Oryx World Business Centre,
Dubai - UAE

Free call

+(971) 44 46 2000


Oryx World Business Centre
Dubai, UAE


+(971) 44 46 2000


The Start-up visa category is for early-stage, high-potential entrepreneurs seeking to establish a business for the first time in the UK.


The Start-up visa enables early-stage entrepreneurs to start, run and grow an innovative business for the first time in the UK. Applicants need to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is approved and supported by a licensed endorsing body. Applicants do not need to have secured any initial funding. however endorsing bodies consider it compelling to see that funding is available or, where this is not possible, that the applicant has a clear and structured fundraising strategy. The Start-up visa lasts for two years, after which time visa holders can apply to switch to another visa category, such as the Innovator visa which offers a pathway to ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ (UK settlement).


In order to apply for the Start-up visa applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has positively assessed your business idea for innovation, viability and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend the majority of your time in the UK on developing your business venture;
  • You have not previously established a business in the UK;
  • Your endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Start-up visa application;
  • You genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking);
  • If you are outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months then you have at least £1270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child and £200 for each additional child.

Start-up visa holders are eligible to stay in the UK for a maximum of two years.

After this time, the visa holder may curtail their stay or apply to switch to another UK visa. Start-up visa holders typically apply to switch to the Innovator visa, which extends their stay in the UK for a further three years. After this time, visa holders may be eligible to apply for UK Indefinite Leave to Remain and ultimately British citizenship.

The investment funds requirement for an Innovator visa is waived for applicants switching from the Start-up category to pursue the same business venture under the Innovator visa.  To be eligible to switch to an Innovator visa, applicants need to have demonstrated significant achievements judged against their business plan.

Our multi-lingual business consultancy team is highly experienced in helping international individuals, students and entrepreneurs to develop Start-up visa-compliant business plans that meet the criteria of being innovative, viable and scalable, and are highly optimised for the UK market.

In addition, our visa consultancy team can help you with all the necessary documentation to apply to a range of suitable endorsing bodies and subsequently make a visa application to the UK Home Office.

Our team has helped over 50 entrepreneurs to successfully obtain Start-up or Innovator visa endorsement and Entry Clearance into the UK. We have a track-record of success in helping our clients to successfully obtaining an endorsement and Start-up visa.