UK Start-up visas

UK Start-up visa

This route is designed for people who have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea and who wish to establish a business in the UK for the first time. The Start-up visa route is still open to people who received their endorsement before 13th April 2023 and who apply for their visa within three months of the issue date of their endorsement letter. 

If your application is approved, you will be granted leave to enter the UK for 2 years after which you must move to the Innovator visa route.

Your business idea must be endorsed by an approved endorsement body. The endorsing body will review your business proposal and decide if it meets the innovation, viability and scalability tests. If they believe the business meets these tests, they will produce an endorsement letter about the business.

If you cannot obtain the required endorsement you may wish to consider applying under the UK Expansion Worker route.

There are other requirements that must be met:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must meet English language requirements (the required level is B2)
  • You must provide evidence of personal savings to support yourself during your time in the UK
  • You must not fall foul of the general grounds of refusal (this addresses things such as criminal convictions and breaches of UK immigration laws).

Most people need to apply from outside the UK, although you can apply to switch to the Start-up route if you currently are currently in the UK as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), a Tier 2 migrant, a Tier 4 (General) student or a visitor undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur.

You cannot appeal a refusal of an application under this route, although you can ask for administrative review if you think a mistake has been made. The Home Office will only overturn decisions where there has been a clear error. Because of this, and the high fees involved, it is very important that your application is prepared properly, and the evidence needed is sent with your application

It is advisable to seek specialist immigration advice when preparing your business immigration application. At HS Immigration Consultants we have significant experience in preparing applications for individuals who wish to move to the UK for work and business purposes.

Contact us

If you would like to contact us about your case and to discuss how we can help you, please call us on 0121 698 2187. Alternatively, you can email us at

You can also use our free immigration advice service (this is suitable for general enquiries about immigration requirements).