What is the UK Start-up visa? - | Hudson McKenzie

What is the UK Start-up visa?

The Start-up visa is for those wanting to come to the UK as an entrepreneur and wanting to set up an innovative business. To be eligible for this visa, you must have an original idea which is different from anything on the market currently and should have potential to grow. To be able to apply for this visa, you have to be endorsed by an authorised body. 

In addition, applicants must be at least 18 years old, meet the English language requirement by achieving level B2 English and be able to show that they can support themselves in the UK. 

What is an endorsing body?

An endorsing body is an organisation who in a sense, verifies that your business idea is sufficiently viable for the UK. There is a list of specific endorsing bodies that can be used for this visa application. Your business idea will need to be assessed by the endorsing body before you apply for the visa and if they deem your business idea viable, then they will give you an endorsement letter which will be used as proof of endorsement for your application. 

Each endorsing body has their own application processes and criteria for business ideas, for instance some endorsing bodies only allow business ideas from certain sectors. Similarly, each body has their own measures and standards of what makes a good business idea. 

Applicants are able to choose an endorsing body to apply for by going to the list of specific endorsing bodies which is updated regularly. Applicants can click the link to the endorsing body website where they will be able to get an understanding of the requirements of that endorsing body and apply for an endorsement. 

Endorsing bodies include leading incubators, accelerators, government agencies and business development organisations and they must have a proven track record of supporting entrepreneurs. The Home Office will usually allocate an endorsing body 25 places per year, however this will vary among bodies.  

What’s the difference between the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa and the Start-up visa?

The UK Home Office made changes to the Tier 1 routes, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa were replaced with the Innovator and Start-up visa routes. The main difference between the previous Tier 1 visas and the Start-up and innovator visas is that there is a requirement for applicants to be endorsed by an endorsing body. The requirements for the Start-up visa is different from the Graduate Entrepreneur visa rules and therefore should be checked before applying. 

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.

The information provided does not amount to legal advice.