Startup Visa is a new visa route in the UK that allows entrepreneurs from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland to set up a business in the UK.

The route replaced the previous Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa and is mainly aimed at entrepreneurs looking to establish a business for the first time.

At Edmans & Co, we have already started assisting our clients with the new UK Startup Visa and have extensive experience in assisting clients with the previous Tier 1 Graduate entrepreneur category. Contact us if you need any assistance with your visa application.

One of the major requirements of the Startup Visa includes getting an endorsement from an endorsing body approved by the Home Office.

You can learn more about fulfilling the requirements of the Startup Visa, required documents, fees, and other general guidelines in this detailed article.

General Overview of the UK Startup Visa

The UK startup visa is targeted for first-time entrepreneurs who have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea.

Your idea should be assessed and supported by a Home Office approved endorsing body. The endorsing body consists of UK HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) and business organisations such as accelerators, incubators, and VC firms.

The applicant should also meet English language requirements and show proof of maintenance funds to apply under this category.

UK Startup Visa Requirements

There are several requirements that you need to meet for a successful Startup Visa application. Some of the major requirements include;

  • Endorsement letter from an authorised body (see authorised bodies section below) stating that your business is viable.
  • Meet the English language requirement.
  • Meet the maintenance requirement showing at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before the date of your application.

Applying as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

Applicants who already hold leave as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) should meet the same requirements as an initial Startup application.

However, unlike initial applicants, they could have previously established a business in the UK. The applicant will only be granted Startup Visa for a maximum of 2 years leave in total, minus any leave granted previously under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category.

Applying as a Startup team

If your business venture has multiple founders, you can still apply for the startup visa but you must fulfil the requirements on an individual basis.

Furthermore, you don’t have to be the sole founder of the startup and can be part of a startup team sharing the same business idea and plan as other founders.

UK Startup Visa Endorsing Bodies

UKVI has published a list of approved endorsing bodies who can provide a letter of endorsement for applicants applying for this visa category.

The list mainly includes UK higher education institutions and business organisations that have a history of supporting entrepreneurs in the UK.

You should refer to the list of the authorised organisations for Start-up visa published and regularly updated by the Home Office on the GOV.UK website.

Your startup visa can be curtailed if your endorsing body withdraws your endorsement or loses its status as an approved endorsing institution.

Extending Startup Visa

You can only live up to a maximum of two years under this visa category. You cannot apply to extend this visa any further.

You might want to look into other categories such as the Innovator Visa for experienced entrepreneurs if you are looking to switch from this visa.

Switching to the Innovator visa route can help you continue progressing on your business.

If your startup visa was curtailed you might be able to apply for a new grant of leave for remaining of two years leave in total if you manage to receive a new endorsement and fulfil other requirements.

Switching to Startup Visa

You can switch to the Startup visa from several other UK visa categories.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and want to switch to this category, you will need to have leave to remain or have been last granted leave in the categories including;

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur (Not exceeded 2 years’ leave)
Tier 2 migrant
Tier 4 (General) student
Standard Visitor visa as Prospective entrepreneur

If you decide to switch to Startup visa, make sure you do it before the expiry of your current leave to remain.

Experienced Lawyers for UK Startup Visa?

Our experienced team of Immigration lawyers based in London can help you successfully apply for the UK Startup visa.

We have a dedicated team that specialises in dealing with high net worth individuals such as Entrepreneurs and Investors and we would be happy to assist with your application. Contact us with your Start-up Visa query.

UK Startup Visa Lawyers


To discuss your UK Startup Visa options and eligibility requirements, please contact our London immigration lawyers on 020 7439 3000.

Book a legal consultation with one of our immigration lawyers so that we can assess your case and advise you accordingly.