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Start-up

**Please refer to the government website if you have any immigration concerns relating to your Start Up visa due to COVID-19**

The start-up route opened to applicants from 29 March 2019. The route is aimed at early-stage but high potential entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK for the first time.

The University of Warwick are an endorsing body for start-up applicants.

At Warwick, Student Opportunity: Immigration & Compliance work closely with the Enterprise team to manage the route.

Student Opportunity: Immigration & Compliance provide advice and help with the compliance duties imposed by the Home Office, whilst the Enterprise team lead on the recruitment and assessment of potential applicants.


Please read on for details about the Start-up route:

The University of Warwick is an endorsing body of the Start-up route

  • Applicants who receive an endorsement from Warwick Enterprise will be eligible to apply under the Start-up route
  • The University of Warwick will only endorse Warwick Graduates on the scheme.
  • The visa will be granted for 2 years at the outset
  • Applicants will spend the majority of their time developing their businesses but can also take on other work outside of their businesses to support themselves
  • Those on the start-up route will have their progress monitored every 6 and 12 months by Warwick Enterprise .
  • Anyone applying under the start-up route must meet the Home Office requirements under the following three headings, which will form a large part of the assessment process which the Enterprise team will facilitate before offering an endorsement:
    • Innovation
      • The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
    • Viability
      • The applicant’s business plan is realistic and achievable based on the applicant’s available resources. The applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business described above
    • Scalability
      • There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets
  • In addition to the above criteria, start-up applicants must be able evidence the points below:
    • Founders of their business
    • Relying on their own business plans and have generated the ideas in the business plan or made a significant contribution to those ideas
    • Responsible for executing the business plan.

  • Applicants to the start up route may only begin self-employment or engage in business activities once their start-up leave has been granted.
  • If you have previously received financial sponsorship from your home Government or institution of study, you will need to obtain their permission in the form of a letter, which you will enclose with your start-up visa application.

A link to the Home Office website is provided below, which provides detailed information on the eligibility requirements and details of how to apply.