Business Start Up Visa

Start- Up visa

The Start-up visa is essentially for new entrepreneurs who want to start up a new business in the UK. In order to set up the business, you do not need to be a graduate from university or have any initial funding. But you will need to show an innovative business idea which has been approved by an endorsing body.
A Start-up visa is fundamentally a one-off visa and is valid for a duration of 2 years. However, this visa category does not enable a person to settle in the UK. In addition, Start-up vias holders can extend their stay under the Innovator visa category and will be able to qualify for a ILR three years later. An applicant for a Start-up visa is

Who can apply for the Start-up visa?

This category is available for potential entrepreneurs who are ready to start their own business in the UK. This means that the applicants for this visa have not started setting up their business, which also means that they have not started trading in the UK. There are two exceptions for this:

  1. If the applicant has been granted leave under the Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category; or
  2. If the applicant has been granted leave under the Tier 4 doctorate extension scheme

In addition, there are also other alternatives that a person can consider instead of the Start-up visa category. For an experienced business individual who wants to set-up a business in the UK then the Innovator visa may be more appropriate. Moreover, for a person who wants to invest in an already trading business then the Tier 1 Investor visa route would be suitable. That person who is a senior employee of an overseas business and wants to establish a commercial presence in the UK may wish to consider the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa. If a person wants to join an already trading business, then the Skilled Worker visa would be a good choice for them.

What are the requirements for a Start-up visa?

For a person to be entitled to a Start-up visa they will need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • You have to be at least 18 years of age.
  • You will need to show that your letter of endorsement was not issued more than 3 months before the date of your Start-up visa application
  • You will need to prove that you have not previously established a business in the UK (an exception applies if you have leave under a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category)
  • You have been endorsed by an approved endorsing body in the UK which has looked at your business concept for innovation, viability and scalability and is also assured that you will spend the majority of your time in working to develop your business venture in the UK.
  • You show a genuine intention to undertake, and are able of undertaking, any business activity in the UK
  • You show competence in the English language at the minimum of CEFR Level B2 (this is equivalent to the IELTS 5.5 in writing, reading, listening, and speaking)
  • You can financially support yourself. This means that you have at the minimum £1270 if you are outside of the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months, plus £285 for a dependent partner, for having one child you will have £315 and £200 for each additional child you may have.

We recommend speaking to an Immigration lawyer for expert advice in regard to the requirements that you will need to satisfy. This is because, the requirements are not the same for every person but would depend on the conditions of your individual case.

You can discuss your UK Start-up visa application with one of our expert Immigration Solicitors on 0207 100 2525

The Investment funds requirements for a Start-up visa application

An applicant for a Start-up visa will not be required to have any funds to invest into their business. In addition, an applicant just needs to show that they have a ‘viable’ and ‘scalable’ business idea. Therefore, this does mean you will need to have funds available so that you will be able to invest into your business. It is possible that some endorsing bodies will require you to have a specific level of funding.

What are the Endorsement criteria for a Start-up visa?

There are three requirements that you must ensure that your business idea satisfies, the requirements are outlined below:

  1. Innovation: means that you have an original plan which meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
  2. Viability: You can show that you have, or you are actively developing the necessary skills knowledge, market awareness and experience to run a business successfully
  3. Scalability: The business plan you have made, has the potential to create jobs and growth into national markets.

Approved Start-up endorsing bodies

The Home office has issued a whole list of endorsing bodies for start-up visa applications. Furthermore, this list contains the names of all the currently approved Start-up visa endorsing bodies and links to their websites. Moreover, the list includes the details of the application process and endorsement criteria for all of the approved Start-up visa endorsing bodies.

An endorsing letter will be sent to you if your business satisfies all of the Start-up requirements, and the endorsing body will be accountable for checking how the business is performing at regular periods of time. Moreover, an applicant for a Start-up visa will not be able to submit their application without an endorsing letter.
An individual who is applying for a Start-up visa will have to obtain an endorsement letter from a approved Home Office endorsing body. The endorsing bodies are either approved higher educational institutes or they

are business organisations.

The guidance provided by the Home Office outlines that endorsing bodies must have a recognised record of helping UK entrepreneurs and they must be able to consider business plans from the endorsement requirements which are set out in the Immigration rules.

Assessment of Start-Up visas by the Home office

An applicant will need to make sure that they satisfy the additional Home office requirements which are in addition to the general requirements for the Start-up visa. A person applying for a Start-up visa will have to prove that they show a in tension to undertake and can undertake the business which they have set out both in their business plan and in their application.

Furthermore, an applicant’s work history, education and Immigration history will all be considered by the Home office in order to show that the applicant is genuine. Hence, it is especially important that an application for a Start-up visa is properly prepared.

Applicants can note that all the business visa categories have complicated guidance notes which instruct applicants on specific documents which are required as evidence to show eligibility and hence if an applicant fails to follow these guidelines in their application it will mean their application may refused by the Home Office.

