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Start-up Visa

If you are an international BCU student or graduate with a credible, innovate and scalable business idea, the Start-up Visa could help you start your business in the UK.

International student using laptop on campus

The Start-up Visa allows you to stay in or return to the UK for up to two years to set-up and run your business. While on the programme, you will also receive one-to-one support and access to a variety of workshops, boot camps and soft skills sessions delivered by the BCU Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Team.

BCU is and endorsing Higher Education Institution under the Home Office’s Start-up Visa route. This route is for BCU graduates of a Degree/Masters/PHD who have a credible, innovative and scalable business idea that they wish to put into practice in the UK. Endorsements are limited to 20 for each participating institution per year that last for 2-years.

During the two years, you are also encouraged to apply for the Innovator Visa, which is a continuation route that allows you to continue to run your business for another three years after the Start-up Visa, and until the point you can apply for the right to remain in the UK.

Applying for the scheme

BCU accepts applications at three points during the year, with deadlines of 5pm GMT 1 February, 1 May and 1 August.

Applications are encouraged from graduates or final-year students due to complete their course. You must have also studied full-time at BCU.

Before submitting an application, you must also ensure you maintain £945 in maintenance funds when applying from within the UK or abroad, 90-days prior to applying to the scheme. This means that you will need to keep your bank account above the specified amounts for more than 90 consecutive days. If the account balance drops below the required amount the 90-day count will need to start again. If you are keeping the account in a currency other than Pound Sterling (£GBP), please beware for currency exchange fluctuations.

If your application is successful, you will need to pay £493 in the UK or £363 abroad per person to the Home Office, as well as £400 per year for the NHS Medical Surcharge. Therefore, we recommend that applicants maintain around £2,250 in their bank account for 90 days before applying.

If you are interested in applying, contact the BCU Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Team today.

Contact the team