Residence & Citizenship


The UK Start-up Visa

The UK Innovator Visa

  • Benefits
  • Financial/Other Obligations
  • Additional Criteria

The UK Start-up Visa

This visa category does not lead to permanent settlement in the UK, or the opportunity to apply for British citizenship.

Visa-free travel to over 170 countries once British passport obtained.

Individuals resident but not domiciled in the UK are eligible to pay tax on a remittance basis.

Please note, anyone who has had UK residence  for more than 15 of the previous 20 tax years, will not be able to enjoy the remittance basis and so will be taxed in the UK on a worldwide basis for income and capital gains tax purposes.

There is no tax on the gains and income that arise from funds retained outside the UK, as long as the income and gains are not brought into or remitted to the UK.

In addition, clean capital (i.e. income and gains earned outside of the UK before the individual became resident, that have not been added to since the individual became resident in the UK) can be remitted to the UK with no further UK tax consequences.

If unremitted foreign income and/or gains is less than £2,000 at the end of the tax year (6 April to the following 5 April), the remittance basis applies automatically. If it exceeds this amount then the remittance basis must be claimed.

If unremitted foreign income is over £2,000 then the remittance basis can still be claimed, but at a cost (depending on circumstances costs are £30,000 or £60,000).

For more information on UK residence, please click here.

The UK Start-up Visa

The visa can be applied for up to 3 months before the intended date of travel to the UK, and usually takes 3 weeks for a decision to be made.

The visa validity is:

  • a maximum of 2 years.

Applicants require to have their business idea approved by an Endorsing Body who will assess for:

  • Innovation – genuine, original business plan
  • Viability – necessary skills to successfully run the business
  • Scalability – potential for job creation and growth into national markets

Once the business ideas has been “approved”, it is possible to apply for the visa. Broadly speaking, the main visa requirements are:

  • Meeting the English language requirement.
  • Holding adequate maintenance funds – a minimum of £1,270 for at least 28 days consecutively before the date of the visa application.
  • Continued endorsement throughout the validity of the visa.

Initial funding is not required.

The UK Start-up Visa

This visa category is open to applications from non-British/Irish citizens.

Visa holders can start-up and run their own business, as well as seek employment. It is not possible to join a business.

Dependants (e.g. partner and children under 18) will be able to live, work (including being self-employed), and study in the UK with very few restrictions.

It is not possible to:

  • be in this visa category for more than 2 years
  • apply for permanent settlement

However, applicants do have the option of applying to continue their business venture(s) and extend their immigration status in the UK for longer, for example by applying for an Innovator visa (please see the Innovator visa category).

Download Full List of Programmes – Benefits & Criteria (PDF)


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