The purpose of this is to help genuine entrepreneurs seeking to establish an innovative, viable and scalable business in the UK for the first time. The applications opened up on 29 March 2019 to attract non-EEA nationals across the world to start their business in the UK. The visa will be granted for a set period of 2 years. This is a new visa category and is still developing as we receive new information; we will update you accordingly.
What are the requirements?
In order to apply for this application, the requirements are that you must have £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply to show that you can support yourself.
You must also meet the English language requirements. In order to prove this, you may either pass an approved English language test with at least CEFT level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Or you can prove this by having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognized by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.
One of the biggest hurdles and changes in the Law is that before applying for this visa you must have your business or business idea assessed by an approved body otherwise known as an endorsing body. There are two types of endorsing bodies. Firstly, you have Business endorsing bodies and secondly the Higher Education Institute (HEI) endorsing bodies.
Why endorsing bodies?
The reason for having your business endorsed by an endorsing body is to assess the credibility by bodies who have better knowledge of the business market. This has removed the burden from the Home Office assessing the credibility of an application.
How to apply for an endorsement letter?
It should be noted that HEI endorsing bodies prefer to support their alumni or current students. The process for applying for an endorsement varies from each body. However, the general procedure is:
Stage 1: Written application – Please fill out the online application form of the endorsing body to submit online. Applications will be assessed by an expert panel and a shortlist is created for stage 2 interviews.
Stage 2: Interview – Candidates who are successful in stage 1 will be invited to an in-person interview.
Stage 3: All candidates who are successful in stage 2 will be responsible for completing the UKVI application process.
N/B: Once you are endorsed the endorsement letter is valid for 3 months. Within this time, you must apply for the Start-up visa. The Home Office fee for this application is £363.
What happens after this?
The Home Office will decide on your visa application considering factors such as the applicant’s previous educational, work and immigration history and the evidence the applicant has submitted and its credibility. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
What you can do with this visa:
- 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
What you cannot do with this visa
- Receive public funds
- Work as a doctor or dentist in training
- Work as a professional sportsman
- Settle in the UK on this visa
Contact our Tier 1 Start-up and Innovator Visa Solicitors
For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application for Tier 1 Start-up and Innovator, contact our immigration solicitors in London on 0203 755 2858 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By M Khalid Bashir
Abbott & Harris Solicitors
Real people with real advice.