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What does the Start-up visa mean?

11 September 2019
What does the Start-up visa mean?

Earlier this year the Government launched the start-up visa, replacing the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, which is aimed at ambitious non-EEA national entrepreneurs who are looking to establish their first business in the UK. The route is open to graduates and non-graduates and is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to start their career while bringing a wider benefit to the UK economy.

The Start up visa is for early stage, but high potential entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK, for the first time. They may have already begun setting up their business, but it should not yet have commenced trading.

The visa is open only to individuals who have secured an appropriate endorsement from a recognised authorising body. In order to obtain endorsement, an individual’s idea will be assessed on:

  • Innovation – the business plan must be genuine and original which meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage
  • Viability – the applicant has, or is actively developing the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run their business
  • Scalability – The applicant must provide evidence of structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

While there are no criteria stating applicants must have funds to invest in their business, the requirements of the business idea being ‘viable’ and ‘scalable’ may mean that, in practice, applicants will need to have funds available to invest. Further, a number of endorsing bodies require applicants to have a certain level of funding as a condition of their endorsement.

The Start-up visa may be granted for a maximum period of 2 years. After the initial 2 years’ individuals would need to switch to another visa category, such as the innovator visa.

If you would like professional guidance to ensure correct interpretation and understanding of the new rules and would like to speak to an expert Immigration Lawyer, please contact us via email at contact@davenportsolicitors.com or telephone on 02079036888.

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