Passport & Consular Services

What is the UK Start-Up Visa?

The UK Start-Up Visa is a visa category designed for individuals who wish to establish an innovative and scalable business in the United Kingdom. It is specifically tailored for entrepreneurs who have innovative business ideas and want to develop and grow their business in the UK.

Here are key details about the UK Start-Up Visa:

Eligibility criteria: To be eligible for the UK Start-Up Visa, applicants must demonstrate that they have a genuine and innovative business idea. They must also be endorsed by an approved endorsing body, which can be either a higher education institution or a business organization with a proven track record of supporting UK entrepreneurs.

Endorsement requirement: The endorsing body will assess the applicant’s business idea, its potential for growth and success, and the applicant’s entrepreneurial skills. If the endorsement is granted, the applicant will receive an endorsement letter, which is a crucial part of the visa application.

Funding requirement: Applicants are not required to demonstrate a specific amount of funding to qualify for the Start-Up Visa. However, they must prove that they have enough personal savings to support themselves during their stay in the UK.

English language proficiency: Applicants are generally required to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language by meeting the specified language requirements. This can be done by passing an approved English language test or having an academic qualification that was taught in English.

Length of stay: The initial Start-Up Visa is granted for two years. During this period, entrepreneurs are expected to establish their businesses and work towards meeting the requirements for switching to the Innovator Visa or another relevant visa category.

Extension and settlement: After the initial two-year period, Start-Up Visa holders can apply for an extension of an additional two years if they can demonstrate progress in their business venture. The Start-Up Visa does not directly lead to settlement (indefinite leave to remain), but it can provide a pathway to the Innovator Visa, which may lead to settlement.

Work and study permissions: Holders of the Start-Up Visa are allowed to work and bring their dependents to the UK. They also have the freedom to study but are generally not eligible for public funds.

It’s important to note that the UK Start-Up Visa has specific requirements, and the immigration system is subject to change. It’s advisable to consult the official UK government website or seek professional immigration advice for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the Start-Up Visa and its requirements.

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