BIAAP has first hand experience of starting up!

Start-Up Visa

This visa is the UK’s way of welcoming innovative businesses and futuristic entrepreneurs with open arms!

There is a certain attraction in starting-up your operations in global alpha cities like London, where the diversity in demographics and culture provide unique opportunities for your business idea to take firm root.

As you may know the UK is one of the top 3 countries globally in total number of start-ups!

Note: The Start-up Visa replaces the Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) Visa.

Basic Criteria:
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must meet the English language requirement (certain exemptions may exist)
  • Provide Proof of Identity
  • Submit a Tuberculosis test (dependant on country of origin)

Financial Information:

Prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK for the duration of your stay

You need to have at least £1270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply, or if you’ve been in the UK for less than a year and applying to switch to this visa

Cost of Visa:

  • If the application is from outside the UK: £363
  • If the application is from within the UK: £493
  • Fee structure for dependants is the same (provided they meet the eligibility requirements)
  • Pay the Healthcare surcharge (also applicable for each of your dependants)
  • £19.20 may be charged to take bio-metric information if you are applying from within the UK

Note: conditions may vary if you are from certain eligible countries

Specific Eligibility Requirements:

Nature of the Business or Business Idea: it must be innovative and different from anything else on the market; it must be new – you cannot join a going concern; it must have growth potential i.e., viability
Approval of Endorsing Body: you must have an Endorsement Letter from an accredited Endorsement Body (UK based higher education institution or Business Organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs) for your business or business idea.

Other Details:

Your partner and children can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible

With a Start-up visa you can:

  • Bring your partner and children with you if they’re eligible
  • Work in another job, as well as working for your business
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK
  • You can also switch to this visa from some other visa categories

You cannot:

  • Apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  • Work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
  • Settle in the UK on this visa
Duration and Application:


You can stay for 2 years if you either: come to the UK on a Start-up visa or switch to this visa from another visa while in the UK

If you want to stay longer in the UK – You cannot apply to extend this visa.

You may be able to switch to an Innovator visa if you set up a business while on a Start-up visa and:

your endorsing body assessed and agreed it; it is active, trading, and sustainable; you have day to day involvement in it

Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn by the endorsing body. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires. Nevertheless, you can only stay for a total of 2 years even if you’re granted a new visa with a new endorsement.

Once you’ve applied, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa: within 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK; and 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

As a specialist Immigration Law Firm founded in 2015, BIAAP is acutely aware and has successfully overcome the start-up challenges that any small entity faces. We come from a strong background of adhering to a vision and bias towards action.

We trust our own lessons learnt will benefit our new clients in this space for a successful and growing working relationship.

This website is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. As the law is subject to changes and updates, please do not act and/or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site. Always seek legal assistance when required from a accredited and practicing professional i.e. solicitors. BIAAP (Brightway Immigration and Asylum Practitioners) is subject to and upholds the laws of the United Kingdom and adheres to the code of conduct required by our profession.