England Startup Visa and Application Process
England Startup Visa and Application Process
England has been an attractive destination for startups and entrepreneurs for many years due to its supportive ecosystem and business-friendly policies. The government’s initiative to introduce the Startup Visa in 2018 has further boosted the country as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. This program aims to attract talented individuals from around the world to start their businesses in the UK and contribute to the country’s economy. In this article, we will discuss the England Startup Visa and the application process.
What is the England Startup Visa?
The England Startup Visa is a program initiated by the UK government to attract talented entrepreneurs to set up their businesses in the country. The program offers a route for innovative startups to establish their business in the UK, access funding, and grow their business. The Startup visa is open to non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who have an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea.
Requirements for the England Startup Visa
To be eligible for the England Startup Visa, applicants must meet certain requirements. These requirements include:
1. Endorsement from an approved endorsing body: Applicants must obtain endorsement from an approved endorsing body. These bodies are UK universities and business organizations and can provide endorsement to eligible startups.
2. Evidence of financial support: Applicants must have access to at least £50,000 in investment funds from one or more UK-registered Venture Capital firms, UK Angel investors, or UK Government-backed funding competitions. Alternatively, applicants can demonstrate that they have £945 in personal savings for at least 90 days before they apply.
3. Proficiency in English: Applicants must demonstrate that they can speak, read, write, and understand English to the required level. The level of proficiency required is B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
4. Not a major criminal record: Applicants must have a clear criminal record.
Application Process for the England Startup Visa
The application process for the England Startup Visa is a two-stage process. The first stage is endorsement from an approved endorsing body, and the second stage is the visa application itself.
Stage 1: Endorsement from an Approved Endorsing Body
To obtain endorsement from an approved endorsing body, applicants must provide the following information:
1. Business Plan: Applicants must provide a complete and detailed business plan for the proposed business. The business plan should demonstrate that the business is innovative and has the potential to grow and succeed in the UK market.
2. Innovation: Applicants must demonstrate that their business idea is innovative. The endorsing body will analyze if the product or service is new, unique, and addresses an existing need in the market.
3. Viability: Applicants must demonstrate that their business idea is viable, meaning that it has a realistic chance of commercial success. They should also show that the proposed business model is appropriate for the UK and that they have the necessary skills and experience to run the business.
4. Scalability: Applicants must demonstrate that their business idea has the potential to scale and create jobs in the UK. They should present a clear growth strategy and a projection of how their business will generate employment in the UK.
Once the application has been submitted, the endorsing body will assess the application against the eligibility criteria and provide a written endorsement letter to successful applicants.
Stage 2: Visa Application
After obtaining an endorsement from the approved endorsing body, applicants can apply for the Startup Visa online. The visa application requires the following documents:
1. Valid passport or travel document
2. Endorsement letter from the endorsing body
3. Evidence of financial support
4. Tuberculosis (TB) certificate (if applicable)
5. Evidence of English proficiency
The visa application fee for the Startup Visa is £363, and the visa processing time is usually three weeks. After obtaining the visa, applicants can stay in the UK for up to two years and can then apply for an extension of three years.
1. Can I switch to a Startup Visa from another visa category?
Yes, applicants can switch to a Startup Visa from most visa categories, including Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, Tier 2 General, and Tier 4 Student visas.
2. Can I bring my family with me on the Startup Visa?
Yes, applicants can bring their spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner, and children under the age of 18 to the UK. They must provide evidence of additional funds to support their family members.
3. Can I work while on the Startup Visa?
Yes, applicants can work for their own business on the Startup Visa. They can also work for another employer for up to 20 hours per week.
The England Startup Visa is an excellent opportunity for talented entrepreneurs to establish their business in the UK and contribute to the country’s economy. The program offers a streamlined and easy-to-follow application process and provides a pathway to obtain a visa to stay in the UK for up to five years. The program has proven to be successful in attracting innovative startups from around the world, and it is expected to continue to stimulate the startup ecosystem and drive economic growth in England.