The start up visa is for people looking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. There are two new visa routes: the start up visa and the innovator visa. Each of them is designed to incentivise innovation in the UK and economic growth through a residency programme.
The start up visa is for people looking to establish a business in the UK for the first time.
You must be endorsed by an recognised body to apply. But this is broadly defined and can include appropriate incubators and universities.
It is for 2 years and does not directly lead to settlement in the UK and citizenship. However, the innovator visa does, and you can switch from the start up visa to innovator visa when you have set up your business.
The endorsement criteria are:
- Innovation The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
- ViabilityThe applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
- ScalabilityThere is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.
The great thing is that you can switch to this visa from other visas while within the UK. This is true if you are:
- A Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
- A Tier 2 (work visa) holder
- A Tier 4 (General) student
- A visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur