Start Up

The Start-Up Visa was designed to support talented overseas individuals to develop their idea for a business in the UK.

It is not a requirement to be a graduate or to have available funds in order to apply for this visa.

The category is for businesses in an early stage of development that can demonstrate high potential. It is permissible for individuals to have already set up their business, but it should not have commenced trading yet (with some exceptions).

Eligibility requirements

You must satisfy the decision maker that

  • §  You are aged 18 years or over

  • §  This is your first time establishing a UK-based business (exceptions relate to those on

    the former Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route)

  • §  You have received an endorsement from an eligible UK endorsing body which has

    assessed your business idea for the three criteria of being innovative, viable and


  • §  Youcandemonstratethatyouintendtoundertakemostofyourtimeworkingonyour

    business in the UK if your visa application is approved

  • §  Your endorsement was stamped within the last three months by the date of your


  • §  You have the ability and expertise to undertake business activity relating to your

    intended business idea

  • §  You can provide evidence of your English language skills (up to B2 level on the CEFR


  • §  You can demonstrate you have the required funds to independently support yourself

    while living in the UK

    How long you can stay

    You can stay for 2 years if you either:

  • come to the UK on a Start-up visa

  • switch to this visa from another visa while in the UK

    Switching to Start-up visa

    It is possible to change (‘switch’) to a Start-up visa if you’re already in the UK on a different type of visa.

    You cannot switch to this visa if you have one of the following:

  • a visit visa

  • a short-term student visa

  • a Parent of a Child Student visa

  • a seasonal worker visa

  • a domestic worker in a private household visa

  • on immigration bail

  • permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate


    Family members eligible to join

    Your partner and children under the age of 18 can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’.

    Further information, help, and advice

    Our team of specialists has years of experience in visa services. We are registered with the OISC at Level 3 to provide Immigration advice and services.

    For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or at

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