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Work and business visas

Tier 1 Start Up Visa

Tier 1 Start Up Visa

If you are a new, non-EEA national entrepreneur and want to establish a business in the UK for the first time, then you can apply for a Start Up visa. You do not need to be a graduate or have secured any initial funding. However, you must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body.

In order to qualify, you must:

  • Be at least 18;
  • Not previously established a business in the UK, unless you previously held leave as a Graduate Entrepreneur;
  • Been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed your business idea for innovation, viability and scalability;
  • The endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your application;
  • You intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B2;
  • You can prove you are able to support yourself and you dependants without relying on public funds.

In order for your business proposal to be approved, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation – You have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;
  • Viability – You have, or are actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business;
  • Scalability – Your business plan has potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

Contact our Immigration Solicitors:

If you would like to enquire for any of our immigration services, please complete our online contact form here or send an email to us at [email protected] and one of our solicitors shall call you back.

Alternatively, please call our immigration solicitors on 0330 127 8888 for a no obligation discussion.

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FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Your initial Start Up visa will be valid for 2 years. If you were previously granted leave as a Graduate Entrepreneur, you will be granted leave for a period that will take you to the 2-year limit.

It is not possible to extend a Start Up visa. This means that Start Up visa holders are not eligible for settlement. 

However, at the end of 2 years you will be able to apply for further leave to remain in the Innovator category in order to continue developing your business.  The Innovator category can lead to settlement after a further 3 years.

This will take you to the 5-year minimum residence requirement for you to be eligible to make a claim for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

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