How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Start-Up Visa in the UK

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Start-Up Visa in the UK

As an individual, you can use the UK Start-up Visa get your business up and running in Great Britain or Northern Ireland. It replaces the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.

The UK Start-up Visa is available for new entrepreneurs planning to open a business in the UK. It doesn’t matter whether you are a graduate or have received funding. However, you will need an original, viable, and scalable business plan that is approved by an endorsement body.


Who is Eligible For a UK Start-up Visa?

Anyone who wishes to apply for a Start-up (Tier 1) visa must meet specific eligibility requirements.

  • You must have a viable, innovative, and scalable business plan, and be keen to start a UK business.
  • A Home Office-approved endorsing body must endorse your business idea.
  • The English language requirement must be met.
  • You must be at a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • You must show sufficient personal savings to sustain yourself while in the UK.


Eligibility Criteria

A UKVI-approved endorsing organisation must endorse you and your business idea. We recommend applying for the Start-up visa while you are a student or recent graduate.

This endorsement must confirm that your business meets the following requirements:

Innovation: You have a real, original business plan. It meets market needs or creates a competitive edge.

Viability: You possess or are actively acquiring the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to run your business successfully.

Scalability: There is evidence of a structured plan and potential for job creation in national markets.

You also must:

  • Have not set up a business in the UK previously.
  • Be either the sole founder of the company or an instrumental member of the founding team (more than one applicant can be endorsed for the same business as long as each applicant is a founding member).
  • Be responsible for executing the plan by relying on your business plan or having generated the ideas in the project (or making a significant contribution to those ideas).


Start-Up Visa Maintenace Criteria

You must have £1,270 at least 28 days before the date you apply. However, you do not need to provide this evidence if you:

  • You are applying from the UK, and you have been living in the UK for more than 12 months.
  • The endorsing organisation confirms that they have provided funding.

You should also consider how you’ll fund your start-up business and ensure you can support yourself whilst developing the business.


Start-Up Visa English Language Criteria

You must be at the B2 CEFR English level. This level is lower than that required for a Student visa. You will likely already have attained the English language requirement if you are a student or have a Tier 4/Student Visa.

The English language criteria are met if the following applies:

  • You are a citizen of a country with a majority English-speaking population.
  • You hold a degree in English from a UK University.
  • You have passed the Secure English language test according to Appendix O Immigration rules and attained at least B2 level.
  • The requirement has been met in a previous successful application (e.g. Tier 4 Student visa or previous visa application).


How to Increase Your Chances?

Getting a start-up visa in the UK can be an excellent opportunity to start your own business and gain access to a thriving market. However, to increase your chances of success, you should take the following steps:

Develop a solid business plan: Your business plan should clearly articulate your product or service, target market, competition, and financial projections. In addition, it should demonstrate a clear understanding of the market and a sustainable business model.

Demonstrate relevant experience: You should have prior experience in the field in which your start-up will be operating. This can include appropriate education, work experience, or skills demonstrating your ability to launch and manage a business successfully.

Show proof of funding: You should have enough financial resources to support yourself and your business while you are in the UK. You should demonstrate that you have access to at least £945 in savings and have secured additional funding to support your business.

Seek endorsement from an approved organisation: You need to have an endorsement from an approved endorsing body, such as a UK university, business accelerator, or seed fund. You should research and contact these organisations to understand their requirements and how they can support your application.

Submit a robust application: You should carefully complete your application, providing all required documents and evidence. Your application should be precise and concise and demonstrate that you meet all the eligibility requirements.

Prepare for an interview: You may be required for an interview as part of the application process. You should prepare for this interview by practising your responses to common questions and being prepared to articulate your business plan and your qualifications for the start-up visa.


How Can We Help?

Overall, the key to increasing your chances of getting a start-up visa in the UK is demonstrating a solid business plan, relevant experience, adequate funding, and an endorsement from an approved organisation. By following these steps, you can improve your chances of success and take advantage of the UK market’s opportunities.

You’re sure to get lost in a tornado of administration, so we highly recommend that you procure the services of professional immigration lawyers. Cromwell Wilkes Law Solicitors understands your concerns and will work with you to find efficient solutions. We will give you advice based on your situation for the best chance of success.

We are specialists in immigration law and can answer any questions you may have about the Start-up visa or the Innovation visa. For more information, please complete this form. Please provide as much information as possible to enable your appointed Cromwell Wilkes lawyer to give you the best service.