UK Innovator Visa
About the UK Innovator Visa
The UK Innovator Visa is one of a range of visas which supersede what was previously termed as Tier 1 Entrepreneur. The Innovator visa is designed for an individual whom has a viable product or service they want to establish in the UK.
The main difference between UK Innovator visa and its predecessors is that the specified amount of Investment is much less in comparison, however an endorsement from an approved professional entity must be secured to fulfil the first phase of the application process.
How we can help
Our business team can assist and support you through the application phase ensuring you meet all the criteria.
Exploring your options
- We provide an initial ‘foundation’ virtual meeting to establish whether UK Innovator Visa is the right route for your business to set up in the UK.
- Discuss your business idea and objectives to ascertain whether your idea is viable
- We will look into the long term business and residency intentions and take a view as to whether they would be robust against Innovator route restrictions.
Educating you on the steps
- Advise the company on the initial registration processes for setting-up a business here in the UK.
- Advise on the investment criteria and how you must hold your finances under UK law.
- Advise on timelines and Immigration costs as well as the types of credible investments the company might be expected to bring to the UK.
- Advise on the visa application process and what to expect during the submission phase.
- Consider and discuss initial business proposals whilst ensuring the business is compliant with UKVI qualifying criteria.
Preparing your case
- We will provide a tailored list of specific documentation and will review the documentation against meeting the stringent visa requirements.
- Upload the finalised information to the online visa application and submit the finalised document bundle.
Supporting you on the way
- Brief the Business person on the full process during and after the application has been submitted.
- Liaise with UKVI officials should further enquiries be made. This could be due to having a previous Immigration history, or they may make further enquiries if the application is of a complex nature.
- Brief the applicant on the logistical process of the visa application right up to collecting the BRP card in the UK.
Find out how we can help you.
There are discretionary calls on this visa route, it is therefore always useful to get advice regarding these complex requirements.
Innovator Visa FAQ's
The minimum investment you will need for your business is £50,000. This is much less than the £200,000 minimum requirement under the previous route Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.
The Innovator visa application process is undertaken in two phases;
Endorsement; the applicant must attain an endorsement from a competent body within their chosen field. In addition to meeting the individual endorsement criteria you must demonstrate that you have a robust business plan based on a viable product or service, supported with accurate data sets demonstrating future business growth and job creation.
Visa Application; once you have received an endorsement you may go on to apply for the Innovator visa however you must meet the individual visa requirements.
The application for innovator visa is very detailed however and we suggest you get advice from an experienced adviser, below are a few criteria;
- You must meet the endorsement criteria of the relevant endorsing body
- You must show you have the correct funds to invest and that they are held in a regulated institution recognised by the UKVI.
- You must have a viable business idea
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be able to maintain and support yourself during the validity of your visa
- You must hold an English Language certificate at Level B2
The government provides an evolving list of authorised bodies and organisations permitted to endorse Innovator visa applications. The list covers a wide range of bodies covering different business sectors.
If you need advice on which endorsing body you fall under please contact our team.
You are not permitted to work for another company whilst you are on the Innovator visa, you are required to work solely on the Business you have been endorsed for. During your visa term you will be required to maintain contact with the authorised body in question in order to update them of your progress.
You will be granted leave for an initial term of three years, you may extend your visa for a further term. There is no cap on the number of times you can extend your visa providing you continue to meet the individual requirements of the endorsing body and the visa.
If you have successfully extended your visa in the same category, after 5 years, you may apply for settlement, there are other requirements under the settlement route that you will be required to meet.
You may be able to apply for settlement under the three year route if you can demonstrate that your business has exceeded the UKVI growth targets. For more detail about this option please contact our Business Immigration Team.
There are only a handful of visa routes you may be able to switch from in-country;
- Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
- Tier 2
You may bring your dependant family members with you on the innovation visa however they must meet the relationship and age requirements specific to the dependant visa application.