Start-up Visa: Everything you need to know about Start-up Visa in the UK

Start-up Visa: Everything you need to know about Start-up Visa in the UK

20 Jan 2022

By Admin

Category: Visa

04:48 pm

Immigration Updates:

From 13 April 2023, the start-up visa is only available to those who hold a valid start-up endorsement issued before the 13 April 2023.

From 13 July 2023, the start-up route will be closed to all new applications.

What is Start-up Visa?

A start-up visa is suitable for people who want to set up an innovative business in the UK, no previous business experience is required, such as graduate students can apply. According to the Home Office,  the business must be something that’s different from anything else on the market.

A Start-up visa is valid for 2 years, it does not lead to settlement in the UK, it cannot be extended either. However, you may be able to switch to an Innovator visa after 2 years to continue to develop your business in the UK.

A start-up visa holder can bring dependents (spouse/same-sex partner and children under 18) to the UK. During the 2-year visa period, you need to spend most of your time in starting a business, but you can also carry out other works to maintain your living.

What are the requirements?

  1. must be 18 years old or above
  2. English language requirement CEFR B2 level (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking)
  3. your business or business idea has been endorsed by an approved endorsing body 
  4. your business needs to be unique - different from any existing business in the market; innovative - it must be your original idea; viable - it needs to have a growth potential 
  5. you also need to have at least £945 to support your living in the UK (and £630 for each dependent) without relying on public funds.
  6. need to prove you have enough savings to support your living in the UK, how much depends on how long you have been living in the UK, more information can be found here

Points Score Requirement

How much does it cost?

The fees include the Application Fee and Healthcare surcharge fee, if you’re switching to this visa within the UK, you also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. The fees for your dependants are usually the same amount as you.

Application Fee:

Who you’re applying for

Apply (outside the UK)

Switch (in the UK)




Your partner and children

£378 each person

£508 each person

Healthcare surcharge:

£624 per year

Processing time

After submitting your online application, normally you’ll get a decision within 3 weeks if you’re outside the UK, and 8 weeks if you’re inside the UK.

Endorsement for a Start-up visa   

  • You must have your business idea supported by a UK endorsing body that has evaluated it for creativity, feasibility, and scalability, and is satisfied that you will spend most of your working time in the UK on growing your business venture.
  • Your endorsement letter should be sent out no later than three months before your Start-up visa application is due.
  • Any business activities in the UK listed in your application must be something you truly want to do and are capable of doing.

An approved endorsing body must be satisfied that your business plan satisfies all of the following requirements in order for it to be endorsed:

  • Innovation: You have a real, unique company idea that addresses new or existing market demands and/or gives you a competitive edge.
  • Viability: You have the ability or you are actively developing the needful skills, expertise, experience, and market awareness to manage the business successfully.
  • Scalability: Your business plan has the ability to create jobs and expand into new areas across the country.
  • The endorsing body will also want to know that you'll be spending most of your working time in the UK on new company projects.

How can WPC help with securing Start-up visa endorsement? 

Our Immigration Advisors can advise you on the most appropriate endorsing bodies for your application.

WorkPermitCloud Limited is also a trusted introducer to a number of endorsing bodies, ensuring that qualified customers have direct contact with investment panel members as well as transparent and speedy decision-making.

If you have more questions relating to Start-up Visa or want to discuss your specific situation with us, please contact us at: