Start-up Visas

Start-up visas were created to encourage innovation in the UK. They are generally aimed at somewhat smaller projects than the innovator projects which foster the start-up scene. To qualify, though, you have to be starting a project which genuinely brings something different to the table.


Your idea must be assessed and recognised by an endorsing body which is either a higher education organisation or has a history if supporting entrepreneurs. It must be a new idea which does not exist on the market. You can’t join an existing business which is already trading. You will also have to demonstrate that the idea is viable.

Funding yourself

Have at least £1,270 in your bank account to support yourself when you arrive. You cannot use your investment funds to support yourself. You will also have to pay the health surcharge of £624 per person per year.

Language skills

You must prove your ability to speak English by passing a secure English language test, having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English?, or having a degree level qualification which was taught in English.

Length of stay

Two years if you either apply for a start up visa or switch from another visa. You cannot apply to extend this visa, but you may be able to apply for an innovator visa if your endorsing body agrees, if your business is sustainable and you are involved in its day to day running.

Get in touch

To find out more feel free to get in touch. Our team of expert immigration lawyers or immigration solicitors can help.

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