The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced that a new start-up visa will be available from Spring 2019.
Designed to make the visa process ‘faster and smoother’ for entrepreneurs coming to the UK, the new start-up visa is being designed to replace the existing route for graduates. The Home Secretary hopes that this will open the route up to a wider pool of talented entrepreneurs.
Applicants will be required to have an endorsement from a university or approved business sponsor, including accelerators, but will not be required to possess a degree.
Whilst the Home Secretary’s announcement does not specifically mention the current immigration category that will be replaced, his statement strongly indicates that this will be the current Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. Perhaps a rebrand to ‘Tier 1 Start-Up’ is on the horizon?
Currently, unlike the main Tier 1 Entrepreneur category which requires either a £50,000 or £200,000 investment, no investment monies are required to secure a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. The applicant must instead have a strong business case and endorsement by a UK university. We expect that the endorsement by a university or approved business sponsor will also be central to the new visa process.
The Home Secretary said:
‘The UK can be proud that we are a leading nation when it comes to tech and innovation, but we want to do more to attract businesses to the UK and our migration system plays a key part in that.
That’s why I am pleased to announce a new visa for people wanting to start a business in the UK. This will help to ensure we continue to attract the best global talent and maintain the UK’s position as a world-leading destination for innovation and entrepreneurs.’
The UK already has a number of initiatives designed to assist start-ups and entrepreneurs such as the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas and sponsorship under the special digital technology provisions for Tier 2.
We work with a high number of entrepreneurs and start-ups and this announcement will be welcome news to our clients.
Members of our immigration team sit on various Home Office forums and other committees and will be feeding into the Home Office’s specific plans for the new visa prior to the Spring 2019 launch date.
For further information, please contact our immigration team.