Tier 1 Visa Programme

As a business support provider with more than 15 years experience of delivering start-up, growth and innovation support services on behalf of national and local government across the UK, Blue Orchid is proud to support the governments Tier 1 Innovator and Start-up visa programme as a registered endorsing body.

The Start-up and Innovator visa categories are for non-EEA nationals wishing to set
up a business in the UK.

  • The Start-up category is for early-stage, but high potential, entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK for the first time. They may have already begun setting up their business, but it should not yet have commenced trading.
  • The Innovator category is for more experienced business people seeking to establish a business in the UK.

To qualify for a visa in either category, applicants must first obtain an endorsement from an approved endorsing body.

Unfortunately UK Visas and Immigration has now decided to make significant changes to the Tier 1 visa scheme and the role & number of Endorsing Bodies. In anticipation of the launch of the new service in September 2022 UKVI have reduced the provision of Tier 1 Endorsement numbers to each Endorsing Body.

As a result of this reduction in provision Blue Orchid will only be able to work with new UK applicants referred to us by a trusted partner. For UK based applicants this includes Growth Hubs, national & regional business support programmes, UK Higher Education Institutions and existing Blue Orchid Associate. For overseas applicants this includes UK Trade and Investment / Department of International Trade or via an existing Blue Orchid Associate. 

If you are seeking an endorsement for the Innovator Visa route we reccommend that you contact our associates Fresh Business Services who may be able to provide you with additional advice and who are also able to carry out the initial pre-pipeline checks that we would carry out on applications. please visit  Fresh Global Alliance


Please note that in order to apply for a T1 Innovator Visa you must have the financial resources to invest a minimum of £50,000 in your innovative business and if you are currently based in the UK a minimum of 3 months remaining on your current visa.

Blue Orchid as an endorsing body is interested in working with high growth start-ups that are engaged with our client base across England’s North West and are committed to working with a Blue Orchid business mentor and engage with our entrepreneurship support programmes.

Our Tier 1 Visa programme provides support, guidance and mentoring to individuals interested in starting and growing a business in the UK.

Priority is given to applications referred by Fresh Global Allliance , an existing Blue Orchid associate and verfied business advise provider.

Review and assess your business plan.

This will examine whether the your proposal presents genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage?

Monitor progress and provide ongoing mentoring.

This will include access to Blue Orchids business support programmes and knowledge and a one to one relationship with a dedicated business adviser.

Inform the UK Home Office of your businesses progress.
In the Innovator category, issue further endorsements for extension and settlement applications.

We are currently reviewing our Tier 1 Programme, unfortunately as a result we are not able to accept new start-up programme applications until after January 2021 unless referred by our associates.