Both these visas are designed for entrepreneurs who want to set up and run a business in the UK and who have a viable plan for a business.

Start-Up Visa

The Start-Up visa is ideal for new entrepreneurs and for those who do not have strong financial backing. It can be applied for either from outside the UK or within the UK, and Tier 4 students may be able to switch into it.

There is no requirement for investment funds but there is a requirement for endorsement, either from a university or a Home Office-approved endorsement organisation (of which the Home Office has published a list). The endorsing body must be satisfied about the viability of the business plan.

This can be a very good visa route for students who have graduated and who want to stay on in the UK and work. Their university may be able to provide endorsement.

There is an English language requirement, which can be satisfied by for example by holding a B2 level English language test or a UK degree-level qualification.

Family members (partner, children aged under 18) may apply for dependant visas.

More than applicant can apply together as a Start-Up team but each individual must receive endorsement in their own right.

This visa is granted for just two years without any possibility of extension, so when the visa comes to an end the migrant has to switch into something else or return home.

Innovator Visa

The Innovator visa is more “solid”, in the sense that it is granted for three years, can potentially be extended and can potentially lead to settlement in three years if the business is successful and if settlement endorsement has been obtained. It can also be applied for from within the UK or outside the UK.

However, not only does it also require endorsement (but in this case it is only possible from an endorsement body, not a university); it also requires investment funds of £50,000.

But it is worth knowing that a migrant holding a Start-Up visa can switch in-country to an Innovator visa, and it is also worth knowing that, in this situation, the Innovator visa applicant does not have to show any investment funds.

There is an English language requirement, which can be satisfied for example by a B2 level English language test.

Family members (partner, children aged under 18) may apply for dependant visas.

More than applicant can apply together as an Innovator team but each individual must receive endorsement in their own right.

So, either singly or in conjunction, both these visas can be useful for aspiring entrepreneurs, as long as they can obtain the required endorsement.

www.getukvisa.co.uk

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