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Everything You Need to Know About a UK Start-Up Visa

You will need a UK Start-Up Visa if your thinking about setting up a business in the UK!

If you are not from the UK, Switzerland or E.U. but want to set up a business in the UK. you will need to apply for a visa. For a “Start-up visa” either a UK higher education institution or business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs must endorse you.  

You must also be at least 18 years of age, meet the English Language requirement and be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the U.K.


 
  • When you can apply for a UK Start-up Visa
  • How much does a UK Start-up visa cost?
  • How long can you stay in the UK on this visa
  • What does this type of visa allow and not allow you to do?
  • Eligibility for a UK startup visa
  • Documents you will need
  • How to apply for a UK Start-up Visa
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    When you can apply for a UK Start-up Visa

    You can apply no earlier then 3 months before your travel date. The timeframe starts and ends from when you attend your appointment at the visa application centre and submit your biometrics (if this is applicable to your application), to when your passport is ready for collection.

    Once you have submitted your completed application, you should get a decision within 3 weeks. Some countries offer a faster decision services but you will need to check if your country offers this. There is an additional cost for these services. One of the services is “Priority service” which is when a decision will be made within 5 working days after your visa application centre appointment.

    The other service offered is “Super priority service”. This service aims to make a decision within 24 hours from when you submit your biometric information.

    How much does a Uk-Startup Visa cost?

    Cost of the visa depends on where you are applying from and your situation. The prices stated are per person.

    Apply for a start-up visa from outside of the U.K.:

    • Yourself – £363.00
    • If you’re a citizen of Turkey of Macedonia – £308.00
    • All dependents – £363.00

    Apply for a start-up visa from inside of the U.K.:

    • Yourself – £493.000
    • If you’re a citizen of Turkey of Macedonia – £438.00
    • All dependents – £493.00

    You will also need to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your application. This varies depending on your situation. Please use the following link to help you work out how much you’ll have to pay before you apply here.

    How long you stay in the UK

    This type of visa allows you to stay in the U.K. for 2 years. You are not able to extend this visa.

    If you have been issued this type of visa and wish to stay in the U.K. for longer, you may be able to apply to switch to a tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you’ve completed your second year on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa or switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa to a Start-up visa for your second year.

    What does this type of Visa allow and not allow you to do

    You can:

    • Bring family members with you to the U.K.
    • Switch to this visa from some other visa categories
    • Work  in another job, as well as working for your business

    You are unable to:

    • Be granted public funds
    • Work as a doctor or dentist in training
    • Work as a professional sportsperson
    • Settle in the U.K. on this visa

    Eligibility for a UK start-up Visa

    You need to:

    1. Be at least 18 years old
    2. Meet the English Language requirement
    3. Proof that you have enough personal saving to support yourself whilst you are in the U.K.
    4. Have your business or business idea assessed by an approved body.
    5. Must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal set out in part 9 of the immigration rules.

    Documents you will need

    You need to provide:

    • An “endorsement letter” from an authorized body.
    • A current passport or other valid travel identification.
    • Bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings in your band account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
    • If you are from a country that has tuberculosis, you will need to show test results.
    • Proof that you have knowledge of the English language.
    • A blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

    What happens if my endorsement is withdrawn?

    If your endorsement is withdrawn your visa may be cut short. If this happens and you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.

    The maximum you can stay in the U.K. is 2 years even if you are granted a new visa with a new endorsement.

    How to apply for a UK Start-up Visa

    Applications – From outside of the U.K.

    You must apply online for a Start-up visa. Please see following link to start your application here.

    As part of your application you will need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre. This is to get a biometric residence permit (BRP card). Please see following link for a list of application centres opening times, addresses and contact details here.

    You will have to collect your BRP within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the U.K. If you arrive at a later date, you will still need to collect your BRP within 10 days of your original date. To work in the UK you must also apply for a National Insurance Number and pay UK tax.

    Applications – From North Korea

    You cannot apply online if you are living in North Korea. To application from North Korea you must download the application form and guidance, follow the instructions to find out where to take your completed form. Please read the guidance if you need help filling the in form.  Please find following link for application form and guidance here.

    Applications – From inside the U.K.

    You will need to check to see if you can apply to switch to this visa from another visa. You cannot extend a Start-up visa.

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