UK STARTUP VISA
UK Visa for Startup -This route is for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which has been assessed and supported by an approved endorsing body.
All applicants must meet the requirements for:
- English language
- maintenance funds
- age (18+)
Multiple Start-up migrants can apply for endorsement to be co-directors of the same company. However, these are not linked as "team" applications and each applicant must receive their own individual endorsement from an approved endorsing body.
Conditions of Entry clearance
Entry clearance under this route is subject to the following conditions:
- no recourse to public funds
- registration with the police as required by the Immigration Rules
- no employment as a doctor or dentist in training
- no employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach)
- study subject to the conditions below:
The migrant is allowed to study, but they must obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for the course or research they intend to undertake and present it to their education institution before they start their study if:
they are over age 18 (or will be over 18 by the time their leave expires)
their course is one of the following:
- a doctorate or master's degree by research in one of the disciplines under the Immigration Rules
- a taught master's degree or other postgraduate qualification in one of the disciplines listed under the Immigration Rules
- a period of study or research in excess of 6 months in one of the disciplines under the Immigration Rules at an institution of higher education, where this forms part of an overseas postgraduate qualification
If their course (or research) completion date is postponed or delayed for more than 3 calendar months, or there are any changes to the course contents (or the research proposal), they must apply for a new ATAS certificate within 28 calendar days, and must provide a printout of the new certificate to their institution promptly.
How long is entry clearance / leave to remain normally granted for?
2 years, or the remaining balance of 2 years if the applicant has previously held leave in Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Start-up. Maximum of 2 years total grant of leave allowed under Start-up.
Are dependants allowed?
Yes, your spouse and dependent children aged below 18.
Does this category lead to settlement (indefinite leave to remain)?
- You will not normally need to carry out a credibility assessment for Start-up applications. An endorsing body will already have assessed an applicant's business plan and caseworkers are not expected to duplicate that assessment.
- A balance of probability test should only be carried out on an application if you have reason to believe that there are specific grounds to doubt a migrant's credibility. This power is primarily intended to be used where the Home Office has information that would not otherwise have been considered by an endorsing body when it has assessed a migrant's suitability for endorsement.
The applicant must have at least a B2 level of English language ability (IELTS 5.5-6.0 equivalent), as defined in the Council of Europe's common European framework for language and learning.
An applicant satisfies the English language requirement by:
- being a national of a majority English speaking country
- passing an English language test
- holding a degree which is:
- a UK Bachelor's degree, Master's degree or PhD
- awarded by an establishment outside of the UK and is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree or a PhD
- deemed by UK NARIC to meet or exceed the recognised standard of a Bachelor's or Master's degree or a PhD in the UK, and is from an educational establishment in one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States of America
Level of funding
- For entry clearance, an applicant must show they have at least £945 of available funds, plus £630 funds for each dependant.
- If the applicant cannot, you must refuse their application, even if they have met all the other requirements.
To verify an applicant's funding, you must ensure:
- they have personal savings (in line with the appropriate levels of funding required) held for a consecutive 90-day period (finishing on the date of the closing balance on the statement), ending no more than 31 days before the date of their application
- the endorsing body confirms in the endorsement letter that it has awarded the appropriate amount of maintenance funding to the applicant
When the funds are in a currency other than pounds sterling, you must use the:
- rates published on the OANDA website to convert the amount
- exchange rate on the date of the application
- Evidence must be in the form of cash funds held in an account (this includes savings
- accounts and current accounts, even when notice must be given).
- Applicant's do not need to be the sole founder of the business and may be a member of an entrepreneurial team and share the same business idea and plan as another Startup team member.
- However, each member of the Start-up team must be issued their own individual endorsement and meet all the other wider requirements of Appendix W in their own right.
The endorsing body says the applicant has missed their regular contact
The applicant must make contact with the endorsing body after 6 months and 12 months. The endorsing body must advise the Home Office if the applicant has missed a contact.
The endorsing body says the applicant is breaching their conditions
You must establish if there is enough evidence to curtail the applicant. If there is enough evidence to prove the applicant is breaching their conditions, you must complete the curtailment in line with current procedures.