Start Up Visa
New entrepreneurs seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time can apply for a UK Start-up visa. There is no requirement that you are a graduate or that you have secured any initial funding before applying. In order to qualify, you will need to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea that has been approved by an endorsing body.
This category of visas is valid for 2 years, and does not lead directly to the establishment of a permanent residence in the UK. Holders of UK Start-up visas may, however, extend their stay in the Innovator visa category and apply for ILR three years later. A UK Start-up visa applicant can bring his or her partner and any under-18 children to the country.
Is the UK Start-up visa suitable for those who want to start a business in the UK?
UK Start-up visas are designed for entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their business development, but have high potential for growth, and who are looking to start a business in the UK for the first time.
There is a general expectation that UK Start-up visa applicants have not already started establishing their businesses in the UK before applying for a visa. Nevertheless, even if they have, the new business should not yet have started trading, if they have already done so. Applicants will only be exempt from this rule if they have already been granted leave under the Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) categories or under the Tier 4 doctorate extension scheme if they have already been granted leave under those categories.
If you are an experienced businessperson seeking to launch a new venture in the UK, you may find that an Innovator visa would be a more appropriate option if you wish to establish a business in the UK. If you plan to join an already-existing business, then the Skilled Worker visa may be more suitable. If you are looking to invest in an already trading company, you may want to consider a Tier 1 Investor visa. Senior employees of overseas companies looking to establish a presence in the UK may be interested in the Global Business Mobility Visa.
UK Visas and Immigration requires that you satisfy the following requirements in order to qualify for a UK Start-Up Visa
In some cases, you may need to meet a number of specific requirements, depending on the circumstances of the case. For further assistance, we advise you to speak with an immigration lawyer for further guidance.
Investment Funds Start Up Visa
Applicants for a startup visa do not need to invest any funds in their businesses. The requirement to have a 'viable' and 'scalable' business idea, however, may require you to have funds available to invest. Endorsing bodies may require a certain level of funding in order to endorse.
Start Up Visa endorsements
Entrepreneurs from around the world come to our immigration lawyers for assistance in preparing successful Start-up visa applications. Additionally, we can assist applicants with securing Start-up visa endorsements. Several endorsing bodies trust Alexandra & Spencer to provide qualified clients with direct access to investment panel members, ensuring transparent and timely decision-making.
You will be issued a Start-up visa endorsement letter if your application to be endorsed by a Start-up visa endorsed body is approved. As part of your Start-up visa application, you must submit this letter. There are strict requirements in the Immigration Rules regarding the information that must be included in an endorsement letter for a start-up visa. By seeking legal advice, you can ensure that your endorsement letter is compliant with the rules.
Time Spent in the UK Start Up Visa
With a Start-up visa, you will not be required to spend a certain amount of time in the UK, and you will be granted the right to take on other employment in addition to working for the business or businesses that you have established.
The endorsing body, however, will require you to keep in touch with them as well as provide checkpoints every six months and 12 months. There will be a requirement for the endorsing body to be satisfied that you are continuing to work on your business venture. This will be done by demonstrating reasonable progress either in relation to your original business idea or in relation to a new business idea. Should this not be the case, you may lose your endorsement and have your leave curtailed.
Children under 18 and your partner may accompany or join you as dependent(s).
Applying for a Start Up Visa?
Alexandra & Spencer has established itself as one of the most experienced and successful immigration practices in the UK for start-up companies. Several of our immigration lawyers have received recognition for their work on behalf of startups, including membership in the Investment Migration Council and the Department of International Trade's Investor Support Network.
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An essential requirement of the Start up visa is an endorsement which is where our immigration experts can assist you to create a strong application for endorsement which explains that your business idea is innovative, viable and scalable. As well as demonstrating that you will spend majority of your working time in the UK on developing the business.
Viability: We can assist you to demonstrate to the endorsing the body that you have, or are actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run your business.
Innovation: We will also assist in demonstrating to the endorsing body that you have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
Scalability: We assist you to demonstrate to the endorsing the body that there is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.
As part of your Start-up visa application, you may wish to include a detailed business plan. We can assist you with your business plan to ensure that your Start-up visa business plan meets the requirements of the Immigration Rules.
Your Start-up visa application may need to include a detailed, genuine, and original business plan that you can use as part of your application. If you are looking for a qualified professional business plan writer for your Start-up visa business plan, our immigration lawyers can help you identify the right one, instruct that writer on your behalf, and then work with that writer to ensure that your plan meets immigration rules' requirements. A professional business plan writer can provide an objective perspective on your business and can identify any areas of risk or opportunity that you may not have considered. They can also provide you with an expert opinion on how you need to structure and present your business plan. This will ensure that it meets the requirements of the Immigration Rules.
If you have been granted endorsement, you will still need to satisfy the Home Office that you have a genuine intention to undertake work or business activity in the UK, and that you are capable of undertaking it. You may be invited to attend an interview by the Home Office as part of the credibility assessment process
in order to prepare for the Credibility Assessment Interview, we offer the following services:
Providing advice on possible interview questions;
Interview practice with an immigration lawyer on a one-to-one basis
A constructive evaluation of your performance on all fronts;
Any advice on how to improve on any weak areas, as well as further preparation;
You can ask questions and/or address any other concerns regarding your credibility assessment interview.