The Lab works in partnership with the University of Nottingham’s Visa and Immigration team to offer a set number of endorsements for Start-up visas each year. They run from April to April and are specifically for graduates to stay in the UK to develop a business.
The Start-up visas are for two years and can start at any time during the year. Overseas students are able to apply up to 12 months after graduating. The process is as follows:
- Applicant submits a business plan to the Ingenuity Lab for consideration.
- Applications are then shortlisted and selected applicants will be invited to pitch their business idea to a judging panel convened by the Ingenuity Lab.
- Business ideas must meet the Home Office's criteria of viable, innovative, and scalable.
- Those who have made a successful business pitch will receive an endorsement for a Start-up visa. You will then need to satisfy further statutory conditions with the Visa and Immigration Office before your visa will be granted. Please visit the UK Government website to confirm your eligibility. Please note an endorsement does not guarantee you will receive a Start-up visa.
For further information, contact the Visa and Immigration team.
The visa process was quite simple and the Lab was very supportive. The insight from the Lab and its associated events helped me formulate ideas for a long term business plan.
Information for students holding student visas
Students studying in the UK on student visas should remember that self-employment and business activities are not permitted under the student route (formerly known as Tier 4) immigration rules. However, the UKVI guidance for Start-up and Innovator endorsing bodies states that students are allowed to carry out preliminary activities such as writing business plans or negotiating contracts and they may incur pre-trading costs with a view to deciding whether to start a business under a future immigration route such as Start-up or Innovator. If you have questions, you can refer to the information on the UKCISA website, or you can contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team.