The Start-Up visa was brought in to provide a route for individuals hoping to set up a business to enter the UK who may not yet be eligible for the Innovator visa. The requirements are stringent and the route requires the business plan to be endorsed by an approved body. It is an attractive alternative to the Innovator visa as it does not have such stringent financial requirements. Here are some of the most common questions.
What Requirements Do I Need to Meet?
You need to be endorsed by an authorised body. This must be a UK higher education institution or a business organisation which has a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs.
You need to show that your idea is new, and innovative. This means you can’t start a business providing the same service an existing company is already providing. It also has to be viable. This means that there has to be the potential for the business to grow.
How Long Can I Stay For?
This visa will give you leave for 2 years. It cannot be extended, at the end of the 2 years you will have to switch into another visa category. For most people this is the Innovator visa. If your endorsement is withdrawn your visa may be cut short and you will have to re-apply with new endorsement.
Does This Route Lead to Settlement?
No, you cannot settle on this route, however you can switch from this route into the Innovator visa path, if at the end of the 2 years your endorsing body agrees your business is active, trading and sustainable, and that you have day to day involvement with it. You are allowed to work outside of your business, but you must remain involved.
If you are not able to switch to the Innovator visa, then you may be able to switch to another visa category, such as the Skilled Worker visa.
How Much Does It Cost?
To apply in the UK (by switching from another visa category) it will cost you £493 each for you and each of your dependants.
To apply from outside of the UK it will cost £363 each for you and each of your dependants.
You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year per adult applicant and £470 per child applicant per year.
You will not be able to access most benefits or the State Pension while in the UK on this visa category.
Can I Bring My Family?
Yes. You will be able to bring immediate family members such as partners and children under the age of 18 on this visa. Your partner will be able to work in the UK while they are present as your partner.
What Evidence Will I Need?
You will need to provide your passport, proof you meet the English Language requirement, your tuberculosis test results (where applicable), and evidence of your maintenance funds.
We recommend everyone takes professional advice when applying for a visa. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you apply for the Start-Up visa, or any other UK visa, please gives us a call on 01403 801 801 or email us at [email protected] for a consultation.