Start-up Visa

If you would like to set up your own business in the UK after you have graduated, you may be able to apply for a Start-up visa.

The University of Bath Innovation Centre (UBIC) supports this visa scheme and has a limited number of visas to award each year. To apply for the Start-up visa, you need to be endorsed by the enterprise team at SETsquared Bath. You will need to go through a detailed application process to get endorsed and will need to meet the criteria.

Our criteria at SETsquared Bath - as a university business incubator - are that an applicant;

- is a recent (up to two years) University of Bath graduate or researcher who is seeking to commercialise original invention or IP and has a clear route to market;


- is a recent (up to two years) University of Bath graduate or researcher who has a business proposition that fits within the support areas of our Business Acceleration Hubs [Sustainable Technology, Advanced Engineering, Digital Innovation, Health Tech, Immersive Technology] that has been developed and researched for a number of months so that it is ready to launch. NB: We expect to see clear evidence of market research including extensive interviews with potential customers or clients i.e. the entrepreneur may have already conducted trials or launched an MVP in order to validate their idea. 

- All applicants should have a proven track record as an entrepreneur so that we have confidence in their skills (i.e. has participated in graduate enterprise activities while at the university or has other evidence to show off-campus entrepreneurial activity) 

If you fit this criteria and and would like to start the application process please send your business plan and a cover letter to the Graduate Enterprise Manager, Siobain Hone at

If you are successful, you will need to pay for membership at the SETsquared Bath centre and will receive mentoring, training and introductions to investors. Once the Centre has agreed to endorse you, you will need to apply for your visa.

To apply for this visa you will need:

  • a 'genuine and credible' business idea endorsed by the University of SETsquared Bath Innovation Centre;

  • your degree certificate from the University of Bath

  • a letter of endorsement demonstrating ability and intention to establish your own business in the UK

  • financial evidence demonstrating £945 for a consecutive 90-day period if you apply in the UK

  • financial evidence demonstrating £1,890 for a consecutive 90-day period if you apply overseas

  • your current passport

  • two recent UK passport sized photos

It’s important to note that you will need the financial means to support yourself and to launch or run your business for the duration of the visa period; SETsquared Bath will only make introductions to the SETsquared funding network when the business is at a suitable stage in its growth and is deemed ‘investor ready’ by the enterprise team. There is no guarantee that this will happen within the first 12 - 24 months and is very much dependent on the individual entrepreneur and the strength of the business proposition.

You can apply for this visa from overseas or in the UK and your visa will be valid for two years only. If you would like to discuss the visa application process, please attend a drop-in session.