Visas for founders

There are two visa categories for international entrepreneurs wishing to set up a business in the UK: Start-up and Innovator visa.

To apply for a Start-up or Innovator visa, you must be endorsed by an authorised body. Edinburgh Innovations is an authorised body and may be able to endorse your application if you have a close, demonstrable relationship with the University of Edinburgh.

Start-up visa

The Start-up visa category is aimed at new, high potential, ambitious entrepreneurs who are starting their first UK business.

Applicants do not require any initial funds to invest in their business and must not have started a business in the UK prior to application. Learn more about the Start-up visa and how to apply for endorsement.

Innovator visa

The Innovator visa is aimed at more experienced business people who are looking to establish a business in the UK.

Applicants must have a minimum of £50,000 in funds available for investment in their business. Learn more about the Innovator Visa and how to apply for endorsement.


If you have questions after reading this information, please make an initial enquiry by contacting

Visa endorsement pre-applications and applications are reviewed in the first week of each month. We will endeavour to get back to you as soon as we can after that review with the next steps.

If you are a current student or recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh and have an enquiry relating to your existing visa please email