Are you an entrepreneur who wishes to expand your business to the UK? With changing times and economic differences, immigration and investment rules in the UK have also changed. Let us understand the procedures of getting a UK Business Visa in 2021.
The first step is understanding the THREE vital elements
The Entrepreneur Visa (Tier 1) was available until 2019. Now the UK has introduced two new visas for business aspirants. If overseas nationals wish to start a business, they can apply for an Innovator Visa or a Start-Up Visa. These categories also allow applicants to bring dependents with them.
You can apply for an Innovator visa if you wish to start an innovative business in the UK. Your business idea should be original, novel, and different from existing businesses. Your business or business idea needs to be endorsed by an approved endorsing body.
- You should be at least 18 years old.
- An approved body should endorse your business.
- It is necessary to meet the English requirements.
- Applicants are also required to submit evidence that they have enough funds to support themselves and their dependents (if any) while in the UK.
Applicants have to prove their knowledge of the English language when they apply. Those who have proved their English abilities during a previous successful visa application need not submit it again.
Evidence must be submitted that you can read, write, speak and understand English to a level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
The language knowledge proof can be any of the following:
- Certificate of passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
- GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English from a UK school, gained before you were 18.
- A degree-level academic qualification taught in English. Graduates outside the UK need to apply for confirmation through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to prove that their qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D.
- Nationals of selected countries need not prove their English knowledge.
Only authorized bodies can give endorsement letters for Innovative Visa applicants. If you have received an endorsement letter from an organization or institution that the UK Home Government does not approve, you need to report it. Our team will help you choose the correct endorsement body and approach them through the proper procedures.
- With an Innovator Visa, you can set up one or more businesses in the UK.
- There is no minimum investment.
- You can work for your business employed as a director or self-employed as a member of a business partnership
- You can bring your partner and children under 18 as your dependents. They should fulfill all the eligibility criteria, and you must be able to support them.
- With the Innovator Visa, you can travel abroad and return to the UK.
- Innovator Visa is valid for three years, after which there is an extension option. You need to apply for an extension before the current Visa expires.
- One of the main advantages of this category is that you can apply to SETTLE PERMANENTLY in the UK. Referred to as ‘indefinite leave to remain,’ you can apply for this if you have lived in the UK for three years. Applicants also need to meet the other eligibility requirements.
What CANNOT be Done
This category DOES NOT allow you to do any work outside your business. Another business cannot employ you.
You are not allowed to work as a professional sportsperson such as a sports coach.
There shall be no access to public funds or the State Pension.
Money from your investment funds or money earned illegally while working in the UK cannot be used to support yourself while in the UK.
How much money should you have?
You need to have had at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply for an Innovator visa. This is the same for extension application and switching to Innovator Visa if you have been in the UK for less than a year.
Individuals who wish to establish a new business in the UK can apply for a Start-Up Visa, provided the business idea is innovative and viable. Business ideas with high potential can get approval from one of the universities in the country or approved endorsing bodies that support entrepreneurs. There is no minimum investment amount for this category as well. The English requirements and endorsement rules are the same as that of Innovator Visa.
How is it different from the Innovator Visa?
- A Start-Up visa allows you to work outside our business.
- The duration of a Start-Up Visa is two years, and there is no option to extend.
- There is no option for settling permanently. However, you can switch to the Innovator route and then apply for settling permanently.
We are here to help you plan and set up a business in the UK. Sorting the initial procedures can be a tedious task. Our team, including legal experts, can guide you through the required procedures and help you get a visa in the correct category. Together let us build businesses and dreams. Contact us for more details.