If you are pursuing a Start-up visa, you may be wondering if you can bring your family with you to the UK, and if so, how. Today’s blog will therefore address the topic of family members of Start-up visa holders. Read on to discover the family members of Start-up visa holder requirements, and for other critical information relevant to Start-up visa holders and family members of Start-up visa for investors, including how to apply from outside the UK (and from inside the UK) the Start-up visa validity period, and for the answers to other critical questions for Start-up visa holders, such as “How do I get a UK Startup visa?”. 

Family members of Start-up visa holder requirements

  • One of the main benefits of a UK Startup visa is that you are potentially allowed to bring your family members to live with you in the country. 
  • Please note that you cannot simply bring your family with you to the UK if you have a Startup visa—your family members must be considered eligible and be approved for a visa in order to legally join you in the country. 
  • Family members of Start-up visa holders must meet the following requirements in order to be considered eligible as dependents:

Relationship Requirements

  • Only partners and children are considered eligible as family members of a Start-up visa holder (known technically as dependents). This means that you cannot being your extended family with you as dependents on your Startup visa (parents, siblings, grandparents, etc).
  • In general, acceptable non-child dependents include a spouse or civil partner (with whom you are in a relationship that is considered valid under the law in the UK). A dependent can also simply be a partner with whom you have no formalized, legal relationship (so long as you can credibly prove that you have been in a relationship with him/her for at least two years).
  • Regarding children, to be considered a dependent, your child must be between the ages of 0-18. Alternatively, children who are above the age of 18 may be considered your dependent so long as they are already in the country (i.e. that they are already in the country as your dependent).
  • Additionally, children who are above the age of 16 must fulfill the following requirements in order to be considered as valid family member of a Start-up visa holder:
    • They should reside at the home of the Start-up visa holder—an exception to this is if they are boarding on campus at a UK high school or university. (Please note that you will have to provide at least two pieces of evidence proving your son/daughter’s living arrangements, such as his or her driver’s license and bank statements).
    • They should be entirely financially dependent on you (hence why they exist as dependents).
    • Be unmarried (and without a civil partner) and be child-free.
  • Please note that you may have to apply for a dependent visa for your child even if he or she is born in the UK, while you are there on your Start-up visa.

Financial Requirements

  • In addition to each paying an application fee, you must fulfill additional financial requirements for each dependent.  
  • As the Start-up visa holder, you must demonstrate your possession of a certain amount of funds per dependent. This money must be held in your bank account (or that of your spouse) for at least 28 days prior to your application, (or the application of your respective family members). 
  • The cost for your spouse or partner is £285. 
  • If you are only trying to bring one child to the UK as your dependent, you must have £315 (for that one child). If you are bringing more than one child, each child will be £200. 
  • Please note that in addition to the specific amount of money you must hold in your bank account per dependent, you must also have £1,270 in your account, as evidence that you can afford your cost of living in the country. 
  • For example, if you are bringing your wife and four children, you must pay £1200—the price of your wife (£285) the price of your first child (£315) and the price of your three other children (£200 x 3) plus £1,270 (the money you need for yourself), for a total of £2470. 
  • Please note that if your family members (or you yourself) are applying from within the country, and if they (or you) have been in the country for a year, you may not have to show proof of having these funds. However, if you are applying from abroad, or if you have been in the country for less than a year, you will need to supply specific documents attesting to your possession of these specific funds. 

Biometric Requirements

  • Finally, these are biometric requirements for family members of Start-up visa for investors. All family members must have their biometric information (fingerprints and photos) collected at a visa application center. 

Application Requirements

  • Your family members can apply to be your dependents online, through the UK government website  
  • Each family member must go through an individual application process (i.e. each must submit his or her own application and pay their own application fees) before they are granted a visa.
  • Please note that if you are applying from abroad as a dependent, you must submit your application and be approved for a visa prior to flying into the UK.  
  • When they apply, your dependents will need access to your Start-up visa application number, known as either a Unique Application Number (UAN) or a Global Web Form (GWF). 

How do I get a UK Start-up visa?

  • Applicants for UK Start-up visas should apply online, via the official UK government website.
  • Only candidates who meet the eligibility requirements will be considered acceptable candidates for a Start-up visa. In order to be considered eligible for a Start-up visa, you must obtain the official endorsement of UK-based school/university or business group. In addition, you should be able to successfully demonstrate that the idea you have for your business (i.e. the basis for your start-up) is something that is both unique and original, that also possesses the capacity to expand.
  • In addition to fulfilling the basic eligibility standards, applicants must submit all of their required and supplemental documents, pass a security screening, pay their visa fees, and submit their biometric information.
  • Please keep in mind that the application process for obtaining a Start-up visa will differ depending on where you are applying.
  • Whether you are outside the UK and want to apply for a UK Start-up visa, or you are already in the UK on a different visa and want to switch into the Start-up visa category, you can apply for a UK Start-up visa by contacting us here.

Start-up Visa Validity Period

  • The Start-up visa validity period is two years for all holders. 
  • In addition, please note that the two-year period is simply the longest time you can remain in the country on a Start-up visa. In the event that the entity which is endorsing your startup declines to continue to endorse you, you may have to leave the country immediately, even if you have not yet stayed a full two years, unless you are successfully able to switch into another visa category. 
  • Please keep in mind that unlike some UK Business visas, Start-up visas do not allow for the possibility for extension. This means that you will have to successfully switch into another visa category in order to remain legally in the UK beyond the two-year period allowed to you on a Start-up visa. 

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