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What Is A Start-Up Visa? How You Can Get One?

Last updated on: March 11, 2024 16:19 IST

Businesspersons who have the potential to contribute to the economy of a country are given a red carpet by way of a start-up visa, explains Rohit Sethi, director, ESS Global.

What is a start-up visa? How to get a start-up visa?

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Spencer Davis/

The world is a global village and businesses often have to spread across national borders to maximise profits.

If you, as a dreamer and entrepreneur, want to expand your business and provide a better life for you and your family, then a start-up visa should be an option for you to consider.

These specialised visas hold the promise of providing access to diverse markets and reaping the benefit of a highly supportive ecosystem.

What is a start-up visa?

Every country, regardless of how big or small it is, needs economic development.

Businesspersons who have the potential to contribute to the economy of a country are given a red carpet welcome by way of a start-up visa.

There are several additional benefits offered by a start-up visa that are not part of a normal work visa.

These include:

Reduced Bureaucratic Hurdles 

Countries like Canada and the United Kingdom have minimal to no bureaucratic hurdles.

Individuals with innovative business plans can find fertile breeding growth to establish their business from the ground up.

Financial Incentives And Tax Breaks 

The initial phase of any business requires a lot of government support.

Favourable funding opportunities and tax policies by these countries provide considerable encouragement for new businesses.

Networking Opportunities 

A start-up visa offers the chance to meet business incubators and government-organised events, providing you with new ideas to diversify and grow your business.

Relocation For The Entire Family 

A major benefit of a start-up visa is the opportunity for the entire family -- including dependent parents, spouse and children -- to relocate to the new country.


Here are some top destinations for Indian entrepreneurs:

Almost every country mentioned below offers visas that specifically target entrepreneurs and businesspersons.

The trend to offer attractive schemes to lure individuals who will invest money in their adopted country is rising.


Entrepreneurs with the potential and the skills to build businesses in Canada are welcome here.

Your business idea needs to be accepted by the designated bodies, including venture capital funds, angel investor groups and business incubators who issue a Letter of Support confirming that your business idea has support from Canada’s designated bodies.

The proposed business plan should have three components:

The start-up visa programme can be approached in two ways -- one, you have an original business plan and, two, you want to support a running business.

There are different formalities to be met in each of the two approaches.

The UK

Aspiring entrepreneurs looking to settle in the United Kingdom by way of starting a business are given an option in the form of an innovator founder visa. This visa is now being offered in place of a start-up visa.

To apply for an innovator founder visa, one needs to fulfil the following:

You will have to find out which endorsing body will endorse your business idea for the innovator founder visa.

You can stay for three years in the UK after arriving on an innovator founder visa.

You will have to meet the endorsing body after 12 months and 24 months to show the progress of your business.

The visa can be extended every three years and there is no limit on the number of extensions.

A decision on the visa can be given in as little as three weeks after you have applied online and provided the documents.


There are multiple business visas offered by the United States of America that suit different categories of businesspersons and entrepreneurs, including:

Investors, their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age can apply for lawful permanent residence under the EB-5 visa programme.

The investment needs to be made in a commercial enterprise in the United States.

You should plan to create or preserve 10 full-time jobs for qualified US workers.

A commercial enterprise is defined as any for-profit lawful business activity conducted in the US. This includes:


Business innovation and investment (provisional) visa (Subclass 188) is an offering from Australia to businesspersons and investors who want to settle in the country by way of investment.

The requirements that need to be fulfilled to apply for this visa include:

How to start the application process:

You can stay in Australia for up to five years on a business innovation and investment (provisional) visa and will be eligible to bring your family as well.

Multiple entries are allowed in this visa as long as it is valid and you can apply for permanent residency through the business innovation and investment (permanent) visa (Subclass 888) entrepreneur stream.


If you want to move to Germany by setting up a commercial business, you need to apply for a specific residence permit.

You can set up a business in Germany in two different ways:

1. You work as a freelancer.

2. You set up a business as a self-employed person.

Some general criteria that need to be fulfilled include:

To assess the ground conditions and fulfil the requirements of the visa application you can contact advisory services such as business associations in your target region.

You and your family can have your residency permit extended if your business idea can generate enough revenue to support your entire family.

One can only apply for a settlement permit after completing the initial stay period of three years.