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The Start-up Visa route is designed to allow new Entrepreneurs to set up a new Business in the UK. This visa works in replacement of the previous Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. It is not necessary for the applicant to be a graduate and there is no requirement for initial level of funding for eligibility.


How it works:


In order to be eligible for this category, it is necessary to be endorsed by an organisation that is approved by the Home Office. This is the first of two stages for successful application. Only Universities or approved Business Sponsors can provide endorsement. A detailed Business plan must be submitted before an endorsement can be given. Once successfully obtaining an endorsement, the visa application can be submitted to the Home Office.




  • You must be 18 and over to make this application;
  • Your Business idea must be assessed and approved by an approved endorsing body before applying;
  • You must receive an endorsement letter; and
  • You must meet the English Language requirement.




You must have at least £1270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before application begins as proof of your ability to support yourself.


What You Can Do:


  • Work for your Business.
  • Set up a or several Businesses.
  • Bring over eligible dependents.
  • Travel abroad and still return to the UK.
  • Apply for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ (ILR) in the UK if you have lived here for 3 years and meet other eligibility requirements.


What You Cannot Do:


  • You cannot settle in the UK with this Visa.
  • You cannot join an existing Business.
  • You cannot work in the UK as professional sportsperson.
  • You cannot apply for most public funds benefits or the State Pension.


You will not require any funds to invest your Business. However, in order to receive endorsement, it is likely that you will need to have funds available to invest as a way of presenting a viable Business plan. Some endorsing bodies may even require a level of funding as an endorsement eligibility.

Start-Up Visa applicants can search the Home Office publications for a list of authorised endorsing bodies. This list contains links for each endorsing body with necessary information about the entity including details of application and eligibility criteria.

This is down to your individual circumstances. We can advise and guide you according to your needs when selecting the right endorsing body for your application.

You cannot apply for a Start-Up Visa without an endorsement so it is the first step of the application process. The Home Office will explore other eligibility factors in addition to endorsement when granting the visa.

You can apply as part of a team but each member of the team must receive their own individual endorsement from an endorsing body.

Yes, but only under the condition that you are continuing to work on your own Business enough to present reasonable progress in development of your Business idea.

Once a full application has been submitted and accepted by the Home Office- you will get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks if applying from outside of the UK and 8 weeks if your applying to switch visas from inside the UK. If your country offers a Priority Service then you can apply under this route at an extra cost. Collection time is usually within 5 working days under the standard Priority Service and within 24 hours if a Super Priority Service is used.

This Visa is valid for a maximum of two years. You will have to apply to switch to another visa category as the two-year period comes to an end to develop your Business.
The Innovator Visa is intended to be the appropriate route after the initial period as a Start Up visa holder.

You can switch to the Start-up Visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and must switch to this visa before your current visa expires. You must also currently be in the UK on one of the following visas:

  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • Skilled Worker Visa
  • Intra-company Visa
  • Student Visa
  • Standard Visitor Visa – if you came to the UK to get funding and already had a supporting letter from an endorsing body

Contact White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public for expert advice by experienced professionals on all areas of Immigration law. The many conditions and immigration requirements that must be met are handled by White Horse Solicitors and Notary Public with excellent professionalism, reliable conduct and integrity. We will ensure that our advice focuses on your personal circumstances and will always aim to achieve brilliant results for our clients.


White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public is well placed and highly qualified in providing professional advice and assistance on making a Start Up Visa application. We recommend getting in contact with us on 020 7118 1778 for our specialist and professional advice on such an application before any action is taken.

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public makes every effort to keep this information current, however prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on

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