Start-up Visa

Our experienced business immigration solicitors at Woodcock Law can guide you through the UK Start-up visa route.

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A quick look

You can no longer apply for this visa.

The visa is valid for two years. You will have to apply to switch to another visa category once this is over.

No, this visa does not need to be accompanied by a Sponsor Licence.

You are allowed to:

  • Work in another job, as well as working for your business
  • Bring your partner and/or children with you, if eligible
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK
  • Switch to this visa from another routes

You are not allowed to:

  • Apply for most public funds/benefits, including State Pension
  • Work as a professional sportsperson or coach
  • Settle in the UK using this visa

Start-up Visa

PLEASE NOTE: applications are no longer accepted for this visa. You will instead need to apply for the Innovator Founder Visa.

The Start-up Visa route enables entrepreneurs to set up an innovative first business in the United Kingdom. 

This visa replaced the previous Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. There is no requirement to be a graduate and no initial level of funding required to be eligible.


The Start-up Visa includes a number of steps. 

First, you must be endorsed by a Home Office-approved endorsing body to verify that your business is both innovative and viable. Endorsements are either universities, or approved business sponsors. 

A detailed business plan will also need to be prepared before an endorsement can be provided. When your idea is assessed and approved for viability, the endorsing body you will provide you with an endorsement letter.

After you have acquired an endorsement, you can submit your application to the Home Office. 

You must be at least 18 years old, meet the English Language Requirement, and have enough savings to support yourself. Current guidance requires you to have at least £1270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply. 

How long can I stay?

The visa is valid for a maximum of two years. You will have to apply to switch to another visa category once the two year period ends if you want to continue to develop your business. 

How much does a Start-up Visa cost?

The costs of the Start-up Visa are dependent on your specific circumstances. 

If you are applying for yourself, the cost is £378 if you are applying from outside the UK and £508 if you are switching to this visa from inside the UK.

If you are applying for your partner and children, the cost is £378 for each person if you are applying from inside the UK and £508 for each person if you are switching to this visa from inside the UK.

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on

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