New UK 'start-up visa' available for entrepreneurs

The UK Home Secretary has announced the launch of a new ‘start-up visa’ for people who want to move to the UK to start a business.

Sajid Javid said the new visa will open the immigration process up to a wider “pool of talented entrepreneurs,” and will speed up the application process.

The visa replaces the old route, which was open only to graduates.

UK start-up visa requirements

According to the Home Office, applicants for the start-up visa will be required to have an endorsement from a university or an approved business sponsor. It’s understood that the list of approved sponsors will include accelerators, but details of the list are yet to be published.

Unlike the previous system, applicants will not be required to be university graduates. The government says this will help ensure that the UK is drawing from the widest pool of potential entrepreneurial talent.

“World-leading destination”

In a press release, the Home Office said: “Entrepreneurs play a key role in creating jobs and driving economic growth in the UK and the changes announced today will ensure the UK remains a world-leading destination for the best global talent.”

According to the government, the new visa scheme has been designed after taking advice from the Migration Advisory Committee, a non-departmental body that advises the Home Office.

Further reforms

The start-up visa is the latest in a series of reforms to the UK’s visa system. It follows the expansion of the Exceptional Talent route, which is open to those endorsed as current or emerging leaders in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology, and the arts.

Following the expansion there are now 2,000 visas available per year under the Exceptional Talent route.

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