Vanguard Solicitors

Our experienced UK immigration and work visa solicitors can help you with your UK Start-up visa application if you want to set up a business in the UK. You must be able to show that your business idea is new, innovative, viable and with potential for growth. This category is for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body. This category offers leave for 2 years and does not lead directly to settlement in the UK, but applicants may progress into the Innovator category below.


You can apply for a Start-up visa if:

  • you want to set up a business in the UK
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

 All applicants must meet the requirements for:

  • English language
  • maintenance funds
  • endorsement
  • age (18+)

 Start-up teams

Multiple Start-up migrants can apply for endorsement to be co-directors of the same company. However, these are not linked as “team” applications and each applicant must receive their own individual endorsement from an approved endorsing body.

Getting endorsed

You must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either:

  • a UK higher education institution
  • a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs

You must be able to show that your business idea is:

  • a new idea - you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading
  • viable, with potential for growth

Read the endorsing bodies list - you should only approach ones that are suitable for your business idea.

Maintenance funds

You need to have had at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply and £ 630 funds for each dependent.


Any dependants must also provide evidence that they have access to sufficient funds, even if they are joining the applicant at a later date

Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language testwith at least CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARICas being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve already proved it to be level B2 or above in an earlier successful application.


You will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

Documents you must provide

When you apply you need to provide an ‘endorsement letter’ from an authorised body.

You’ll also need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply
  • your tuberculosis test resultsif you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • proof that you have knowledge of the English language

You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.

How long is entry clearance / leave to remain normally granted for?

2 years, or the remaining balance of 2 years if the applicant has previously held leave in Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Start-up.

Maximum of 2 years total grant of leave allowed under Start-up.

Is switching into this category allowed?

Switching into the Start-up category is only allowed if the applicant has, or has last been granted, leave as a:

  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant (who has not yet been granted 2 years’ leave in the category)
  • Tier 2 migrant
  • Tier 4 (General) student
  • a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur, as set out in Appendix V

Does this category lead to settlement (indefinite leave to remain)?

No- It does not lead to settlement.

If your endorsement is withdrawn

Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. 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.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • bring family memberswith you
  • switch to this visafrom some other visa categories
  • work in another job, as well as working for your business

You cannot:

  • get public funds
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
  • settle in the UK on this visa

Why Choose Vanguard Solicitors?

Competitive Pricing
We offer a competitive price service, we may undercut others with our prices but that does not mean our service will be compromised in any way. We promise to maintain a high standard of work.

Dedicated Lawyer With Direct Access
You will have direct access to our qualified lawyers, who have in- depth knowledge in the relevant are of law. Upon instructing you will be allocated an experienced lawyer who will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case.

Relevant Law Explained
Laws in the UK change frequently. Our team of lawyers are trained regularly and are kept up to date on all the latest developments. We will advise you on the law.

Highest Success Rate
We are proud to claim that through our wealth of knowledge and experience we are able achieve the results that are needed. Our expert Lawyers put their full efforts in your case as we strongly believe in getting for you what you want.

Do you need advice or help with your legal issues?

Our solicitors will hold your hands throughout the process, liaising with all relevant government bodies, including UK Visas and Immigration, British Consulate, overseas agents and where necessary the courts.

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