Start-up Visa

The Start-up Visa is an ideal visa category for new entrepreneurs who wish to set up a business in the UK for the first time.

The Start-up visa allows you to remain in the UK for up to two years.

Overview of Requirements:

There are numerous requirements in order to obtain a Start-up Visa, depending on your personal and business circumstances.

The following are some key requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must meet the English language requirement
  • You need to show that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself while you are in the UK. In particular, you need to prove that you have had at least £945, plus £630 for each dependant in your bank account for 90 consecutive days prior to the application
  • You must not have been in breach of immigration laws, except for any period of overstaying allowed under the Immigration Rules
  • You must not have previously established a business in the UK
  • Your business must be innovative, viable and scalable
  • Your business or your business idea must be assessed and endorsed by an authorised endorsing body. You can see a list of all the authorised endorsing bodies published on the Home Office website.

As a QC Immigration client, you will benefit from a detailed document list, document checks, thorough guide for any interview and ongoing advice to help you meet the above-mentioned requirements.

Application Process

You need to apply online for a Start-up Visa via this Home Office link.

You will be required to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre in order to obtain a biometric residence permit as part of your application. Thereafter, you will have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you initially stated that you would arrive in the UK.


You may apply to switch to an Innovator Visa and after three years of continually residing in the UK on an Innovator visa, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Frequently Asked Questions

How early can I apply for a Start-up Visa?

The earliest you can apply for a Start-up Visa is 3 months prior to traveling to the UK.

How long does it take to get a decision on a Start-up Visa?

A decision on a Start-up Visa can take up to 3 weeks. You can check the Home Office guide processing times to find out how long obtaining a visa might take in your country.

Can I bring my family members with me to the UK if I am on a Start-up Visa?

You can bring your family members (‘dependants’) with you, namely your husband, wife or partner and children under 18. Importantly, they must apply for the relevant Dependent visas.

Can I switch to a Start-up Visa if I am in the UK on another visa?

You may be able to switch to a Start-up Visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you are in the UK on one of the following visas:

Do I need to be the sole founder of the business in order to qualify for a Start-up Visa?

You do not need to be the sole founder of the business in order to be eligible for a Start-up Visa. You can apply as a member of an entrepreneurial team. Nevertheless, each member of the Start-up team must be issued their own individual endorsement and meet all the other requirements.

Will I be able to join or take over existing businesses?

You may establish a new and innovative UK business only. If you wish to join or take over an existing UK business, other visa categories are available such as:

Am I allowed to work elsewhere?

Start-up migrants, like Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants, are able to take up supplementary employment (with no limit on hours) to support themselves, while they get their businesses up and running.

What happens if my Endorsing body loses or withdraws its status?

If an endorsement has been withdrawn or the Endorsing body loses its status, the Home Office will consider curtailing the leave of any Start-up migrants or Innovators it had endorsed. They may do so with immediate effect, or to allow you to retain part of the remaining duration of their visa, or not to curtail your leave at all. If your leave is curtailed, you would need to secure a fresh endorsement from a new Endorsing body.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with a Start-up visa application, please call 02036378633 or email today. Our fee is fixed and affordable.

We can also provide recommendations for Endorsing Bodies that our clients have successfully secured Endorsements from.


What do our users say

Thank you very much for your contribution and good job you have done for me and my family. Today, I feel that thanking you is not enough. You will remain in our hearts and we will always have this deepest and sincere regard for you, as you have always shown your kindness and your work have been appreciated by the whole family.

Long Residence Settlement (10 years) client – Mauritian

Qiyin is an extremely diligent and thorough immigration lawyer. She took the time to fully understand my case and application for the highly skilled migrant program. She was very careful to consider both the short and longer term issues related to my application and provided very balanced and frank advice. My highly skilled migrant visa was successfully renewed thanks to her advice and help. I highly recommend her.

Tier 1 (General) visa client – Singaporean

I would like to thank you for all the hard work you’ve done for us in the past few years! I am now finished with the whole process and had my UK Citizenship ceremony. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you!

Entry Clearance Settlement (Spouse) visa client – Canadian

Thank you for all your help. I got the visa this morning and look forward to going on holiday. See you again in 30 months for the next visa.

PEO same-day service (Spouse leave to remain) client – Thai

We are so glad that our friend recommended you to help with our ILR application and we have no doubt it may have been a different story if we were applying without your support! We appreciate your professional approach and knowledge on immigration matters and wish your business well in the future (we are sure you will be very successful). Have no doubt we will be using your services for our application for Citizenship.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Spouse) client – Russian

The QC Immigration team has proved an absolute star on the immigration front and my son’s fiancée is now happily settled, thank you again.

Partner (Fiancée) Settlement Visa – Brazilian

Many thanks for all your work on our application, especially since I contacted you on short notice! I contacted you on Sept 22nd and we signed up with you on/around Sept 27th! So we pulled this all together a little over 3 weeks.

Premium Service (Fiancée) Partner visa client – American

You have exceeded our expectations by saving us so much time and money when organising this! Thank you for also co-operating with our investment manager and accountant to ensure everything ran smoothly.

Tier 1 Investor (Super Premium Service) client – Chinese

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client - Dutch

EEA Permanent Residence client – Belgian

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

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