UK startup visa is a recent update of UK business immigration category. This route is intended to attract global innovators and promising candidates who can contribute in the UK economy by bringing innovative practices in its business environment and improve productivity. UK startup visa is non-immigrant visa issued for two years for establishing a business venture in the UK. UK startup visa holder can work in the UK while they establish their businesses. However, it is the candidates responsibility to secure funds to support their startups.
UK Startup visa is a two-step process
In its first step of UK startup visa, candidate will be required to present an innovative business idea and get it approved by an accredited endorsement agency by home office. For the startup visa, there are two types of accredited endorsement agencies. Higher education Institutions are UK universities, colleges and institutions which are involved in academic and research activities. These institutions are more likely to endorse their own candidates. Business endorsement agencies are primarily involved in providing incubation facilities, business accelerators and support services to startup businesses. Once a startup candidate business plan is endorsed, the candidate can apply to UKVI for a startup visa.
Criteria for endorsement of a startup business plan by endorsement agencies
Endorsement agencies will make sure that the business plan of startup candidate is innovative, viable and scalable. The business will be a new business and the business idea is unique and do not create or increase local competition and the business idea must add something new to the existing market offerings or create its own market. Although the UK startup visa does not require a UK academic degree nor it requires substantial startup capital, however, the requirement of innovative business plan will be real challenge to prospective candidates. Professional consultants such as accountants, business economist, business analyst or financial analyst may be help full in developing the candidate business idea.
The cost associated with UK startup visa
UK startup visa is a two year non-extendable non-immigrant visa. However, you can switch to other categories after successful business startup such as Innovator visa or Tier 2 visa, or skilled migration visas. For more expansive information on the cost associated with startup visa read here.
English language requirements for UK startup visas
English language requirement for UK startup visa depends on candidate nationality. However, candidates belonging to non-english speaking nations are required to prove UKVI approved english language criteria. In general, UK startup visa candidates are required to demonstrate english language competency at CEFR level B2. Now for UK startup visa, english language requirement is updated to higher level as compared to its predecessor Tier 1 entrepreneur visa.
Applying for a UK startup visa
Candidates are required to apply for a UK startup visa online. They will need to participate in a video interview process as well as submitting biometric information to visa facilitation centres for UKVI. Before submitting UK visa application to UKVI, candidates should seek professional advice from OISC registered immigration consultants. Immigration application could be very challenging and candidates should prepare their application much before their intended start date. Candidates should collect and compile all supporting documents that justify their personal profile, travel history, family tree, supporting documents that helped endorsement of business plan such as customer surveys, property correspondences, product or service discovery, price discovery, etc.