Start-Up Visa Application

Below you can find more information about the application for the start-up visa.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for a Start-up visa you need to satisfy the following: 

    • The University endorses your application. You must apply within three months of the date of issue of the endorsement letter.  If a visa application is unsuccessful it is possible to reuse an endorsement letter in a fresh application within its three-month validity. 
    • If you apply in the UK it is possible to switch into the Start-up route from most immigration categories provided you are not subject to immigration bail or do not hold any of the following types of immigration permission: 
      • visitor 
      • short-term student 
      • parent of a child student 
      • seasonal worker 
      • domestic worker in a private household 
      • permission outside the Immigration Rules 
If you are not eligible to switch in the UK you would have to return to where you normally reside outside the UK and make your visa application from there. 
    • You must have held sufficient money prior to your application (if required) 
    • If your studies were sponsored by a government or an international scholarship agency within the 12 months prior to your visa application you must have the written consent of your former sponsor. 

Knowledge of English Language 

Certain nationalities will automatically meet this requirement. Otherwise, it is anticipated that most endorsees will have met the English language requirement in a previous visa application in order to obtain their Tier 4/Student visa. Successfully completing degree studies in the UK would also satisfy the English language requirement. 

UKVI provide guidance on meeting the English language requirement. 

How do I get the University to endorse my application?

There are three stages to the endorsement process: 

  1. You must submit any initial Expression of Interest in Start-up to Loughborough Enterprise Network (LEN) who will assess whether you have a genuine and credible business idea that meets the Start-up requirements. The business proposal must also be one that LEN can support. LEN publicises the dates when Expressions of Interest can be submitted, if you are selected you will be supported through the development of your business plan. You will eventually need to have a suitable business plan in place and demonstrate how you will be spending the majority of your working time developing your business venture. 

    The initial stages of developing your business idea and drawing up a business plan can take several months, therefore you are recommended to make use of the advice and guidance available from LEN as early as possible. If your business proposal is judged as suitable you will need to agree a schedule of meetings with LEN so that your work and progress can be monitored. 

  1. The Student Advice and Support Service will check that you will meet the immigration requirements for your application to be successful. You will need to plan ahead to make sure you will have the right documents, Student Advice will check your draft application and documents are correct before your application can be endorsed by the University 

  1. If your business plans and draft immigration application are satisfactory Student Advice will request an endorsement letter from the Academic Registry. The Academic Registry will check your degree award and that there is no reason why the University should not endorse your application before issuing an endorsement letter 

How much money do I need to apply?

If you are applying in the UK and have lived here with immigration permission for at least 12 months prior to your application you will automatically meet the financial requirement and no evidence should be required. 

Otherwise if you have lived in the UK for less than 12 months or you are applying from overseas you will need to ensure that you have kept at least £1,270 throughout at least 28 days before you apply. The balance must never drop below the required amount. The end date of the 28-day period will be taken as the date of the closing balance on the most recent financial evidence you provide, this must be no earlier than 31 days before the date of application. 

UKVI provide guidance on meeting the financial requirement. 

When can I apply for Start-up visa permission?

You must have successfully completed your degree studies. You must have satisfied the checks made on your business plans and ability to make a successful immigration application before an endorsement can be issued. You must apply within 3 months of the endorsement. Any application to stay in the UK should be made before your current immigration permission expires.

Last Updated: 7th September 2022