How to get a Start-up visa endorsement?

At Adam Bernard Solicitors, our Immigration Solicitors help entrepreneurs from across the world to successful prepare their start-up visa applications. Furthermore, at Adam Bernards we act as a trusted introducer to various endorsing bodies, and we ensure that eligible clients can get into direct contact with investment panel members.

How to switch into the Start-up visa category?

Usually when individuals make a Start-up visa, it is made from outside the UK, however it is possible to switch to a Start-up category from within the UK. But you cannot switch within the UK if you were not previously granted permission as a Short-term Student, visitor, Seasonal worker, Parent of a Child Student or Domestic Worker who works in a Private Household.

How to Join an existing business as a Start-Up holder?

This Start-up category is only for individuals who want to start a new business in the UK for the first time. So, this means that if you an individual who is seeking to join an existing business then the start-up route is not a suitable route for you.

How can you apply for a Start-up visa as part of a team?

In order to apply for Start-Up visa, it is not essential for you to be the sole founder of your business but rather you may be a member of a start-up team. Therefore, you are able to share the same business idea and plan as another member of the start-up team. However, it is essential that each applicant must have got their own endorsement from an endorsing body.

Information about a Start-Up visa endorsement letter

Once your Start-up visa endorsing body is accepted, then you will receive a Start-up visa endorsement letter. You are required to submit this letter with your Start-up visa application. Strict rules can be found in the Immigration Rules about what information that must be contained within the start-up endorsement letter. Consequently, you can get advice from an Immigration solicitor in order to ensure that your endorsement letter meets the immigration rules.

What is the Start-up visa validity period?

Once your Start-up visa has been granted by the Home Office it will be valid for a duration of two years. However, if you were previously granted leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, then this will mean you will be given a leave for a maximum of 2 years.

How to extend a Start-up visa and apply for ILR?

You cannot extend a Start-up visa and a Start- up visa holder cannot apply for settlement especially as they are not eligible for settling in the UK. Nevertheless, by the end of the two years you can apply for further leave to remain under the Innovator category so that you can continue to develop and grow your business. Additionally, under the Innovator category a person can apply and be granted settlement after a further 3 years.

What other things you need to know about the Start-up visa?

Once you have been granted your Start-up visa, you will be allowed to carry out employment other than working for the business that you have established. Furthermore, you will not be required to spend any specific duration of time in the UK.

You will need to ensure that you stay in constant contact with your endorsing body and have checkpoints of 6 months and 12 months. It is important to show your endorsing body that you are constantly working on your business. This is because, your endorsing body will have to be convinced that you have shown satisfactory progress in your original or a new business concept. Consequently, your endorsement could be withdrawn, or your leave could be reduced if you’re the above condition is not met. Furthermore, it is permissible for your partner or any children under the age of 18 to join you in the UK as your dependant(s).

How can our Immigration Solicitors help you with making your Start-up visa?

Our team of Immigration Solicitors are experienced in assisting with all types of Start-up businesses. After your business idea has been endorsed by an endorsing body, our solicitors at Adam Bernards will guide you through the complicated home Office rules in order to ensure that your Start-up application is successful and is accepted.

Our Immigration Solicitors can help with you the following:

  • Draft a Start-Up visa business plan
  • Assessment interview preparation for your application
  • How to make an application to extend your stay in the UK as an Innovator
  • Help to make an application to settle as an innovator
  • Help with Administrative reviews & Judicial reviews for Start-Up visas

Draft a start-up visa business plan

You have the potential option to include a detailed and original business plan in your Start-Up visa application. At Adam Bernard Solicitors, our Immigration Solicitors will help you to find a qualified and professional business plan writer especially as we are able to instruct the writer to make the business plan directly for you. Furthermore, we will ensure to constantly communicate with the plan writer so that your business plan will satisfy all the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

Credibility Assessment interview preparation for your application

As part of your application, you will need to make it clear to the Home Office that you have a genuine intention to undertake any work or business activity in the UK. Therefore, the Home Office will ask you to attend a Credibility Assessment interview so that you are able to satisfy this requirement of your application.

How our Immigration Solicitors will help you prepare for this interview:

We will provide you with some One-to-One sessions that will include the following:

  • Advice how to answer potential interview questions
  • Interview practice & feedback of your performance
  • Suggestions on how you can further prepare for the interview
  • What further improvements you can make on the weak areas of your answers
  • Give you further time so that you can ask us any questions that you may have.

How to make an application to extend your stay in the UK as an Innovator

As a Start-Up visa holder, you can make an application for further leave to remain in the innovator category which will help you to continue working on your business. By making this application, you will be able to get settlement in the UK after a further 3 years.

You will have to meet the following requirements in order to establish that you are eligible for this application:

  • You have to be at least 18 years of age.
  • The letter of your endorsement was not granted more than 3 months before the date of your Innovator visa application
  • You will need to prove that you have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body and is satisfied with the following: that your business is registered with Companies house, your business

    is active currently, your trading is sustainable for at least the next 12 months, you have an active role in the everyday management of the business and your entire working time in the UK will be used to develop your business projects.

