UK Startup Visa
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of the nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK and England’s capital is the city of London. Even after brexit, London remains the Global City par excellence and is home to more foreign billionaires than any other city in the world.
About the UK
The U.K. offers many paths to talented individuals such as the Start-up Visa, the Innovator Visa and the Global Talent Visa. Not all of them require investment from your own funds and they provide a quick and easy route toward permanent residency. Citizenship in the U.K. can be obtained after only five years of residency.
Taxation in the U.K. is advantageous, as non-domiciled residents are taxed on what they remit into the U.K. Under a U.K. visa, you can also relocate to tax-friendly jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands to lower your tax liability even further.
United Kingdom Crypto Environment
The UK is a major global financial hub and in recent years has become a fintech leader as well. At the same time, it is starting to demonstrate significant potential to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy. However, in recent years we have seen some more regulation regarding derivative crypto trading (not allowed anymore in the UK) and in 2021 the UK government launched their plan for a CBDC called “Britcoin” (ngmi).
Mobility: EU (indefinitely),
None or half of the year for permanent residency
Download our free factsheet with more detailed information about this program.
Who Can Qualify?
The U.K. offers a variety of programs tailored to talented entrepreneurs. These mostly cater to talents from the tech community.
Innovator Visa: Renewable 3-year visa
The minimum requirements are:
- You must have at least £50,000 funding to set up a new business.
- Your business or business idea must be innovative, unique and endorsed by an approved body
Global Talent Visa: Renewable 5-year visa
- You must get endorsed by an approved body as a leader or potential leader in the field of academia or research, arts and culture, or digital technology
Start-up Visa: Renewable 2-year visa
- Your business or business idea must be innovative, unique and endorsed by an approved body.
The U.K. Start-up Visa does not lead to permanent residency. Instead, you will need to switch to the Innovator Visa. Both the U.K. Innovator Visa and the U.K. Global Talent Visa can lead to permanent residency (indefinite leave to remain) after three or five years, depending on how you perform. After five years,with at least one year of permanent residency, you could be eligible for British citizenship.
The U.K. Start-up, Innovator and Global Talent visas do not impose physical presence requirements. The decision on the application is very fast, about three weeks. Since Brexit, the U.K. is not part of the European Union and the Schengen Area. But the U.K. remains part of the Common Travel Area with Ireland.
A resident permit in the U.K. also enables you to live in the tax-friendly Crown Dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey. Another great benefit of the U.K. is the premium service that can be used at certain stages of the application (e.g., permanent residency) to reduce the application process to 24 hours.
Under the U.K. Golden Visa, you can include your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner and your minor children. Adult children can obtain a study permit. Parents can be admitted to family reunification after you have obtained permanent residency status in the U.K.
The U.K. Start-up Visa, Innovator Visa and Global Talent Visa require you to obtain endorsement from a government-approved body. During that period, you must not lose your endorsement. In addition, you will have to:
- Show bank statements demonstrating the availability of funds to maintain your stay in the U.K.
- Provide a police certificate of any country you have lived in for more than 12 months in the last 10 years.
- You must pass a Tuberculosis test and register for National Health Insurance.
United Kingdom Residency Application Process
The U.K. Home Office usually takes three weeks to reach a decision on an application. The overall process can be longer, depending on how fast you finalize the investment after that. The application can be done through a power of attorney, but you will need to travel to the U.K. to collect your work visa.
- Verify eligibility
- Start client onboarding process with Global RCG.
- Global RCG helps you gather the required documents.
- Global RCG assists you in opening a UK bank account and transferring the funds.
- Approval-in-principle is received. Give your biometric and pickup entry visa at consulate.
- Travel to the UK to pick up your resident permit.
Year 3 or 5
Year 5 or 6
Access to the US
As a UK resident, you will receive a multi-exit visa allowing you to travel in and out of the UK.
With an American passport, you can spend up to six months a year in the U.K. But your U.K. resident permit will guarantee you entry in the country even during COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Once you become a British citizen, you will have Freedom of Movement within the common travel area and can live and work freely in it.
The British passport provides access to over 180 visa-free worldwide, including the EU’s Schengen area, the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Brazil.
Access to the US
The U.K. has a visa-waiver policy with the U.S., meaning British citizens can travel to the U.S. for 90 days without a visa. The U.K. is a U.S. E-1 or E-2 treaty country. As a U.K. citizen, you would be able to apply for an nonimmigrant E-2 investor visa, allowing you to run a business in the U.S.
Taxation in the U.K. is relatively high, but many expats benefit from a non-domiciled tax regime. Non-domiciled residents are only liable to taxation on what they remit to the U.K. As a temporary resident, you are exempted from being a tax resident in the country if you don’t wish to be. But be aware that tax residency is necessary to reach permanent residency or citizenship.