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Start Up Visa

Start-up visas – introduction

The Start-up visa a great visa route for individuals who are entrepreneurs and wish to establish a business in the UK for the first time. This visa route is open to both graduates and non-graduates and does not require initial funding. The Start-up visa route will be closed to new applications from 13 July 2023 and is only currently open to individuals who have secured a valid Start-up endorsement issued before 13 April 2023. Start-up entrepreneurs who have not managed to secure a Start-up endorsement but would like to establish a business in the UK, may qualify for an Innovator Founder visa instead.

Requirements for a start-up visa

The Start-up visa is suitable for individuals who have not yet set up their business in the UK. In order to qualify for the Start-up visa, you must have had your business plan endorsed by an endorsing boy.

You will be required to demonstrated that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and will need to meet the English language requirement. The exact requirements which you will need to meet depend on your circumstances. We recommend that you speak to one of our immigration experts to determine the requirements which you will need to satisfy.

Family members of a Start-up visa holder can make an application to enter or remain in the UK under this category. For further information on whether you family members qualify, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Length and condition of grant

If your Start-up visa is successful, you will be granted a visa for a period of 2 years. You are unable to extend your permission in the UK beyond the 2 years and this visa route does not lead to settlement in the UK. However, you may be able to apply for further leave to remain in a different immigration category which will enable you to continue developing your business.

Once you have been granted a Start-up visa you can take up employment in addition to working for the business you have established. There is no set amount of time that you must be present in the UK. However, you required to continue to be endorsed by the endorsing body throughout your permission in the UK. You will need to stay in contact with the endorsing body to demonstrated that you are continuing to work on your business venture and are making reasonable progress. You will be required at the very minimum to stay in contact with your endorsing body at checkpoints 6 and 12. If you fail to comply with this, your endorsement may be withdrawn.

How can Freeths help?

Our team of business immigration experts have a vast amount of knowledge and expertise to assist you with securing the appropriate visa to enable you to set up your first business venture in the UK. Our immigration specialists will ensure that they help you every step of the way in navigating through the complex immigration system.  Our team of immigration experts have a wealth of experience from a variety of different sectors and can aid with all types of start-up businesses.

We offer integration with broader legal services such as our commercial and corporate teams who will help you to set up your business, our real estate team who will meet your property requirements, our specialist IP and tech teams can assist in protecting your intellectual property and our specialist employment and pensions teams who will assist with all your HR requirements.

If you require legal assistance or would just like to discuss your situation with one of our experts, please contact our immigration team.

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