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Start-up Visa - UK

OVERVIEW OF THIS VISA

You can apply for a Start-up visa if:

  • you intend to set up an innovative business in the UK – your idea must be something that’s different from anything else on the market and be innovative, scalable and viable business
  • you must be capable to prove that your business or business idea has been endorsed by an approved body in the UK. Once you obtain the endorsement, AINiT could provide full support and guide you all over the visa application process.
  • Start-up visa is valid for 2 years and it cannot be extended, but you can apply to other visa categories, such as Innovator visa, Work visa or Partner visa, provided you meet appropriate visa requirements.

TOP BENEFITS OF START-UP VISA

  • Add Family Members: You can apply for your family members at the same time.
  • Work Flexibility: You can work another job, while developing to start your business in the UK
  • Switch from/to other visa routes: Start-up visa has replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. You can switch from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, any Tier 2 Work visa, Tier 4 General Student visa, and Standard Visitor visa depends on some restrictions. You can also switch to other visa categories from start-up.
  • Apply as part of an entrepreneurial team: You can apply as a sole founder or working together as part of an entrepreneurial team.
  • No restrictions on business category: Unlike the previous Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, there are no business category limitations. The core criteria idea requires to be sufficiently innovative, viable and scalable.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THIS VISA

  • Age limit – 18 years or above
  • Business Plan Requirement – You must have a unique business idea and business plan should be innovative, viable and scalable.
  • Your idea and business plan must be endorsed by one of the endorsing bodies approved by the Government of the UK.
  • TB Test Requirement (if applicable)
  • Criminal Record Check Requirement (if applicable)
  • English language Requirement- B2 (IELTS 5.5 – 6) General Test or other options*
  • Have enough money to support yourself without help from public funds -£1270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply.

HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE

  • The quickest you may apply is 3 months before you travel.
  • You should get a decision on your visa within 3-4 weeks when you apply from outside the UK OR within 5 working days if the priority service is available in the country you are applying from.

HOW LONG YOU CAN STAY

  • You can go to the UK for an initial period of 2 years
  • You cannot apply for the extension this visa
  • You may be able to apply to an Innovator visa if you set up a business while on a Start-up visa in the UK and:
    • your endorsing body has assessed and agreed on your business plan
    • it is active, trading, workable and scalable.

SWITCH TO INNOVATOR AFTER 2 YEARS or other visa

  • Start-up visa is only permitted for 2 years and you cannot apply to extend this visa. If you want to apply for a settlement in the UK, you will require to switch to an Innovator visa or another visa category in the UK.

You could be able to switch to an Innovator visa if you set up a business while on a Startup visa and:

  • your endorsing body assessed and agreed on your further business plan
  • your business should be active, trading and sustainable

As a start-up applicant you will remain in contact with your endorsing body. Provided they agree your business meets the criteria for the innovator category, they will issue another endorsement letter to confirm so you could apply for the Innovator visa.

After you’ve been in the UK for 3 years under the Innovator category, you can apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK, provided you meet the requirements.

Don’t forget to check your eligibility if you are interested as the assessment is absolutely free of cost. Please fill out the assessment form and one of our UK Immigration Consultants will get back to you at the earliest.

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