Startup Visa Process

What happens in the 4 stage process

Stage 1 – Visa Eligibility Check and Application Form

  • An interview is held with the International Office who will undertake a visa eligibility check which will be passed to the Enterprise team on completion. The applicant should make sure they understand all the processing charges.
  • The Enterprise team will explain the Startup Visa (SV) scheme and take the applicant through the Application form; the Applicant signs the form prior to commencing work with the Enterprise Team.
  • At this point the applicant should ensure that they have deposited sufficient funds in their bank account for use throughout the application process (recommended £8,000).

Stage 2 – Preparation for Panel / Presentation to Panel

  • The Enterprise team work with the applicant on preparing a viable business plan with financial forecasts (3 years) and a presentation for an Endorsement panel. The applicant will normally receive 2 consultations during this period – additional sessions are at the discretion of the Enterprise team.
  • The Enterprise team will make a continuous assessment of the applicant and will only convene an Endorsement Panel when they consider the applicant suitable. They will not take part in the Endorsement panel and are not part of the final decision to endorse an application.
  • As part of this process the applicant will be asked to show evidence of available funds to the value of £8,000 before presenting to the panel (see stage 1). This amount is in excess of the Government eligibility criteria and is required to satisfy Coventry University that the applicant is financially prepared for starting their business in the UK.
  • The applicant has a maximum period of 2 years following graduation to make their Visa application to the Home Office. Applications can be made from within the UK or outside of the UK during this time. There are different rules according to where the application is made – please refer to the Government website or International Office for details.
  • If the Endorsement panel approves the application a report is sent to the International Office and an endorsement letter is prepared. Please note that this can take up to 4 weeks (or longer if there are complications).

Stage 3 – Visa Application

  • Once the endorsement letter is available the applicant should arrange a meeting with the International Office who will help them to make the formal application for the visa. This will involve payment of the various processing fees, including the Health Surcharge. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure they understand the full range of charges since they will depend on individual circumstances.
  • The application is submitted along with the applicant’s identity documents. Please note: the applicant will not be able to undertake any activity requiring presentation of identity documents during this time (such as international travel) and must not register the business before receiving an approval visa. The time required to process the application is as specified on the Government web-site – Coventry University has no control over how long this will take.

Stage 4 – Incubation Programme

  • The applicant will be notified once the Visa has been issued and will be required to arrange an ‘Induction meeting’ with the International Office within 2 weeks of receiving their Visa. Failure to make this meeting may result in Coventry University withdrawing their sponsorship.
  • After induction the applicant will be required to pay the incubation programme fees in full. They will be reminded of their obligations under the Startup Visa scheme and will receive various campus / Internet access rights.