Applying for a Start-Up Visa in the UK

A start-up visa allows dynamic, enterprising individuals an avenue to forge a bright future in the UK. Introduced in March 2019, the route is ideal for businessmen equipped with bright ideas but little capital. Our Immigration Team has helped several entrepreneurs make start-up visa applications with resounding success. We worked closely with clients to ensure a timely, successful application. This article highlights the requirements of a start-up visa as well as the common misconceptions faced by our clients.

The Requirements for a Start-Up Visa

To be eligible for a start-up visa, the utmost requirement is an endorsement by an authorised body, such as a higher education institution or a business organisation that has a history of promoting enterprises. An endorsement must confirm that your business idea is novel, innovative in its difference from anything else in the market, and viable with potential for sustained growth. 

Any application made must be made outside the UK, by a person who is over the age of 18 and has not previously set up a business within the UK. Our team of immigration lawyers can assist you with the documentation required for a start-up visa and offer you advice on additional language requirements, the level of required savings, as well as the specific format and substance any endorsement letter must incorporate. 

The Extent of a Start-Up Visa

A start-up visa allows you to work alongside the running of your business to support yourself. It also lets you bring your partner and children as dependents. You also have the freedom to travel freely within and outside the UK and back. 

On a start-up visa you cannot, however, make use of public funds or make use of the State Pension. Additionally, you cannot settle in the UK on a start-up visa. 

Costs of a Start-Up Visa

The fees associated with a start-up visa application vary depending on where you are applying from and at what stage. It costs £378 if you apply outside the UK and £508 if you want to switch to a start-up visa whilst within the UK. The same costs apply for every dependent such as a partner or child who applies with you. Additional costs, including healthcare surcharge payments, do apply and can vary considerably. Our team of highly qualified immigration lawyers can assist you in determining the amount to be paid.

Length of a Start-Up Visa

A start-up visa lasts for two years. A person can either arrive on a start-up visa or they can switch to this visa from another visa while in the UK.  

The visa’s length cannot be extended however, a start-up visa can be switched to an innovator visa to extend leave to remain as one develops their business further. 

What Are the Differences Between a Start-Up Visa and an Innovator Visa?

The innovator visa recently replaced the Tier-1 Entrepreneur visa category whilst the start-up visa has replaced the Tier-1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa category. An innovator visa, however, is only open to applicants who are established entrepreneurs developing an existing business as opposed to aspiring businessmen wanting to set up a new business. 
If you are an aspiring businessman, a start-up visa is the better option for you. Importantly, while a start-up visa requires no initial capital investment, an innovator visa requires an investment of £50,000. Additionally, an innovator visa lasts for three years and can be extended several times. An innovator visa may eventually lead to settlement. This is not the case with a start-up visa.

Successful Start-Up Visa Applications

The key ingredient to success is having the right support. Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest.

We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of the merit of your case before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. Our team of immigration lawyers are extremely skilled and hold considerable experience in advising clients on an array of visa applications they may undertake, including start-up and innovator visas. Our team looks at the issues from both sides so that a balanced and correct evaluation of the case is achieved. We are also proud of being able to mobilise with speed and act as tenaciously as the client’s needs and case demands. All options available are discussed with the client, consideration is given to personal and financial pressures and future action is only taken after proper consultation and agreement.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA and LEXLAW are just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is integral to success. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and develop a timely strategy for your successful start-up visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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