UK has opened startup and innovative visa routes for applications for non-EU nationals outside EEA effective from March 29, 2019. The existing Entrepreneur (tier1) visa category has been removed and replaced with the startup and innovative visa categories.


As a part of new changes, the £200,000 entrepreneur requirement reduced to £50,000 for innovative visa category


  • Startup visa – No minimum investment but business plan approved by respective body (settlement not possible)
  • Innovative visa –  £50,000 investment needed (settlement possible)


One important difference between the above two visa categories is settlement. Startup visas do not lead to settlement in the UK


The start-up and Innovator categories, which were introduced on 29 March 2019


UK Startup visa


The startup visa category has no minimum investment threshold but the business plan must have been approved by a UK higher education institution or a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs.


This visa issued for maximum 2 years.   Visa decision is issued within 3 weeks


  • No extension possible, but to stay longer, new endorsement required
  • No settlement possible
  • Switching possible from current visa status


Startup visa feeApply (outside the UK)Switch (in the UK)
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia£308£438
All dependants£363 each person£493 each person


UK Innovator visa


The Innovative visa category replaces current tier1 entrepreneur category with reduced investment requirement to £50,000

This visa is for non-EU nationals who want to set up or run a business in the UK. The business plan and idea must be endorsed by an approved body of organizations in the UK


  • set up a business or several businesses
  • work for your business – this includes being employed as a director, or self-employed as a member of a business partnership
  • Switching from other visa categories allowed.


Innovator visa issued for two years and can be extended for another 3 years with unlimited extensions.


Visa decisions are made within 3 weeks


Permanent settlement and citizenship possible after five years with this visa category


Joint innovator applications allowed provided each contribute £50,000


The visa fee for this category is three times higher than the startup category


Innovator visa feeApply (outside the UK)Extend or switch (in the UK)
Individual rom Turkey or Macedonia)£966£1,222
All dependants£1,021 each person£1,277 each person