  • You show a genuine intention to carry out any work or business activity in the UK
  • You can financially support yourself: by having at least £945 available and £630 for each dependant you have. This will show that you will not need to rely on any public funds.
  • You show competence in the English language at the minimum of CEFR Level B2 (this is equivalent to the IELTS 5.5 in writing, reading, listening, and speaking)

Help to make an application to settle as an innovator

You will need to satisfy the following conditions in order to be eligible for indefinite leave to remain as an innovator:

  • You will need to prove that you have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body and is satisfied with the following: that your business is registered with Companies house, your business

    is active currently, your trading is sustainable for at least the next 12 months, you have an active role in the everyday management of the business and your entire working time in the UK will be used to develop your business projects.

  • Out of the seven requirements listed below, you must fulfil at least two of the requirements:
  1. You have invested at least £50,000 into your business and increasingly spent further on improving your business plan
  2. Your business has made the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers that has no average salary condition.
  3. Your business has made the equivalent of at least 5 full time jobs for resident workers who will have an average salary of £25,000 minimum in a year
  4. Your business had participated in research and development activity and has made an application for intellectual property protection in the UK
  5. Your business has made at least £500,000 annual gross revenue during the last full year, which was covered by its accounts, and with the minimum of £1000,000 being exported overseas.
  6. Your business has made at least an annual gross revenue of £1 million last year.
  7. Your number of customers have doubled from the recent 3 years and your business recently is higher mean amount of customers than other UK businesses which offer similar main products or services.
  • You can show that you know a reasonable knowledge of life in the UK and the English language.
  • You have to prove that you have not spent over 180 days outside of the UK in any rolling 12 months period of time during the 3 years before the date of your application.

Help with Administrative reviews & Judicial reviews for Start-Up visas

Your application for entry clearance or leave to remain or settlement can be rejected by the Home office, if this does happen then our Immigration Solicitors can provide you with advice on the merits of making a new application or challenging your current application.

How we can help you challenge the decision

Our Immigration Solicitors can challenge the decision of your Start-Up visa if the decision maker has not applied the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly and we can then proceed to make Administrative Review Proceedings. In addition, if the decision of your Start-Up visa application was unlawful, unreasonable, or procedurally improper, then our Immigration solicitors can apply for Judicial Review, and they can represent you at the Judicial Review hearings.

Why should a person apply for a Start-up visa?

Currently, the UK wants entrepreneurs and those people with business ideas and skills to set-up their businesses in the UK. Furthermore, this category of Start-Up visa replaces the old Tier 1 Graduate entrepreneur Visa which was established in March 2019 for individuals who wanted to start a business in the UK.

At Adam Bernard Solicitors, our Immigration Solicitors have a lot of experience with applying for business visas. This is especially because our Solicitors provide full support and guidance in helping entrepreneurs satisfy all the Immigration and Business Law requirements.

What are the requirements for a Start-Up visa?

The following requirements have to be satisfied by an applicant:

  • You have to be at least 18 years of age
  • You must meet the requirements of an English language test
  • You want to establish or run a business in the UK
  • You are from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • You must have the maintenance funds for at least a consecutive period of 90 days (which is required by the Home office rules)

The duration of a Start-Up visa

It is usual for a Start-Up visa to last a duration of two years and after expiry of this time period, you cannot extend your Start-Up visa. However, you have the option of switching to an alternative visa and therefore you can secure settlement in the UK if you can meet the Home Office’s requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

If you have held a Tier 1 Graduate entrepreneur visa, this will mean that the time you have spent in the UK on that visa will still be considered as part of the two-year Start-Up visa period.

In addition, if you have been granted leave to remain in the UK due to holding a Start-Up visa/Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa then you will be able to switch to an Innovator Visa. Consequently, an Innovator visa will enable you to get settlement or Indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

The restrictions for a Start-Up Visa

As a holder of a start-Up visa, you are not allowed to do the following:

  • You cannot work as a professional sports person
  • You cannot work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • You cannot claim any public funds

Why Our Business Start Up Visa Solicitors ?

  • At Adam Bernard Solicitors, we understand the importance that access to the UK market can have on up and coming businesses. Our team of immigration solicitors in London make sure that they are constantly up to date with the latest developments to ensure our clients receive the best tailored advice for their aspirations.
  • We have achieved numerous businesses gain access to the UK as evidenced through our client testimonies
  • To give your application the best chance of success, visit either of our London offices and speak to our team of experts in this field.

    Contact Us
    Please call 020 7100 2525 or fill in the form below.

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      Contact Us
      Please call 020 7100 2525 or fill in the form below.

      Full Name*
      Email*
      Phone*
      Your Inquiry
      0207 100 2525