Start-up visa

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Read on to find out about how you can access support to start a business in the UK with the Start-up visa scheme.

Start-up visa

About the scheme

The Start-up visa scheme is for international students currently on a Tier 4 / Student Route visa who wish to start a business in the UK after graduation. This visa will allow you to stay in the UK for 2 years to work on this business. To apply for the visa, you must check that you meet all the eligibility criteria and have an endorsement from an authorised body.

The University of Salford is an authorised Start-up visa endorsing body

The University of Salford can endorse a limited number of businesses on the Start-up visa scheme annually. Please note that this is a competitive process and endorsement cannot be guaranteed.  Information sessions and applications for endorsement from the University for 2021 are now closed. Further information is available on Endorsing bodies: Start-up visa on the GOV.UK website.

If you would like to be notified when the Start-up visa opens for applications again, please email careers&enterprise@salford.ac.uk to be added to expression of interest list or complete a Registration of Interest Form.

Start-up visa

Am I eligible?

  • Are you graduating from the University of Salford on a course at degree level or above in the academic year 2021/2022?
  • Have you previously engaged with the Careers & Enterprise team for support on your business idea?
  • Do you have a genuine and credible business idea that can be presented through the application form?
  • Does your business idea make good use of your graduate skills and add to the UK economy?
  • Do you meet the Home Office eligibility criteria for a Start-up visa (if applying from outside the UK this includes at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply). Please visit Start-up visa on the GOV.UK website for up-to-date criteria.
  • Do you have access to funds needed to start the business and to support yourself through this process?

If you have answered 'yes' to all of the above questions, you are eligible to apply for endorsement.

How to apply for endorsement

STEP 1 – Information session and eligibility check

You will need to attend one of two information sessions, where you will find out more about the scheme. The University of Salford process and complete a form authorising an immigration history check. Please Note: If you fail the immigration check you will not be eligible to complete the application. You will also be required to sign a form stating you agree to the terms and conditions set out for the application process.

Participation in one of these sessions is a mandatory element in the Start-up visa process.

Please Note: applications for 2021 are now closed. If you would like to be notified when the Start-up visa opens for applications again, please email careers&enterprise@salford.ac.uk to be added to expression of interest list or complete a Registration of Interest Form.

STEP 2 – Application and shortlisting

Complete an application form online. Your suitability for endorsement will be assessed against the Home Office criteria - if you do not reach the requirements we will not take your application further.

You will also be required to provide the following documents:

  • A Business Plan - draft
  • Bank statements showing sufficient funds to start your business
  • Bank statements showing funds to sustain you for 1 year (personal survival budget)
  • Letters from business contacts and companies that have agreed to work with you in the future
  • Endorsement letters from your lecturer/ tutors
  • Copy of your degree certificate
  • Copy of your passport/ current visa

STEP 3 – Attend a Business plan Support Workshop

To assess your business idea the endorsing panel require a business plan. We will invite shortlisted applicants to a business plan support workshop – where the Small Business Adviser will give advice and support on creating a viable business plan.

STEP 4 – Business plan support

You will receive a one to one guidance appointment to assist you in creating your business plan.

STEP 5 – Endorsement panel

You will submit your business plan and supporting documents to our endorsement panel for assessment. Endorsement panel decisions are final. If you are successful you will be required to apply for the Start-up visa through the Home Office.