Typically these types of applications are made from outside the UK. It is possible however to switch in country to the Start-up Visa, to be eligible you must have valid leave in the UK as either a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 2 Visa, Tier 4 (General) Visa (please note that are restrictions) or a Visitor Visa (acting as a prospective entrepreneur – you must provide evidence of permitted activities in the UK).
To secure this type of Visa you must by endorsed by an authorised body. The list of approved endorsing bodies can be found on the link below:
An endorsement letter must also be provided by the endorsing body, the letter should include the following – name of the endorsing body, endorsement reference number, the date of issue (no earlier than 3 months before date of submission of application) Applicant’s details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number), confirmation that Applicant has not previously established business in the UK (unless Applicant set-up under Start-up or Tier 1(Graduate Entrepreneur), details of Applicant’s business plan and products/service it will be providing and name and contact details of the endorsing body. In addition to this the endorsing body must confirm that the proposed business will meet the following endorsement criteria (see Home Office guidance below):
The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
The applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.
In addition to this the endorsing body must be reasonably satisfied that the Applicant will be spending the majority of their time in the UK working on developing their business. You must keep in regular contact (every 6 months) with the endorsing body to ensure you continue to meet the requirements of the Visa. You can apply in this category either as an individual applicant or as part of an entrepreneurial team.
You must submit your application within 3 months from the date of endorsement. It is essential to provide evidence of your proposed business and to demonstrate that you are able to adhere to your business plan as stated in your application. In addition to the above, the Home Office may also ask you to attend an interview.
It can take up to 3 weeks for your visa to be decided, but this is dependant on where you are applying from and decision times can vary. The Home Office fees can be found below:
|Who you’re applying for||Apply (outside the UK)||Switch (in the UK)|
|If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia||£308||£438|
|All dependants||£363 each person||£493 each person|
You will also be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. You can check how much you will need to pay on the following link
If you are successful you will be granted leave for 2 years. You cannot apply to extend this type of visa. You will need to switch into another visa route to remain in the UK, for example the Innovator route.
Switching from Start-up Visa to Innovator route – settlement:
You do not need to meet a minimum investment level if you are switching into this route but if you wish to qualify for settlement the Applicant’s business must meet two of the following requirements:
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