For those of you here in the UK on a Start-up visa, the team understand that this must be a very difficult time for you. We want to support your wellbeing as a priority and the team will be contacting all of you individually to discuss your circumstances. If you have any urgent concerns please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also access the university FAQ’s for International students here www.sunderland.ac.uk/covid19.
The University of Sunderland is one of the UK Higher Education Institutions authorised to endorse a limited number of Start-up visas per year. There is a formal application process and you need to contact the University’s Enterprise Place team a minimum three months prior to your student visa expiry date if you intend to apply.
Your application will be reviewed by senior managers from the University and discussed at a panel; this may take some weeks to process so you should allow plenty of time before your current visa expires. As a minimum your business plan should demonstrate:
If your application is successful and the panel decides that your business plan is innovative, viable and scalable, you will be offered a unique reference number, which will be shared with the UK Visa and Immigration Service (UKVI). You should then take the unique reference number to UKVI and apply for your visa.
The University has no further involvement with the visa application process. You are unable to set up your business or trade in any way until you receive your Start-up visa from UKVI.
To be eligible to apply for a Start-up visa you will need all of the following:
You can’t apply with any of the following:
The University can offer you support through membership of The Enterprise Place whilst you are researching your idea alongside your studies and also once you have obtained your Start-up visa. This membership provides you with access to the Enterprise Place office facilities in Hope Street Xchange, one to one business advice from a range of experts, access to enterprise and networking events and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Once you have obtained your Start-up visa, the University will expect you to be working on your business idea on a full-time basis and to be in regular contact with the Enterprise Place team. As part of your membership to the Enterprise Place you will be asked to submit monthly reports on your business progress. You will also have regular review meetings with University staff including Enterprise and Innovation managers and the International Gateway team from the University who will assess the development of your business.