Start-up Visa Preapplication



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The Start-up visa is for early-stage, but high potential, entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK for the first time.

It offers a one-off, two-year visa, during which you will spend the majority of your time developing your business but can also take on other work outside of your business, to support yourself.

Successful applicants can bring their family members (spouses/civil partners/unmarried partners who have cohabited for at least 2 years/children under 18) to the UK. At the end of the two years, you can switch to an Innovator visa to extend your stay and develop your business in the UK.

Endorsement

To apply, you must be endorsed by an authorised body. The University of Edinburgh is an authorised body and the Edinburgh Innovations student enterprise team manage the startup visa endorsement process. 

To be endorsed you must be able to demonstrate and evidence that you have a genuine and credible business that will meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation: There must be a genuine business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;
  • Viability: Your business plan is realistic and achievable based on your available resources and you have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business;
  • Scalability: There must be evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

Eligibility

You may have already begun setting up your business, but should not yet have commenced trading. The only exceptions to this are if you have already been granted leave under the Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) categories, or under the Tier 4 doctorate extension scheme.

You must be fully engaged with the Student Enterprise Service at Edinburgh Innovations for a minimum of 3 months prior to application or be able to provide evidence that you have been developing your idea independently for at least 3 months.

You do not need any funds to invest in your business at this stage. However, you may need to show you have funds to support yourself:

  • If you are applying for permission to stay (i.e. you are making your application from the UK) and have been living continuously in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of application, you will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.
  • If you are applying for entry clearance or have been in the UK for less than 12 months at the date of application, you must have funds of at least £1270. The funds must have been in place for a minimum of 28 consecutive days prior to the date of application.

Endorsement Application Process

  1. Read the Startup Visa Guidelines for Students.
  2. Complete and submit this Startup Visa Endorsement Pre-application to check eligibility.
  3. We will review your pre-application and invite you to complete a full application if eligible.

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Please note, if you divulge a material breach of your immigration conditions, the Student Immigration Service may be required by law to pass this information on to relevant agencies. They also reserve the right to withdraw their services.
You should apply for your visa no more than 3 months after your endorsement date
{{lengthCR(a1i5J000000gEMxQAM)}}/700 100 words max
{{lengthCR(a1i5J000000gEN2QAM)}}/700 Your business plan meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage (100 words max)
{{lengthCR(a1i5J000000gEN7QAM)}}/700 You can demonstrate that you have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business (100 words max)
{{lengthCR(a1i5J000000gEMyQAM)}}/700 Your plan has potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets (100 words max)


Edinburgh Innovations Limited is the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service. Edinburgh Innovations is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the University of Edinburgh. The Enterprise Services team at Edinburgh Innovations provide free services to encourage and support University of Edinburgh entrepreneurs whether they are staff, students or alumni. We will use your data to keep you informed of our enterprise services including one-to-one adviser meetings, events, competitions, workshops, internships and news. Your data will be held securely and will not be passed on to any third parties. Consent can be withdrawn at any time and all marketing communications will include an unsubscribe link. Please view our privacy notice to understand how we use and protect the information that you provide to us.