Startup and Innovator Visas

The Startup and Innovator visa categories are for non-EEA nationals wishing to set up a business in the UK. To qualify for a visa in either category, applicants must first obtain an endorsement from an approved endorsing body. All applications will be assessed for Innovation, Viability and Scalability.

CyLon is an approved endorsing body for both the Startup and Innovator visa categories.

CyLon is now accepting applications to both visas. Please note that CyLon will only endorse visas for founders working on cyber security / deep tech businesses. If your company is not in these areas we’re afraid we can’t help you!


The Startup category is for early-stage but high potential entrepreneurs starting a business in the UK for the first time.

What is it?

  • 2 year visa, with option to switch to the Innovator visa after 2 years
  • Primary work is to build a business
  • Can take on work outside main business
  • Family members can come to the UK
  • No funds needed to apply
  • Must be founder’s first UK business


The Innovator category is for more experienced businesspeople seeking to establish a business in the UK.

What is it?

  • 3 year visa, with option to apply to extend stay for a further 3 years or to settle permanently in the UK.*
  • Sole work must be to build a business
  • May not take on other employment outside main business
  • Family members can come to the UK
  • Minimum of £50,000 available funds required before application
  • Must be founder’s first UK business

*Each of these three stages (initial application, extension, settlement) requires endorsement from an endorsing body.


If you are a Non-EEA entrepreneur building a cyber security / deep-tech company that plays a part in securing our digital economy, you can apply to CyLon to endorse your Startup or Innovator visa.

To apply for either visa, please fill out an application form giving as many details as possible so we sufficiently review your application. If you meet our criteria, we aim to be in touch within four weeks.

Apply Here