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UK Start Up Visa

The UK Start Up Visa has replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa as a route for foreign entrepreneurs to establish their business idea in the UK for the first time.

You do not need to be a graduate or have any investment funds. Applicants will need to be endorsed by approved endorsing bodies some of which can be found here.

If you are looking for advice on how to enter the UK through this new route then you have come to the right place.

Start Up Visa – How to begin the process

If you are unsure whether you qualify for the Start Up Visa or would like to receive some advice on the process then complete the enquiry form or call our specialists on 0330 3800 599 for a free assessment. Our Client Liaison Team are approachable, friendly and will be able to make your options clear and understandable.

Minimum Requirements

Similar to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, the UK Start-Up Visa requires applicants to have their business idea endorsed by a relevant body that is authorised to assess the business ideas. Along with this, the basic requirements state that you must also:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Meet the English Language Requirement
  • Have at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.


If you are considering an application for a UK Start Up Visa you will be assessed for credibility. This includes:

  • Looking to see whether you are genuinely intending to undertake any work or business activity that you state in the UK application.
  • That you do not intend to work elsewhere in the UK
  • Any funds that are available to you are as described and intended to be used as stated.

Our immigration lawyers can assist you with explanation on why you are a sincere candidate with a letter of legal representation. We will confer the strengths of your application and explain any inadequacies within the legal representation.

Many of the endorsing bodies listed by the Home Office have different requirements set within their own organisation for offering endorsement to applicants. More information on the types of businesses that each endorsing body will support can be found on our blog.

However, the main assessment criteria set out by the Home Office requires the applicant’s business to show:

  • Innovation
  • Viable
  • Scalable

Does the applicant have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage?

Does the applicant have or are they actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business?

Is there evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets?

At Optimus Law, we offer the highest quality service so you can be confident that we will handle your application with the utmost care and attention and will obtain the successful outcome you desire.

Our business immigration team has extensive experience assisting with the Start Up Visa to help businesses expand into the UK, our lawyers are experts in the immigration rules and will guide you based on your circumstances. The benefit of using us is that we go beyond just filling out an application. We have an exceedingly, determined team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration guidance.

We carry out a comprehensive service which will include completing your application, booking your biometric appointment, checking your documents and submitting the reports to the Home Office on your behalf. In addition to this, we will be drafting legal representations to the Home Office arguing how your application meets the Immigration Rules. We will be your first point of contact with the Home Office.

The Home Office requires your business to be endorsed, we can help you with assessing your business idea to see if your business is offering something more than the local traders in the same industry. We will also check to see if there is sufficient market research and realistic product goals within the business plan. Our lawyers have helped many entrepreneurs set up their businesses in the UK and we understand what the endorsing bodies will look for when issuing endorsements. We will also check to see whether there is a need for the business within the UK and our business immigration team will assess whether this would scale as part of the national market.

We always seek to build and maintain a professional relationship with our clients, handling all their long-term immigration matters.

We shall ensure we project manage the application from start to finish to secure the visa for you:

  • Direct access to an expert immigration lawyer with over 25 years’ experience with complex cases.
  • Free initial case assessment with no obligation
  • A detailed review of your circumstances to establish if you qualify
  • Legal advice & steps taken confirmed in writing
  • A dedicated caseworker to advise and assist with reviewing your supporting evidence.
  • Draft or review your existing business plan.
  • Assistance completing your application & collating documentation
  • Applying legal arguments in support of your application.
  • Application form & document check
  • Full discretion & client confidentiality
  • Fixed fee and Payment Plan
  • Out of hours assistance when required.


Our Clients Say

If you are still not sure about choosing us, hear from our clients themselves.

Robina is a very reliable, helpful and experienced immigration solicitor in our area. I had a successful appeal with my Tier 1 applications with the help from Robina.

Laura Jayne

I’ve loved my experience with Optimus Law. Very friendly staff, easy to talk with, they follow up with you and keep you updated! And surely I will keep using their services.


I required a premium service application to bring my spouse to the UK in time for Christmas and the team at Optimus Law were great. Managed to do everything well before expectation. Professional service would recommend Robina to anyone!!


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