UK Start Up Visa
You can apply for a Start-up visa if:
- you want to set up a business in the UK
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- you meet the other eligibility requirements
You must be endorsed by an authorized body that is either:
- a UK higher education institution
- a business organization with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs
How long it takes to get a visa
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
Example You can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June.
What you Can and Cannot do
- bring family members with you
- switch to this visa from some other visa categories
- work in another job, as well as working for your business
- get public funds
- work as a doctor or dentist in training
- work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
- settle in the UK on this visa
Before you apply you need to have your business or business idea assessed by an approved body.
They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is viable.
You must also:
- be at least 18 years old
- meet the English language requirement
- be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the UK
Read the specific requirements for the Start-up visa before you apply.
You need to have had at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
Knowledge of English
You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.
You can prove your knowledge of English by either:
- passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
- having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognized by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD
You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve already proved it to be level B2 or above in an earlier successful application.
Documents you must provide
When you apply you need to provide an ‘endorsement letter’ from an authorized body.
You’ll also need to provide:
- a current passport or other valid travel identification
- bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply
- your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
- proof that you have knowledge of the English language
You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.
You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.
You must apply online for a Start-up visa.
You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application center (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.
You’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK (even if you actually arrive at a later date).
You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in – check with your visa application center.