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You should apply under this category if you wish to set up and operate an innovative business in the UK. 

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What are the main requirements?

You must show that you want to set up and run a business in the UK. The business must be innovative (i.e. original and different from other businesses in the existing market) and have the potential for growth. You will also need to: 

  • Have an endorsement for your business idea by an approved body 
  • Show that your business idea is new (i.e. you cannot join an existing business that is already trading) 
  • Have funds of at least £50,000 to invest in the business and show that you will play an active and key role in the day to day management of the business 
  • Meet the English language requirement 

Can you remain in the UK?

You can remain in the UK for 3 years under this category if you have been granted leave to enter the UK in this category, or you have switched to this category from within the UK. 

You may extend your visa for a further 3 years under this category. The application for extension must be submitted prior to the expiry of your visa. You may extend your visa as many times as you may require as there is no limit on the number of extensions granted in this category. 

You may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK upon completing 5 years residence under this category. 

Applying in this category

Your application is submitted online whether you are applying from outside the UK, applying from within the UK to extend your visa, or switching to this category from within the UK. 

You can include your partner and dependent children in your application for permission to stay with you. 

Speak to our business immigration experts

If you are exploring your options for a visa or require international business advice, our highly experienced solicitors will assist you in exploring all your options. We advise businesses and individuals, including executives and senior management teams on all aspects of business immigration including visas. You can get in touch by completing the form below.

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Key Contact

Adam Haines

Adam Haines

Employment Law and Business Immigration Partner


Adam is a partner and specialist employment lawyer with experience advising on all aspects of employment law from the beginning to the end of the employment relationship and business immigration.