What is the process for getting a work visa for a start-up job in the UK?

09 Jan 2024, 43 mins ago

In the dynamic world of start-ups, the United Kingdom offers a vibrant ecosystem that attracts talent from around the globe. However, before you can embark on your start-up journey in the UK, you will need to navigate the intricacies of obtaining a work visa. This blog post serves as your comprehensive guide to securing a work visa for that exciting start-up job in the UK.

Understand the Visa Types:

The UK offers various work visas, each designed for specific purposes. The most relevant ones for start-up roles include the Skilled Worker and the Global Business Mobility routes. Research and identify which visa aligns with your situation and job role.

Secure a Job Offer:

Before applying for a work visa, you must have a confirmed job offer from a UK-based start-up. Ensure that your potential employer is a licensed sponsor, as only such organisations can issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) required for your visa application.

Check Eligibility:

Confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria for the chosen visa category. Requirements may include a minimum salary, English language proficiency and proof of financial stability. Familiarise yourself with the specific criteria to avoid complications during the application process.

Gather Necessary Documents:

Compile all required documents, such as your passport, job offer letter, Certificate of Sponsorship, proof of qualifications and financial statements. Pay attention to details, as missing documents can lead to delays or rejection.

Visa Application Process:

Submit your visa application online through the official UK government website. Pay the required fees and schedule biometric appointments if needed. Be thorough in providing accurate information and double-check your application before submission.

Healthcare Surcharge and Insurance:

Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your visa application. This grants you access to the National Health Service (NHS). Additionally, consider obtaining comprehensive health insurance to cover any gaps in NHS services.

Wait for a Decision:

Once you’ve submitted your application, be patient. Visa processing times vary, but you can check the current average processing times on the UK government website. Avoid making travel plans until you receive a decision.

Arriving in the UK:

Upon receiving your visa, plan your arrival in the UK. Familiarise yourself with local services and ensure you have accommodations arranged.

Extend or Switch Your Visa:

If you plan to stay longer or switch to a different visa category, research the extension or switch process well in advance. Ensure that you comply with all the requirements to maintain your legal status in the UK.


Securing a work visa for a start-up job in the UK requires careful planning and adherence to the immigration process. By understanding the visa types, meeting eligibility criteria and submitting a thorough application, you can embark on your start-up adventure with confidence. Remember to stay informed about any changes in immigration policies and seek professional advice if needed. Good luck on your journey to becoming a part of the UK’s thriving start-up community!

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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