Start-Up Visa

2024 Update: The UK Start-up Visa is currently not available to new applicants.

If you are looking to start an business in the UK which is truly innovative, and you can prove that it is different to anything already on the market, a Start-up Visa might be right for you.

In order to apply for a Start-up Visa, you must provide evidence that:

  • you have a proposal for a business which is:
    • new
    • original, innovative and unlike anything which is already on the market
    • viable and has the potential to grow
  • you and your proposal have been endorsed by either:
    • a UK university or college
    • a business organisation with a track record of providing support to entrepreneurs operating in the UK
  • you have enough money to support yourself in the UK when you arrive, or prior to switching to this visa
    • this is usually defined as having a minimum of £1270 in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days before applying

A Start-up visa is valid for up to two years, but cannot be extended. If you are granted a Start-up visa and wish to remain in the UK when it expires, you may have to apply to switch to another visa. If you have successfully established your business and remain involved in its day-to-day operations, you may be able to switch to an Innovator Founder Visa.

Start-Up Visa process and costs

Once the Home Office is in receipt of your application and any supporting documentation, you can usually expect to receive a decision within three weeks if you are applying from outside the UK. If you are already in the UK when you apply, getting a decision can take up to 8 weeks.  You may be able to receive a decision within in a few working days depending on your specific circumstances by paying for UK Visas and Immigration’s priority or super priority service.

Applications for a Start-up Visa cost £435 if applying from outside the UK, and £584 from within the UK. If you wish to include any dependants to your application i.e. your partner and/or any children, you will have to pay the same amount again per each person you want to add.

You will also have to pay the UK’s healthcare surcharge as part of your application for each year that the visa will be valid.

Demetris Demetriou

Demetris is a dual-qualified lawyer in the UK (Solicitor) and Cyprus (Advocate) with 10+ years of experience in UK immigration. He completed his legal studies at University College London and City University London. Over the course of his career, he held key roles as Head of Immigration at Legal 500 firms and within the Big4, overseeing teams of 15+ fee earners handling 2000+ applications annually.

Demetris went on to co-establish his firm in London and continues to offer innovative solutions and strategic immigration planning to multinationals, SMEs, and private clients.

He personally represented 1500+ clients in 30+ visa routes including investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, sole representatives, students, family visas, global talent, UK ancestry, administrative reviews and appeals. Demetris has managed corporate relocations, conducted immigration law training and implemented post-Brexit immigration policies for corporate clients.

Demetris has been featured in various events and publications focusing on UK immigration, notably at the Cambridge Network, the Westminster Policy Forum and most recently at DGEMS, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.

Tatiani Preifelt

Tatiani has a wealth of expertise in global mobility and corporate immigration. Her ample skills were acquired within leading immigration practices including three out of the Big4 firms in both the UK and Sweden. Tatiani went on to co-establish her firm in London where she continues to advise clients predominantly in corporate, business and skilled work migration.

Having personally relocated to 10 different countries, Tatiani understands the importance of an expedient and successful immigration process and takes pride in delivering a seamless experience to her clients as well.

Over the course of her career, she has assisted over 500 individuals and businesses to obtain the appropriate visa permits in the UK.

Her awarded academic work at The University of Oxford, The London School of Economics, and at The Geneva University is in the fields of Political Science, International Human Rights Law, and Global Migration Governance.

She regularly provides immigration training and has recently participated as a speaker and panellist at DGEMS 2023, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.