New routes for business people and start-ups to come to the UK

[InKunming--Sister Cities] The Home Office has brought forward two new visa routes to attract leading business talent to the UK.

Skilled business people are now able to use two new visa routes to set up businesses in the UK.

The Start-up visa route is open to those starting a business for the first time in the UK, while the Innovator visa route is for more experienced business people who have funds to invest in their business.

Replacing the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route, the Start-up visa is for people of any background looking to start a business, not just recent graduates.

As with the previous route, applicants do not need to secure any initial business funding. However, unlike the previous visa they have 2 years, twice the length of time to make their business a success before they need to make a further application. 

The Innovator route is for more experienced business people who have funds to invest in their business. Applicants need £50,000 to invest, rather than the £200,000 required under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route. If their business is a success they will be able to apply for settlement after 3 years. 

Both routes see endorsing bodies and business experts – rather than the Home Office – assessing applicants’ business ideas. This makes sure that the route is focussed on only the most innovative, viable and scalable businesses.  

UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: 

“My priority is making sure that talented business people continue to see the UK as an attractive destination to develop their businesses. This will help create more jobs across the country and ensure our economy continues to thrive.  

“These visa routes will be run in partnership with business experts to make sure the businesses benefit our economy and the UK remains a world-leading destination for pioneering businesspeople.”

The endorsing bodies have a role in assessing applicants’ business ideas and endorsing them – similar to the role universities played in the previous Graduate Entrepreneur route. The two routes have no limit on the number of places available.

Alongside these new routes, the Home Office has also brought forward reforms to the Tier 1 (Investor) route. The UK welcomes legitimate and genuine investors in the UK economy. The reformed route will better protect the UK from illegally obtained funds, whilst ensuring that genuine investors have access to a viable visa route. 

Applicants are now required to prove that they have had control of the required £2 million for at least two years, rather than 90 days, or provide evidence of the source of those funds.

The reforms increase the benefit to UK companies by excluding investment in Government bonds, which means the route will only be available to those who invest in UK businesses, delivering greater economic benefits to the British economy.

This Government remains committed to bringing net migration down to sustainable levels, but also recognises the need to attract people who bring benefits to the UK and enable employers to have access to the skills they need. 

These new initiatives build on other recent announcements – including doubling the number of Exceptional Talent visas, improving the availability of skilled work visas, and plans for our future skills-based immigration system which supports a flexible labour market, whilst ensuring sustainable migration. (Source from British Embassy Beijing)

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