies for Start-Up Visa applications. It also contains links to their websites and also details of their application process and endorsement criteria wherever available.
You are required to prove your English Language knowledge while applying for the Startup visa unless you have already done this in a previous successful visa application. You will have to show that you can read, speak, and understand English to the B2 Level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. You can prove your knowledge of English by:
You will be exempted from proving your English Language knowledge if you’re from one of the English speaking countries mentioned on the GOV of UK website.
You will be allowed to switch to a Startup Visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and if you are in the UK on any one of the following visas:
You can apply for a Startup Visa from outside the UK, but you can also switch into the Startup Visa Category from within the UK. This is possible only if you do not have or have not been 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.
Any individual applying for entry clearance or permission to stay on the UK Startup Visa has to pay the application fee along with the Immigration Health Charge. Since 31st January 2021, the UK Startup Visa fees for Entry Clearance, at least full-time start-Up applications are charged £363 and £493, respectively. If the applicant is eligible, they can also avail of a Council of Europe Social Charter (CESC) discount of £55.