Start-up Scheme

City, University of London is an approved endorsing body under the Business Start-Up Scheme. The Scheme is open to final year City students and recent City Graduates who intend to set up a first business in the UK that they can show is innovative, viable and scalable.

Start-up Scheme

You can bring your dependants with you and you can extend your stay in the UK or switch into this visa from some other visa categories. However, you cannot get public funds, work as a doctor, a dentist in training or a professional sportsperson, and settle in the UK on this visa.

How to apply for the Start-up Scheme

Selection for endorsement will be via the following 3-step competitive process:

  • Step one

    All applications will be submitted via an online form accessed via the City, University of London website. An independent panel of entrepreneurial experts will then assess these applications and successful candidates will be invited to present their ideas to a panel. You can find details on how to apply and the next closing date here.
  • Step two

    All shortlisted candidates will be invited to pitch and discuss their business idea, supported by a detailed action plan. Successful candidates at this stage will be recommended by the Enterprise Office, City, University of London, for official endorsement of a Start-up visa by the Institution.
  • Step three
    Once you have been awarded your Degree you can liaise with visa advice team about requesting the formal endorsement letter from the university and about applying to switch your visa to a Start-up visa.

Financial requirements when you apply for the Start-up Visa

  • You must be able to show that you have held funds of £945, in an account that is acceptable to the Home Office for the latest 90 consecutive days before you apply.
  • It costs £493 (from 6 April 2019) if you apply from inside the UK or £363 (from 6 April 2019) to apply from outside the UK, plus £800 (£400 per year) for the immigration health surcharge.

If your application is successful

If your application is successful, you will be granted immigration permission for 2 years in order to develop your business plans with the support of Enterprise Education at City.

There is no restriction on working in the UK under this category. However, please bear in mind you need to be progressing your business to remain sponsored under your Start-Up visa.