Innovator Visa

Innovator Visa

The Innovator visa category is for non-EEA nationals who are experienced businesspersons seeking to establish a business in the UK.  Generally, you will need to have £50,000 to invest in your business and have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is endorsed by an endorsing body.

What are the main eligibility requirements for an Innovator visa?

In order to qualify for an Innovator visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking);
  • If you are applying to enter the Innovator visa category for the first time (either from overseas or in-country with leave as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 2 General migrant, Tier 2 ICT migrant or Prospective Entrepreneur), you have at least £50,000 available to invest in your business or have already invested £50,000 in your business.   You must also have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has positively assessed your new business idea for innovation, viability and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your business venture;
  • If you last had leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Start-up and you are applying to extend your stay in the Innovator visa category in order to pursue the same business venture you either:
    • have at least £50,000 available to invest in your business or have already invested £50,000 in your business and have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed your business idea for innovation, viability and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend your entire working time in the UK developing your business venture(s); or
    • you have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that is satisfied that you have shown significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement, you are registered with Companies House as a Director or Member of your business, your business is active, trading and appears sustainable for at least the following 12 months, you have had an active key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business and you will spend your entire working time in the UK developing your business venture(s).  If applying on this basis you will not need to satisfy an investment funds requirement;
  • If you last had leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur and you are applying to extend your stay in the Innovator visa category in order to pursue a new business venture, you have at least £50,000 available to invest in your business or have already invested £50,000 in your new different business venture.
  •  You must also have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed your new business idea for innovation, viability and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your business venture(s);
  • You genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application;
  • You do not intend to work in the UK other than for the business(es) you have established;
  • Any money which you state that you intend to use for the business is available is genuinely available to you;
  • You have at least £945 (additional to any investment funds required) available to support yourself without relying on public funds.

What else do I need to know about the Innovator visa?


Applications for Innovator visas can be made from outside the UK, but it is also possible to switch into the Innovator visa category from within the UK if you were last granted leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur,  Tier 2 General or Tier 2 ICT or Prospective Entrepreneur.  


You do not need to be the sole founder of your business and you may be a member of an innovator team.  However, innovator team members that are required to satisfy an investment funds requirement cannot share the same £50,000 but must instead have at least £50,000 investment funds each. 


Your initial Innovator visa will be  granted for 3 years with the 
possibility to extend an Innovator visa for periods of 3 years at a time.  There is no maximum time limit in the category.


You will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after spending 3 years in the Innovator visa category.


As an Innovator visa holder you will not be permitted to take any employment other than working for the business or businesses that you have established. 

You will need to stay in contact with your endorsing body with checkpoints at 6, 12 and 24 months after your application is successful.  The endorsing body will need to be satisfied that you are continuing to work on your business venture and have demonstrated reasonable progress in relation to either your original or a new business idea that is innovative, scalable and viable. Your endorsement may be withdrawn and your leave curtailed if this is not the case.


Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany or join you as your dependant(s).

 

 How can we help?

We will use their experience to assist you with your start up business and handle your full application process on your behalf, understanding and meeting the needs of our clients to ensure a professional and reliable service is constantly provided to clients.

The services we offer:

  • Application for the endorsement by an endorsing body
  • Draft a start up visa business plan
  • Credibility interview preparation
  • Application for further leave to remain on the Innovator visa category
  • Application for Settlement

 

UK Immigration rules are complex and challenging which is why we work to our client's best interest and understand what is at stake.

Fill out the form and one of our immigration experts will be in touch.