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09 September 2020
This article outlines everything that applicants should know regarding the requirements for the Start-up visa.
The start-up route is open to applicants who:
This route offers up to two-years' leave and does not lead directly to settlement in the United Kingdom; however, applicants may progress to the Innovator category. There is no minimum investment funding requirement and the applicant need not be the sole founder of the business.
Applicants must have an appropriately issued endorsement from a Home Office-approved endorsing body for this category.
The endorsing body must:
Immigration permission under the Start-up visa category will be cut short if an endorsing body withdraws its endorsement of an individual migrant or if it loses its status as an endorsing body for this category.
Applicants must demonstrate support from an endorsing body listed on the government website through a letter containing:
Applicants whose previous grant of leave was under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, and whose endorsement is from the same endorsing body as that which led to the grant of that leave, must instead confirm that their venture is genuine and credible as follows:
The endorsing body must not have withdrawn support by the time that the application is considered by the Home Office. Successful applicants can change their business venture during their leave with approval from the endorsing body. This will not require a fresh endorsement or a new visa application. In a future immigration application to the Innovator category, those who change businesses will need only to meet the 'same business' criteria for extension and will not need to show the proof of £50,000 in funding that is required for 'new business' applications.(1)
In addition to the requirement for endorsement, the Home Office will make its own assessments in relation to an applicant's:
The Home Office can ask for further information or evidence from the applicant or the endorsing body and may refuse the application if it is not satisfied that the endorsement was issued appropriately.
Applicants in the Start-up category must also meet an English-language requirement, which is set at Level B2 of the Council of Europe's common European framework for language and learning, as well as a cash fund maintenance requirement of £945 and £630 for any dependants.
For further information on this topic please contact Andrew Osborne or Naomi Hanrahan-Soar at Lewis Silkin by telephone (+44 20 7074 8000) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Lewis Silkin website can be accessed at www.lewissilkin.com.
(1) For further information please see "Factsheet - Innovator Visa".
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