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Start-Up Visa

The Start-up visa is for new entrepreneurs who want to establish a business in the UK for the first time. You do not need to be a graduate or have secured any initial funding. However, your business idea will need to be innovative, viable and scalable to be approved by an endorsing body.

Strictly speaking, Start-up visas are one-off visas and are valid for two years. They are not a route to applying for settlement in the UK. However, Start-up visa holders may extend their stay in the UK by applying for an Innovator visa and qualifying for ILR three years later. Start-up visa applicants can bring their partner and any children under the age of 18 to the UK.



For your business proposal to be endorsed, an approved endorsing body will need to be satisfied that your business idea meets all of the following criteria:

• Innovative: You have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

• Viable: You have or are actively developing the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to run the business successfully.

• Scalable: Your business plan has the potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

The endorsing body will also need to be satisfied that you will spend most of your working time in the UK developing your business ventures.


Start-up visa applicants do not need any funds to invest in their business. However, the requirement to have a 'viable' and 'scalable' business idea means that, in practice, you may need to have funds available to invest. Some endorsing bodies require a certain level of funding to be available as a condition of their endorsement.

You must still show that you have at least £1,270 in your bank account to support yourself for 28 consecutive days before applying. If you wish to apply with your dependent family members, you will need to demonstrate you have additional funds for their maintenance.

English Language Requirements

You will usually need to pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) with an approved provider. However, nationals of certain English speaking countries are not required to prove their English language ability, nor are persons who have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree taught in English in one of these countries.

Applying for a Start-up visa as part of a team

You do not need to be the sole founder of your business and may be a start-up team member. Therefore, you may share the same business idea and plan as another start-up team member. However, each applicant must receive their own endorsement from an approved endorsing body.

Most immigration applications have strict factual and evidential requirements that are not necessarily straightforward to comprehend or satisfy. LS Legal Solicitors are well versed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on immigration applications. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous. However, we guarantee to make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

For the quickest response, please WhatsApp or call us on +44 (0) 75 3595 9450. You can also contact us via email at info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact form to discuss your requirements further or arrange an appointment with one of our experts.