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What is the UK Start-Up route and who is it aimed at?

22 August 2022
What is the UK Start-Up route and who is it aimed at?

The UK Start-up route is a business immigration visa aimed at individuals who want to set up a business in the UK for the first time. They don’t need to be a graduate or have secured any initial funding in order to apply for the visa. However, you will need to have an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea that has been approved by an endorsing body. In this post, we look at what is the UK Start-Up route and who is it aimed at?

What is the UK start-up route?

The Startup 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.

Who is the start-up route aimed at?

The Start-up route is aimed at early-stage, but high-potential, entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business in the UK for the first time.

Generally, Start-up route applicants will not already have started setting up their business in the UK. However, where they have, the new business should not yet have started trading. The only exceptions to this are if the applicant has already been granted leave under the Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) categories, or under the Tier 4 doctorate extension scheme.

If you are an experienced businessperson seeking to establish a business in the UK then the Innovator visa may be more appropriate. If you wish to join an already trading business, then the Skilled Worker visa may be more suitable.

What is the criteria for the UK Start-Up Route?

In order to qualify for a Start-up route, you will need to meet the following criteria:

-You are at least 18 years old;
-You have not previously established a business in the UK (unless you previously held leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur);
-You have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed your business idea for innovation, viability, and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend the majority of your working time in the UK on developing your business venture;
-Your endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Start-up visa application;
-You genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application;
-You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking);
-If you are outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months then you have at least £1270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child, and £200 for each additional child

If you’re interested in applying for the UK start-up route, we can help. Our team of experienced business immigration lawyers are on hand to guide you through the application process. Contact us today to learn more.

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