New UK Business Visa Category: What is the new Tier 1 Start Up Visa?

Last Friday 29 March 2019, the new visa categories for non-EEA national business people were launched, which also closed the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa routes for new Applicants. Instead, individuals now have to apply for either the Tier 1 Start Up Visa or Tier 1 Innovator Visa, depending on the experience of the Applicant. The full requirements for the new visas are contained under Appendix W of the Immigration Rules, and our immigration solicitors can explain the new rules and requirements in a consultation meeting, as well as inform you of the bespoke service we offer to our high net worth clients.  

What is the new Tier 1 Start Up Visa?

The Start Up visa category is for early-stage but high potential entrepreneurs who are looking to set up a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants do not need any funds to invest in their business at this stage. As with the new Innovator Visa, Applicants will need to secure an endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsement body. For the Tier 1 Start Up Visa, endorsements can come from either a business or a Higher Education Institution. If the endorsement body finds the business idea credible, they will provide an endorsement letter which the Applicant will need to provide as evidence for the visa application.

What are the main permitted and prohibited activities of the new Tier 1 Start Up Visa?

It is important that Applicants are aware of their visa conditions. Our business immigration team is able to fully explain what you can and cannot do on the new Start Up Visa during an initial consultation meeting at our offices in Middle Temple or over the telephone. We also briefly outline the new Start Up Visa conditions below:

Permitted activities:

  • Applicants can stay in the UK for 2 years on a Tier 1 Start Up visa – any time spent in the UK on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa counts as part of the 2 years;
  • Applicants can bring family members with them;
  • Applicants can switch to this visa from some other visa categories such as Tier 1 (graduate Entrepreneur, any Tier 2 visa, Tier 4 (General) student visa and the Standard Visitor visa if the Applicant came to the UK to get funding and had a supporting letter from an endorsing body; and
  • Applicants can work in another job, as well as working for their business.

Prohibited activities:

  • Applicants cannot access public funds;
  • Applicants cannot work as a doctor, dentist in training or professional sportsperson, i.e. as a sports coach; and
  • Applicants cannot settle in the UK on this visa or apply to extend this visa.

Applicants must meet the English language requirement and be able to prove that they have enough personal savings to support themselves while they are in the UK by showing at least £945 in their bank account for 90 consecutive days before applying.

Can I still apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa?

From 6 April 2019, no further endorsements will be issued for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa. Applicants who have been issued an endorsement by a Higher Education Institution or the Department for International Trade before this date can still use it to make a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) application. Endorsements are valid for 3 months and must be used to make an application before it expires. The closing date for applications is 5 July 2019. Applicants who have not received an endorsement before 6 April 2019 can apply to be endorsed under the new Start-up category. This includes if the Applicant has already been granted 1 year’s leave under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and are seeking an endorsement for the second year. Dependants can still apply to join Applicants who have obtained leave for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category is also closing. Switching applications for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Applicants will remain open until 5 July 2021. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extension applications will remain open for these individuals until 5 July 2025, and settlement applications until 5 July 2027. It is recommended to contact our business immigration team before making an application.

Using Legal Representation to submit a Tier 1 Start Up Visa application in accordance with Appendix W of the Immigration Rules

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a UK Visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules for Start-Up Visa applications.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds and meets the requirements, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 1 Start Up Visa Applications

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 your Start-Up Visa application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

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.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful visa applications. 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 arrange your legal consultation to discuss the new Tier 1 Start Up Visa application.

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

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