- Knowledge of English
- Documents you must provide
- Switch to this visa
- Family members
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 authorised body that is either:
- a UK higher education institution
- a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs
You must be able to show that your business idea is:
- a new idea – you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading
- innovative – you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market
- viable, with potential for growth
Read the endorsing bodies list – you should only approach ones that are suitable for your business idea.
How long it takes to get a visa
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
You can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.
How much you pay for a Start-up visa depends on your situation and where you apply from.
|Who you’re applying for||Apply (outside the UK)||Switch (in the UK)|
|If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia||£308||£438|
|All dependants||£363 each person||£493 each person|
You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.
How long you can stay
You can stay in the UK for 2 years on a Start-up visa.
You cannot apply to extend this visa.
You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you’ve:
- completed your second year on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
- switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa to a Start-up visa for your second year
If your endorsement is withdrawn
Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.
You can only stay for a total of 2 years even if you’re granted a new visa with a new endorsement.
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.