If you wish to start a business in the UK or you have an innovative idea that you want to turn into a business in the UK, you can apply for a visa under the Appendix Start-Up and Appendix Innovator immigration rules.
The start-up visa is for those wishing to set up a business for the first time, while the innovator visa is for experienced business people who wish to establish a business in the UK. In both cases, the idea must be innovative, viable and scalable.
These rules replace the graduate entrepreneur and entrepreneur routes of entry.
At Halliday Reeves Solicitors we can work with you to put together a strong visa application on your behalf and discuss your options for living and working in the UK with you. We have an excellent track record of success in helping individuals set up businesses here.
We specialise in immigration only, meaning we have genuine in-depth expertise across all aspects of immigration rules and visa applications.
Both a start-up visa and an innovator visa require endorsement by a third-party organisation before an application can be submitted. The government has put together a list of approved bodies that will provide endorsement.
For a start-up visa, endorsement needs to be by a UK higher education institute or a business organisation with a history of supporting entrepreneurs in the UK.
For an innovator visa, you will need to be endorsed by an organisation on the government’s list of authorised endorsing bodies.
The organisation will need to confirm that the business plan is genuine and original and that it meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage. As the applicant, you will also have to show that you have or are developing the necessary skills to run the business. In addition, you should be able to show that there are planning and potential in place for job creation and growth.
The innovator endorsing body will be required to stay in touch with you and report to the Home Office if reasonable progress is not being made.
Other requirements for a successful application
Once you have obtained endorsement, you can apply for a visa. You will need to show that you are at least 18 years old and that you meet the English language requirement.
You must also prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself, ie. you must have had a minimum of £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you make your application.
Demonstrating that you have adequate English can be done by passing a test or you have a degree-level qualification that was taught in English.
Applications should be made online and you can include your partner and children in your application if they are eligible.
We can put together an application on your behalf, ensuring that the essential information is included to give you the best possible chance of success.
Your business must be different from anything else on the market in order to qualify.
If your application is successful, you will be granted a visa for up to 2 years. It cannot be extended, but you may be able to switch to an innovator visa.
You are permitted to work in another job as well as in your own business.
As well as being endorsed, you will need a minimum of £50,000 of investment funds to apply for an innovator visa. You will need to prove where the funding came from and if you are in a team with others, each person will need to have £50,000.
If you are granted a visa, you can only work for your business and cannot undertake any other employment.
At Halliday Reeves Solicitors, we can guide you through the visa application process. If you have been turned down for a start-up or innovator visa, we can discuss your options with you.
Our firm specialises solely in immigration, meaning we have the wide range of knowledge and experience needed to help our clients with all of their immigration needs.
We offer a free 15-minute enquiry service to discuss your requirements and advise you the best course of action in your circumstances.
We have offices in Middlesbrough, Gateshead, Wakefield and Nottingham. To speak to one of our expert immigration lawyers, ring us on 0330 133 7777, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a Free Online Enquiry.