This route is called the Start-up Visa. Together with the Innovator visa, the Start-up visa is one of the first new immigration routes that will over the next years replace the immigration routes under the current Points Based Immigration System.
Who can apply for the Start-up Visa?
Persons from outside the EEA, who want to set up a business in the UK, can apply for the Start-up Visa. However, you will first have to be endorsed by an authorised body.
The Home Office has published a list of endorsing bodies. These endorsing bodies consist of some UK higher education institutions and business organisations with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs.
How the Start-up Visa works
A successful applicant will be able to stay in the UK for two years. It is not possible to extend the start-up visa to a period longer than two years. Time a person has spent in the UK on a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, will unfortunately also count as part of these two years.
The visa will unfortunately not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain. However, it is possible to switch from the Start-up visa to the Innovator visa, once you qualify for this route. The Innovator visa does lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Some advantages of the Start-up Visa
Family members or dependants will be able to accompany the main applicant. Dependants are your spouse, partner, and children under the age of 18 years old.
You will also be allowed to work in another job, as well as in the start-up business.
Another big advantage of the Start-up visa is that there are no investment requirements or the need for the involvement of a UK employer.
The only financial requirement is that the main applicant has to be able to prove that they have enough personal savings to support themselves while they are in the UK. The requirement is at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before one apply. Note however that if your family members accompany you, there will be an additional financial requirement of £630 for every dependant.
Who can switch to the Start-up Visa?
Persons who are already in the UK, and meet the eligibility requirements, can switch to the Start-up visas if they currently hold any of these visas;
- Any Tier 2 visa
- Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
- Tier 4 (General) student visa
- Persons who are in the UK with a standard visitor visa, to get funding and a supporting letter from an endorsing body will also be able to switch from within the UK.
Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants are very excited about the new Start-up visa and believe it will open up more opportunities for persons looking to live and work in the UK. If you have any specific questions on the new immigration routes, you are welcome to email us at [email protected] or visit our website at www.bic-immigration.com
*Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.