The UK is a dream place for most entrepreneurs to establish their businesses. It welcomes foreign entrepreneurs, allowing visa holders to relocate overseas and invest in the local economy by starting their businesses.
Entrepreneurs in the USA hoping to move to the UK have a bit more of a structured process and will need to obtain a visa. To start a business in the UK, options worth considering are – Innovator Visa and Start-up visa.
Knowing where to start the visa application process can be challenging for new entrepreneurs in the USA. Therefore, it is wise to seek UK visa advice in USA from professionals if you plan to launch your business in the UK.
With that said, let’s delve into discussing the two types of UK visas and how you can apply for them.
In 2019, the UK Visas and Immigration department introduced the Innovator Visa. The purpose of this visa was to replace the Tier-1 Entrepreneur Visa, making it no longer available.
To be eligible for an Innovator Visa, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- A citizen of the USA and other non-EEA countries
- Have at least £50,000 to invest in your business and support yourself
- Have a business idea that is endorsed by an authorized body
- Hold a certificate of B2 level of English.
For the Innovator Visa application process, the following documents need to be included:
- Endorsement letter
- Proof of financial investment
- Proof of English language skills at B2 level or above
- Current passport or any valid travel identification
- Bank statements showing that you have at least £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply
- Criminal certification for a country lived in more than 12 months for the previous ten years.
Once you get your Innovator Visa, know that it is valid only for three years. However, you can extend that with the option available to apply for the UK settlement after five years.
You must have at least £1,270 in your account for 28 consecutive days before you apply for or extend this visa.
Today, a lot of innovation occurs in the UK, making it a sought-after destination for new entrepreneurs.
Suppose you are recently graduated and looking to launch your business in the UK. In that case, you can avail of the immigration option through a Start-up Visa.
Innovator Visa is available to those with enough funding and endorsed business plans. Whereas a Start-up Visa is created for young graduates with genuine business ideas from the USA and other non-EEA countries.
Like the Innovator Visa, Start-up Visa also has specific requirements, such as unique and innovative business ideas and growth potential. But access to a big lump sum of investment cash is not required.
Here are some of the Start-up visa requirements:
- You should be over 18 years of age or above
- Your business should be endorsed by a UK Higher Education Institute or an approved business organization.
- Proof of English language of B2 skill level or higher
- Proof of maintenance funds to support yourself. You must have had at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before applying for the application.
To become eligible for a Start-up visa, you will need to show:
- Any investment funds are genuinely available and intended for use as described in your application.
- Your genuine intention to undertake the proposed business activity.
- You intend to follow all the business laws and regulations in the UK.
Once your application is approved, know that your Start-up Visa is only valid for two years.
With the Start-up Visa, you can’t extend or apply for long-term settlement. However, if your business is successful, you can switch to an Innovator Visa.
The Bottom Line
Once your visa is approved, you are all set to establish your business in the UK. Know that immigration laws are strictly enforced, so it is always better to stay updated.
Seeking legal help from professionals can be your best bet. They will give you a detailed explanation of all the business laws in the UK.