United Kingdom: Startup Visa


You can apply for a Start-up visa if:


You need to be endorsed by an authorized body that is either:

  • a UK higher education institution
  • a business organization with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs

You must be able to show that your business idea is:

  • New – a business that is not already trading
  • Innovative – original business idea that is different from anything that is already on the market
  • Viable, and has a growth potential 

How long does it take to get the Visa:

The earliest you can apply before travelling is 3 months.


You pay for a Start-up visa depending on your situation and where you apply.

Who you are applying forApply (outside the UK)Switch (in the UK)
If you are a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia£308£438
All dependents£363 each person£493 each person

You will also need to pay for the healthcare surcharge as a part of your application.

Length of your stay:

You can stay in the UK for 2 years on a Start-up visa and you can NOT apply for Visa extension.

You may be eligible to apply for a switch to a Tier (Entrepreneur Visa) if:

  • you have completed your second year on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • you have switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa to a Start-up visa for your second year

What you can and cannot do:

You can:

  • Bring family members
  • Switch to another category visa
  • Work in another job, while still working for your business

You cannot:

  • Get public funds
  • Work as a dentist or doctor in training
  • Work as a professional sportsperson (Exp. Coach)
  • Settle in the UK on this visa

Eligibility Requirements:

First, you need your business or business idea to be assessed by an approved body. If your business is Viable, they will provide you with an endorsement.

Other requirements:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • meet the English Language Requirement (B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening)
  • be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you are in the UK (you have at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply)

Documents needed:

When applying for the visa, you need to provide:

  • an endorsement letter from an authorized body
  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • bank statements showing you have had at least £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply
  • tuberculosis test result (in case you are from a country where you must take the test)
  • proof of knowledge of the English language
  • a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.

How to apply:

The application for a Start-up visa happens online.

You will need to:

Source: GOV.UK
Last Updated: 07/2020

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