Start Up Visa UK
The UK startup visa was designed to support budding entrepreneurs looking to bring their innovative ideas to fruition in the UK. However, from April 13, 2023, the route for this visa will be suspended. Nevertheless, those applicants who have obtained confirmed startup status before this date will remain eligible to use it.
The startup visa itself was created for talented and ambitious individuals who would like to launch their business in the UK. This offer is for those who have not yet put their business idea into practice, but have the necessary potential and vision to realize it.
One of the key points to consider is that this visa is not a step towards permanent residence in the UK. Its validity period is two years. After this period, the applicant has the option to extend the visa or, depending on the success and achievements in business, to apply for a Founder Innovator visa, which provides greater opportunities for the development and implementation of business projects in the UK.
UK Start Up Visa Requirements
In order to successfully obtain a startup visa in the UK, a candidate must meet a number of key requirements. These criteria are created to ensure that candidates are truly capable of contributing to the country’s economy and realizing their innovative ideas. The key conditions include:
- The required age for the candidate is 18 years old.
- The candidate must not have previously launched a business within the UK, with the exception of those who have been in the country on a Tier 1 student visa.
- One of the key conditions is to obtain approval from an accredited UK institution that tests the business concept for innovation, viability and scalability. Additionally, the institution must be confident that the candidate will actively develop their project in the UK.
- The letter of recommendation from an accredited institution must not be older than three months from the date of application.
- The candidate must be willing and able to undertake the business activities described in their application in the UK.
- English language proficiency at or above CEFR B2, which corresponds to IELTS 5.5 in all sections of the test, is required.
- If the candidate is outside the UK or has lived in the UK for less than a year, they must have at least £1,270 in an account for their maintenance. Additional dependents will also be required: £285 for a partner, £315 for the first child and £200 for each subsequent child.
In order to be successfully selected and approved under the UK start-up visa program, your startup needs to meet a number of key criteria. These criteria have been developed to ensure that your business project does have the potential to grow and develop in the UK market.
- Mashable: This criterion indicates the growth potential of your business. Your startup should be designed so that it can expand over time, increasing its customer portfolio, coverage area or range of services and products offered. Mashable not only reinforces the economic value of your project, but also shows your commitment to building a long-term and sustainable business.
- Viability: This criterion refers to the realism and practicality of your business model. Your startup should demonstrate that it is not only idealistic, but also capable of functioning in real market conditions. This includes understanding your target audience, considering risks, having a well-developed monetization model, and being resilient to changes in the market.
- Innovation: One of the main criteria that separates startups from regular businesses. Your startup should represent something innovative – be it a unique product, service or technology. Innovation demonstrates your commitment to introducing new solutions, which makes your project attractive to investors and partners.
Do You Need Investment Funds To Obtain a Start Up Visa UK
When considering an application for a startup visa in the UK, one of the important aspects is the economic basis of your venture. However, it is worth noting that a specific investment fund or a certain amount of money in your account is not required to obtain such a visa. The key thing is to demonstrate the viability and scalability of your startup.
Viability means that your business model should be sustainable and able to generate revenue, while scalability indicates that your startup can grow and develop by attracting new customers and expanding your market.
However, you need to keep in mind that as your business grows, some approving authorities may recommend or even require additional investment to scale and further grow your startup. This may be due to the need for additional resources, technology or expertise to achieve business goals.
So, while initial investment funds are not a prerequisite for a startup visa, strategic planning and an understanding of potential funding needs will be very helpful on the journey of growing your business in the UK.
Startup Visa Process
Obtaining a startup visa in the UK is a rather complex process that requires the candidate to pay attention to many details and strictly comply with the established requirements. The entire process can be divided into several stages:
- Preparing and filling out the online form. At this stage, the candidate provides basic information about himself and his startup. Filling the form is your first step towards providing the official authorities with the necessary details to consider your candidature.
- Getting approval from an approved body. Before you can proceed with the process, your startup must be approved by an accredited UK body. This ensures that your business meets the criteria of scalability, viability and innovation.
- Proof of English language skills. This is a mandatory requirement, certifying that you are able to communicate effectively in an English-speaking business environment.
- Providing proof of financial solvency. You must prove that you have sufficient funds to live in the UK without accessing state aid.
- Waiting for a decision. Once all documents have been submitted and all requirements have been met, a waiting period begins. During this time, your application will be reviewed and a decision will be made whether to grant you a visa.
- Receiving a decision and visa. If your application is approved, you will receive a startup visa that will allow you to start or continue your business project in the UK.
Whether You Can Bring Dependants With You
Obtaining a startup visa in the UK provides an opportunity not only for the main applicant to come and work in the country, but also for their family and dependents. If you are successful in obtaining this visa, the UK grants you the right to bring your family with you.
The relatives who can accompany the applicant include a spouse and children under the age of 18. These family members will have the right to live, study and work in the UK for the duration of your startup visa.
In this way, the UK offers great opportunities not only for innovators and entrepreneurs, but also for their families, supporting the pursuit of family stability and well-being.
Appeal Process For Start Up Visa in UK
Being refused a startup visa in the UK can be a frustrating experience, but it does not mean the end of your journey. You have the right to appeal the decision and try to prove your eligibility for a visa.
To lodge an appeal you should:
Contact the UK visa office within the prescribed timeframe after receiving the refusal.
Prepare all the necessary documents to prove your eligibility for a visa.
If necessary, consult a lawyer or migration specialist who can provide professional assistance in drafting an appeal.
Common reasons for startup visa denial:
Insufficient substantiation of the innovativeness, viability and scalability of the business idea.
Lack of supporting documents or submission of questionable documents.
Unconfirmed financial solvency of the applicant.
Insufficient English language skills.
Obtaining Permanent Residence Through Start-Up Visa UK
The UK Startup visa provides applicants with the opportunity to start and grow their business in the UK, but it is not a direct route to permanent residence (PR) in the UK. The main purpose of this visa is to support and encourage innovative business projects that can benefit the country’s economy.
However, once the startup visa has expired, the holder may consider switching to an innovator visa. This visa is designed for those who seek to continue developing their business in the UK for a longer period of time. The main condition is the successful fulfillment of the criteria set for startup visa holders. An important advantage of the innovator visa is that it can be a stepping stone to permanent residency in the UK, provided you meet all the requirements and successfully run your business.