You can apply for an Innovator visa if you want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK Contact us for eligibility assessment & visa requirements.
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Innovator Visa Application & Requirements
Looking to set up a business in the UK to obtain British Citizenship? International entrepreneurs, innovators and other people of talent who wish to invest their funds in the UK, can apply for an Innovator Visa.
To make a successful UK Innovator visa application, you must meet all the UK Innovator visa requirements & submit all the supporting documents.
To be eligible, applicants must receive an endorsement from an approved endorsing body and have at least £50,000 to invest in their business.
The Innovator visa route is for individuals who are experienced businesspersons seeking to establish a business in the UK. You must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea that is approved and supported by an endorsing body.
Innovator visas are valid for 3 years and can lead directly to indefinite leave to remain in the UK at the end of this period. You can bring your family members (dependants) with you on Innovator Visa.
Innovator visa application
The UK Innovator Route is for applicants who wish to start or pursue their innovative business ideas in the UK.
To receive professional guidance on your innovator visa application and supporting documents, get in touch with one of our expert immigration lawyers.
For the Innovator visa, you will be expected to present a new business idea. Generally, the business will not already exist. However, where it does, the new business should not yet have fully started trading.
Applicants can work on their own as a sole founder, or together as part of an entrepreneurial team. Joint venture arrangements may also be acceptable.
The business idea may relate to any sector, provided the business idea is sufficiently innovative, viable and scalable. If you wish to join an already trading business then the Skilled Worker visa may be more appropriate. If you are a senior employee of an overseas business looking to establish a commercial presence in the UK then you may like to consider the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa.
Requirements for an Innovator visa application
In order to qualify for an Innovator visa you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old or above;
- You have at least £50,000 available to invest in your UK business or have already invested £50,000in your UK business;
- If applying to set up a new business venture, you have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has positively assessed your business idea for innovation, viability and scalability and is satisfied;
- Your endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Innovator visa application;
- You genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application;
- Satisfy English language requirement to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking);
- You have at least £1270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child and £200 for each additional child.
You can book an appointment with our business immigration experts to find out the exact requirements you will need to meet.
Funds requirement for Innovator visa
You must show that your money is genuinely available and you intend to use it for the purpose described in your forms. You will need to have at least £50,000 to invest in your business or have already invested the same amount in your UK business. Moreover, you may rely on money of your own or funding provided by your endorsing bodies.
In addition to the funds, your business idea must be a viable’ and ‘scalable’ business idea means that, in practice, you may need to have more than £50,000 available to invest.
The investment funds required for an Innovator visa is waived for applicants switching from either the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Start-up category to pursue the same business venture or extending as an existing Innovator to pursue the same business venture. In both cases, applicants need to have demonstrated significant achievements judged against their business plan.
Settlement after 3 years of Innovator visa
After 3 years of continuous residence on the innovator, you may be able to settle in the UK, provided that you meet at least two of the following conditions:
- You have invested and spent in your business at least £50,000;
- The number of your customers has at least doubled in the 3 years before your settlement application;
- The business has created at least ten full-time jobs for resident workers;
- Your business has generated gross revenue of at least £1 million;
- Your company has engaged in development activity and has applied for intellectual protection in the UK;
- Your business has generated at least £500,000 in revenue, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas.
Your eligibility will be also reviewed based on your continuous residence in the UK. This means that you must not have spent more than 180 days in any consecutive 12-month period abroad.
After you are granted ILR, you may be eligible for British Citizenship.
Endorsement criteria for Innovator visa
In order for your business idea to be endorsed, an approved endorsing body will need to be satisfied that your business idea meets all of the following requirements:
- Innovation: You have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;
- Viability: You have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business;
- Scalability: The business plan shows evidence of structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.
The endorsing body will also need to be satisfied that you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing business ventures.
Switch into 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 provided you do not have, or were not last granted, permission as a Visitor, Short-term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household or outside the Immigration Rules.
Application fee for innovator visa
The current Home Office application fee for an Innovator visa is £1,021 if applying from outside the UK or £1,277 if applying to switch into the category from within the UK. You will need to pay an additional sum to book an appointment for biometrics.
Our legal fee
We charge a fixed fee starting from £1200 + VAT to £1500 + VAT for our professional legal services in relation to a UK Innovator visa application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
How Can We Help With Your UK Visa Application?
Our expert UK immigration solicitor will guide you through every step of your application process including advice about legal requirements, eligibility criteria and required documents.
- Detailed immigration advice
- List of documents and assessment of supporting documents
- Direct Access to your case handler and supervisor
- Remote & face to face service
- Submission of your immigration application after your approval
- We book an appointment for you to enrol your biometrics
- We prepare our legal representations/cover letter
- We upload all the supporting documents
- Unlimited chase up letters to the Home Office
- We keep you updated with every stage of your application
- 24/7 support in urgent matters