You can apply for a Start-up visa if:
- you want to set up a business in the UK
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- you meet the other eligibility requirements
You must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either:
- a UK higher education institution
- a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs
You must be able to show that your business idea is:
- a new idea - you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading
- innovative - you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market
- viable, with potential for growth
Read the endorsing bodies list - you should only approach ones that are suitable for your business idea.
How long it takes to get a visa
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
You can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.
How much you pay for a Start-up visa depends on your situation and where you apply from.
|Who you’re applying for||Apply (outside the UK)||Switch (in the UK)|
|If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia||£308||£438|
|All dependants||£363 each person||£493 each person|
How long you can stay
You can stay in the UK for 2 years on a Start-up visa.
You cannot apply to extend this visa.
You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you’ve:
- completed your second year on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
- switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa to a Start-up visa for your second year
If your endorsement is withdrawn
Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.
You can only stay for a total of 2 years even if you’re granted a new visa with a new endorsement.
What you can and cannot do
- bring family members with you
- switch to this visa from some other visa categories
- work in another job, as well as working for your business
- get public funds
- work as a doctor or dentist in training
- work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
- settle in the UK on this visa