Start-up visa to the UK replaced a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa that for long had been an excellent opportunity to relocate to Great Britain for young businessmen with ambitious ideas.
In this article, we will talk about who can apply for a Start-up visa, which requirements they must comply with, which criteria a new business must meet, and other relevant matters related to this visa category.
The main thing is an access to a huge and constantly growing UK market that is regulated by corporate laws that are clear even to new entrants. The government supports start-ups and offers them tax benefits as well as simple banking options.
You can apply for a Start-up visa if you:
You can also switch to a Start-up visa from other categories such Graduate Entrepreneur and a visitor visa for prospective entrepreneurs.
Before you can submit your application, you must get an endorsement for your business, or business idea, from one of the approved organisations. The list of government approved endorsing bodies includes higher educational establishments and corporate bodies that strive to support UK entrepreneurs.
If your business meets three criteria below, an endorsing body will issue you an endorsement letter. If you have a partner or partners, they must each obtain an endorsement letter.
Other requirements to Start-up visa applicants:
For an endorsing body to issue a letter of support, they must evaluate your idea against three criteria:
All endorsing bodies value their image and reputation so they must be sure that you will spend most of your time in the UK on growing and developing your business. And they make sure by conducting regular checks on you.
In 6- and 12-month time after obtaining a Start-up visa and moving to the UK, you will need to contact your endorsing body and report to them on your achievements and persuade them that they have made the right decision in supporting you. However, this might not be enough.
The Home Office can conduct their checks on the endorsing body that issued you a letter. They would ask them to provide additional information to:
An endorsement is not indefinite; it can be revoked if you fail to report within prescribed time limits.
If your sponsor decides to revoke their endorsement after reviewing your report or they lose their authority to endorse, all you can do is find another endorsing body.
The same applies to an entrepreneur team; if at least one of you is revoked, all of you lose the endorsement.
A Start-up visa allows to bring the following dependants to the United Kingdom:
Family means responsibility, and you must show to the Home Office that you have enough money to maintain all family members.
Add to the £1,270 mentioned above another £315 for each dependant coming with you. Say, you want to move with a spouse and a child – you must have at least £1,900 on your bank account. The rules also state that the required amount must be on your bank account or on your relative’s bank account for at least 28 days before applying.
If you switch to the said visas, you will be able in a few years to apply for UK permanent residence, or settlement. Your family can apply with you. To do that, all adult applicants must pass an English test and Life in the UK test.
UK permanent residents have almost the same rights as British citizens. But if you want to become British yourself, you can apply for naturalisation a year after settlement.
For many years, qualified lawyers at Imperial & Legal have been helping foreign nationals to come to the UK. Our specialist have relevant experience and expertise to offer full business support to your start-up every step of the way, from drafting a business plan for a visa to switching to another visa and applying for settlement.
Experts at Imperial & Legal offer turn-key customised solutions to our clients to meet all their needs, both personal and business. We provide full business support and corporate services and help with relocation to the UK.
There are two ways to obtain the immigration status assured by the UK Start-up visa:
Both ways imply the applicant to meet the evaluation criteria imposed by the Home Office. The duration of the UK Start-up visa includes the period of time spent in the UK under another visa route. For example, if you managed to come to the UK under the Graduate Entrepreneur route and in a year’s time you switched to the UK Start-up visa, it will expire in a year, not in 2 years.
You can’t obtain the UK Start-up visa if you are staying in the UK under the following routes:
In short, a residence permit under the UK Start-up visa route is not granted to those whose immigration status has an evident time limit.
As we have already said, the main requirement is that you must have a viable business idea for introducing an innovative product or service to the oversupplied British market. The idea must be endorsed by a body from the approved list available on the official website.
Other requirements to the UK Start-up visa applicants:
If you have applied through one of numerous visa application centres outside the UK, you will get the decision within 3 weeks. If you have applied from within the UK, you will get your decision within 8 weeks. If you want to get a faster decision, you can choose a priority service when you apply. There will be additional cost for the service.
Add to the time mentioned above 3-4 weeks to prepare the necessary documents which you have to submit together with the UK Start-up visa application. A standard list of evidence that you must provide includes the following:
Obviously, all the evidence mentioned above must be translated into English. Provided that you approached reputable qualified immigration experts, any unexpected waste of time will be minimised, and you will obtain the UK Start-up visa in the shortest time possible.
If your endorsement is withdrawn because of any infringement on your part, first of all, you must make them good as fast as possible. Since the entrepreneurs are not the only ones to be examined by the Home Office, another reason might be that your sponsor has lost the authority to endorse.
Whatever the reason is, if you don’t want to lose your UK Start-up visa, you need to urgently get a new endorsement from another endorsing body from the government approved list and re-apply. Approach our experts to speed up the process.
Be aware that visa duration is not paused if your endorsement letter is revoked. Your visa will expire in a two years’ time since the moment you enter the UK, including the time that you have to spend on getting a new endorsement. You will have to apply for another business visa route before your UK Start-up visa expires if your start-up proves to be successful.
We will work with you to find a customised solution for your immigration, second citizenship, business, tax and other needs.
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