You can apply for a Start-up visa if you want to set up an innovative business in the UK. It must be something that’s different from anything else on the market.
You must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either a UK higher education institution or a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs. They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is viable.
You must also be at least 18 years old, meet the English language requirement and be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the UK.
You must be able to show that your business idea is a new idea, you cannot join in a business that is already trading. This should be innovative where you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market and viable to show it has potential for growth.
You can stay for 2 years if you either come to the UK on a Start-up visa or switch to this visa from another visa while in the UK.
You may be able to switch to an Innovator visa if you set up a business while on a Start-up visa and your endorsing body assessed and agreed it, it is active, trading and sustainable and you have day to day involvement in it.
Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn by the endorsing body. 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.
With a Start-up visa you can bring your partner and children with you as your dependants, if they’re eligible, work in another job, as well as working for your business, travel abroad and return to the UK. You can also switch into this visa from some other visa categories.
You cannot apply for most benefits (i.e. public funds), or the State Pension, work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach or settle in the UK on this visa.