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Start-Up Visa Application Service

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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 a 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. Graduate students can apply.

According to the Home Office, the business must be 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 and cannot be extended.

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, most of your time you must be spend working on your new business. 

You can also carry out other works to maintain your living.

What are the requirements for a Start-up Visa?

  1. must be 18 years old or above
  2. meet the 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. have enough savings to support you living in the UK, find more details here

How much does it cost to apply for a Start-up Visa?

The fees include the application fee and healthcare surcharge fee. 

Addionaly, a £19.20 biometric (fingerprints and a photo taken) fee might be charged if you are switching to a Start-up visa within the UK.

The fees for Start-up dependants are usually the same as the main applicant.

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 for Start-up Visa

After submitting a Start-up visa 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   

  1. You must have your business idea supported by a UK endorsing body that has evaluated it for creativity, feasibility and scalability. 
  2. Your endorsement letter should be sent out no later than three months before your Start-up visa application is due.
  3. 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:

  1. Innovation: You have a real, unique company idea that addresses new or existing market demands and/or gives you a competitive edge.
  2. Viability: You have the ability or you are actively developing the skills, expertise, experience and market awareness to manage the business successfully.
  3. Scalability: Your business plan has the ability to create jobs and expand into new areas across the country.

How can WorkPermitCloud help with securing a Start-up visa endorsement? 

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

WorkPermitCloud is also a trusted introducer to a number of endorsing bodies.

Book our professional Immigration service at info@workpermitcloud.co.uk

How can we help you today?

Let us help you with your Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence UK