Start-up visas

The Start-up Visa applies to current international (non EEA) University of Birmingham students in their final year of study and graduates of up to five years who have an innovative, scalable and viable idea.

The University operates the Start-up Visa scheme in conjunction with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and is run in collaboration between Careers Network and International Student Team (IST). 

At its discretion, we will endorse applicants who successfully pass the University of Birmingham’s Start-up Visa application process.  If granted, the visa holder may stay for two years, during which applicants will spend the majority of their time developing their businesses but can also take on other work outside of their businesses, to support themselves. 

Who can apply?

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply.

The candidate should be:

  • A current University of Birmingham student in their final year of study; or
  • A current University of Birmingham Student Route (previously known as Tier 4) visa holders; or
  • Former students that have graduated from the University of Birmingham within five years.
  • The person should be an early-stage entrepreneur and must not have previously established a business in the UK or had 2 years’ Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa (unless they are in their 1st year of Tier 1 GE).

In order to be granted a Start-up Visa the applicant must be proposing a new business idea that meets the following requirements:

  • Innovation: The applicant must have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
  • Viability: The applicant must have, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
  • Scalability: There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

When can you apply?

The deadline dates for applications occur twice a year (July and December).

You can also visit the Home Office website for more information on the Start-up Visa.