Since the referendum campaign on Brexit, “Global Britain” has been one of the expressions most used by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This was followed up by the introduction of a new visa route- The Start-Up Visa.
What is a Start-Up Visa?
A Start-up Visa is a new visa route in the UK that allows entrepreneurs from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland to set up a business in the UK. The route replaced the previous Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa and is mainly aimed at entrepreneurs looking to establish a business for the first time. The start-up must be something that is different from anything else on the market.
• The applicant must show, in a business plan, that their business idea is:
a) Innovative- The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
b) Viable. The applicant has the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to successfully run the business.
c) Scalable. There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.
• The applicant must be endorsed by an authorized body that is either:
a) A UK higher education institution
b) A Business organization with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs, which might have additional charges for bespoke support.
• The applicant must be at least 18 years old
• The applicant must not be currently holding an established business in the UK (unless the applicant previously held leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur).
• The applicant must be endorsed and approved by the UK endorsing body that has assessed their business idea for innovation, viability, and scalability.
• The endorsement letter of the applicant must be issued not more than 3 months before the date of the Start-up visa application.
• The applicant must be capable of undertaking the work/business activity in the UK as stated in the application.
• The applicant must have at least £1270 in their bank account for 28 days preceding the application or if in the U.K. for less than a year.
• The applicant must meet the English requirement of B2 unless a national from an exempt country like the USA.
• Do a tuberculosis test if required.
• The applicant must not be in breach of any immigration laws and or fail for refusal under general grounds. This includes family members as well.
• Once the Start-Up Migrant visa is granted, the applicants will need to keep in touch with their endorsing body after 6 and 12 months.
• The endorsing bodies must satisfy themselves that the applicants are progressing with their business or are pursuing a new business idea that is also innovative, viable, and scalable. If the endorsing body is not satisfied with the progress, they can withdraw their endorsement, which means that the applicant’s Start-Up Migrant visa is curtailed.
• The visa will be granted for a set period of two years, or the remaining balance of two years if the applicant has previously held leave in Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or start-up categories. At the end of the two years, the applicants can switch into the innovator category based on the same business idea, provided they can still obtain an endorsement.
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