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UK Start-Up Visa for Family of Young Farmers from Guinea

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I have always enjoyed working on the land. It is such a fulfilling and joyful feeling to watch your fruits and vegetables grow. Your hands have planted and taken care of them! Therefore, when my wife and I came up with an idea to set up a farm in a new climate, we got very excited. However, we did not know how to relocate to a new country. We were at a loss. Fortunately, Imperial & Legal knew what to do.

Ken, 28 years old
Farmer from Guinea
Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Most of our clients contact Imperial & Legal to help them in relocating to the United Kingdom. This time it was a young couple with two kids from Guinea.

The couple is fascinated by innovations they can use to grow berries and vegetables. Relocation to the UK was a challenge since they planned to organise a highly efficient farm in new and harsher weather conditions. The British climate is very different from that of their homeland.

The farmers had an ambitious plan of setting up a UK business, but they lacked an understanding of the legal side of the process, including all visa-related issues. For that reason, they decided to contact Imperial & Legal. After reviewing the case, we recommended they apply for a UK Start-up visa.

Our Clients

Ken and Maya are from Guinea. They are from families that have done farming for generations. They started by helping their parents and later decided to get degrees in agriculture to introduce new technologies into the process. The idea was to minimise physical work while increasing yield.

Ken and Maya fell in love with each other, got married, and now have beautiful twins. When their children turned four, the couple started seriously thinking about the future. They wanted to give their children high-quality education and ample career opportunities.

The family decided to move abroad and was considering several destinations. They finally chose the UK to settle and set up a farm. They were sure that with the help of modern technologies, their farm would bring good yields even in the cold and rainy British weather.

The couple was confident in their decision and believed that the business would generate enough profit to give their children a good education.

The Challenge

To draft a business plan based on the clients’ original idea and collect the documents for a visa application for all family members.

The Solution

Ken and Maya did not know about a UK Start-up visa. They thought that they would have to apply for a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa because they planned to set up a company in the UK. However, the Home Office abolished that settlement route in 2019 and introduced two new visas instead, a UK Innovator visa and a UK Start-up visa.

A UK Innovator visa is designed for successful entrepreneurs who can invest at least £50,000 into their innovative entrepreneurial idea.

A UK Start-up visa is given to enthusiastic entrepreneurs who do not have any capital but rely on their innovation to generate profit and bring value to British society.

The latter option looked like a perfect fit for our clients. At first, we suggested Ken should relocate alone to set up a farm and bring his family to the UK once their business kicked off. But the family did not like the idea of being separated. Ken did not want to leave his wife and children in Guinea, so he insisted on relocating together as a family. 

Imperial & Legal’s experts developed a business plan for Ken and Maya where they calculated the land rent and construction costs of special hydroponic greenhouses as well as the expected yield from one square meter of land cultivated with the usage of innovative technologies.

Our specialists also found several land plots that Ken and Maya could rent. Apart from that, we did market research and presented our clients’ produce to a few small wholesale distributors. They were happy with the quality and decided to sign distribution agreements with Ken and Maya.

After finalising the business plan, our advisors sent an application to the relevant endorsing body and soon received an endorsement of the proposed business idea. With the letter of endorsement in hand, Imperial & Legal applied for UK Start-up visas for the whole family.

The family from Guinea gets UK Start-up visas in two months

18 May
A contract is signed with Imperial & Legal
+2 weeks
A business plan is drafted
+1 week
Documents for the endorsing body are prepared
+1 day
An application is sent to the endorsing body
+1 week
An endorsement letter is granted
+1 week
Documents for a UK Start-up visa are submitted
+1 week
Biometrics are taken
+4 weeks
UK Start-up visa is issued
23 July
The family gets their UK Start-up visas

The Conclusion

A month after the family got their visas, they relocated to a small town in the east of England. Imperial & Legal’s experts helped Ken and Maya rent land for their farm and find affordable housing and school for their kids.

A year later we met the family again. They brought us fruits and vegetables from their farm. Children already spoke fluent English, and their parents were very grateful to us. Their farm was growing quickly, the produce was in demand, and they needed more workers. Therefore they asked us to help several families from Guinea relocate to the UK so that they could work on our clients’ farm. And we did this successfully.

Besides, we reminded Ken and Maya that a UK Start-up visa was issued for two years and could not be extended. Since the business was successful, we suggested switching to a UK Innovator visa that leads to settlement and British citizenship.

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