Startup Visas: A 30 Second Guide!

In early 2019, the UK government replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa with an Innovator Visa and a Startup Visa.

The Startup Visa is designed for people who want to start a business in Britain. It is a one-off, two-year visa aimed at allowing entrepreneurs to develop their business. Unlike the Innovator Visa, no investment funds are required to qualify. Home Secretary, Sajid Javid stated in a press release that the new visa category “…will help to ensure we continue to attract the best global talent and maintain the UK’s position as a world-leading destination for innovation and entrepreneurs.”

If you are currently in the UK on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa, Tier 2 Visa, Tier 4 (General) Student, or Standard Visitor Visa, you may apply to switch to a Startup Visa.

Our team of highly experienced, approachable, and efficient immigration Solicitors can advise you on preparing a Startup Visa application and collating the required documentation to send to UK Visas and Immigration.

How do I apply for a Startup Visa?

Like the Innovator Visa, the Startup Visa is based on the following three merits:

  • Innovation – is the business idea original and is there a business plan available that shows the venture meets an existing market need or is a legitimate competitor in a particular sector?
  • Viability – does the applicant have the required skills, experience, and knowledge of the UK market to make the business a success?
  • calability – is there substantial proof that the proposed business can grow and create genuine employment for UK settled workers?

To be granted a Startup Visa, you must obtain endorsement by an approved endorsing body. They will be looking to see if your start-up has a realistic chance of success and whether you have the knowledge and experience to reach the ambitions set out in your business plan.

Aside from endorsement, you will also need to show:

  • Proof you can speak English to a B2 level.
  • You have at least £945 in your bank account/s for 90 days prior to applying.

Can I bring my family to the UK on a Startup Visa?

You can bring dependent family members (i.e. your spouse/partner and your children if they are under 18 years). You will need to show you have an additional £630 in maintenance funds (on top of the £945) per dependent.

Does a Startup Visa lead to Settlement?

You cannot obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain through a Startup Visa. However, at the end of the two years, you can apply to switch to an Innovator Visa, which provides a path to Settlement. Your endorsing body will be checking every six months to see that your business is progressing. We will also continue to work with you to ensure that you are taking the right steps to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as soon as you are eligible.

Based in Birmingham and London, UK Migration Lawyers is one of Britain’s premier immigration law firms. If you want to apply for a Startup Visa, please phone our office on 0203 733 0744.

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