Start Up Visa

In June 2018 the Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a new start up visa route. He stated that the new visa is “for people wanting to start a business in the UK. This will help to ensure we continue to attract the best global talent and maintain the UK’s position as a world-leading destination for innovation and entrepreneurs”.

The idea behind the route was simple. International graduates from UK universities could remain in the UK. They have a single grant of two years of leave. But only if they apply within 12 months of their graduation.

Therefore this is a visa route for non-EEA nationals wishing to set up their first business. Among other requirements the endorsement process remains the corner stone. The list of approved endorsers is being broadened to include business sponsors. As well as universities.  Therefore, business viability will be judged by qualified, experienced and more appropriate parties. But the visa remains subject to Home Office strict scrutiny.

Specific Requirements for Start up Visa

Endorsement Criteria

The business should be innovative, genuine and contain an original business plan. Applicants should have the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience. Further, there needs to be evidence that the business can grow and create future jobs.

Investment funds Requirement

At least £50,000 funds must be available to invest in the new business. No further evidence of funds is required. If the endorsement letter confirms that at least £50,000 funds are available. Or if it has been invested in the applicant’s business.

Credibility Assessment

The Home Office must be satisfied the applicant:

  • genuinely intends to and is capable of starting a business in the UK; and
  • does not intend to work in the UK in breach of their conditions; and
  • has investment available; and
  • intends to use it for the purposes described in the application; and
  • previous educational, work and immigration history is available.


The applicant can switch to this category from Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 2 or Tier 4 (General). Also be a visitor undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur.

English language

You should have the required English language skills to work in the UK.


You also should have at least £945 to maintain your living standards. This must have been held in the account for a consecutive 90 days

Absences from the UK

To apply, you must not have spent 180 days or less during any consecutive 12 months. Unless there are compelling and compassionate circumstances.

Evidence provided with applications

The Home Office only consider documents received before the date the application.


  1. All applicants must have been endorsed in this category by an endorsing body; and
  2. They must provide an endorsement letter issued by the endorsing body; and
  3. The individual does not need to be the sole founder of the business and may be a member of an entrepreneurial team; and
  4. Further, the endorsing body must not have withdrawn the endorsement.

Endorsing bodies

To qualify as an endorsing body in this category. An organisation must meet the following requirements:

  • proven track record of supporting UK entrepreneurs; and
  • request to become an endorsing body

Indefinite Leave to Remain

This category offers leave for two years and does not lead directly to settlement in the UK. But applicants may progress into the Innovator category to continue developing their businesses in the UK.

We believe the UK is a more desirable destination for entrepreneurs because of this scheme. Moreover encouraging investment. Cementing the country’s place as a world-leading destination for  talented entrepreneurs. It is exactly what the UK needs. Due to this, innovators and entrepreneurs will need expert advice.

Call Farani Taylor on 0207 242 1666 or email us today.

City Solicitors Immigraton Lawyer Farhan Farani

Farhan Farani

Managing Director
Biography Farhan Farani is the founding partner of Farani Taylor Solicitors (UK Immigration solicitor in London), he is passionate about creating...
Read Profile