Start Up Visa

The Start-up visa category is an excellent opportunity for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time in their career. In order to qualify under the Start-up category, applicants will need to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea that is supported by an endorsing body.

The initial grant of leave under this category is for 2 years and does not lead directly to settlement. However, when the applicant has timed out of leave after 2 years, they may switch to the innovator category for the purpose of settlement.


All applicants for entry clearance or leave to remain must have a business plan endorsed by an approved endorsing body. The applicant does not need to be the sole founder of the business and maybe a member of a Start-up team member but each member must have their own individual endorsement.

English language

An applicant of Start-up visa cant meet the Secure English Language test listed in Appendix O if ;

  • The applicant has passed an English language test at CEFR Level B2
  • The applicant is a national of majority English speaking country or;
  • The applicant has a degree taught in English evidenced by UK NARIC equivalence

Maintenance funds

How much you pay for a Start-up visa depends on your situation and where you apply from.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Switch (in the UK)
Yourself £363 £493
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £308 £438
All dependants £363 each person £493 each person

Lengths of leave

This category offers to leave for 2 years and does not lead directly to settlement in the UK, but applicants may progress into the Innovator category below.

Category the applicant is applying in

Length of leave: initial applications

Eligible switching categories

Start-up 2 years
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 4 (General) – the restrictions

Why Us

We have experienced business immigration solicitors, who provide prompt and cost-effective advice to any individual applying for Start-up Visa from overseas or within the UK.  By making an appointment with one of our business immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.  We will assist you with all aspects of business immigration law, including applying for a Start-Up Visa to switching into an innovator Visa after 2 years.  If you wish to discuss, please phone our London office on 0203 909 8399 or contact us online.

For further help or information Get In Touch

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