Start-up Visa


Are you an aspiring business professionals and entrepreneurs who does not have the requisite funds for an investor or innovator visa?

Well, you can put your worries aside, as the UKVI has recently started a new category of visa called the Start-Up visa.

What is a Start Up Visa?

Start-Up visa is defined by the Immigration rules as:

“This category is for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body. This category offers leave for 2 years and does not lead directly to settlement in the UK, but applicants may progress into the Innovator category.”

This category is best suited for individuals who have neither any business experience nor nay established business and are looking to take their initial steps in establishing a business.

Benefits of Start-Up Visa

The biggest give away of this visa category is that there is no requirement for an applicant to show any minimum amount of investment funds unlike the Tier 1 Investor or Innovator categories. Applicants would just need to show savings of £1270 as part of the maintenance requirement. This amount will increase if dependents are included in the application.

The applicant does not need to be the sole founder of the proposed business and can be part of a team. Applicants granted this visa must intend to spend the majority of their working time in the UK developing their business venture(s) but will not be restricted from undertaking other work as well.


You can apply for a Start-up visa if:

  • you want to set up a business in the UK.
  • you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements.

Before you apply you need to have your business or business idea endorsed by an approved body. They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is viable.

You must also:

  • be at least 18 years old.
  • meet the English language requirement.
  • be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you are in the UK.
Getting Endorsed

You must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either:

  • a UK higher education institution
  • a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs

You must be able to show that your business idea is:

  • a new idea – you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading.
  • innovative – you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market.
  • viable, with potential for growth

Endorsement will be valid only if it is received from one of the Home Office approved endorsing bodies. For a full list of endorsing bodies, please click the following link:

Start-up visa application: How we can help

We have significant experience in preparing applications for individuals who wish to move to the UK for work and business purposes. A member of our specialist team will be on hand to help you with all aspects of the immigration application. For assistance, please contact us.