The Innovator visa category was launched in 29th March 2019 inviting non-EEA nationals who have a business idea which be innovative, viable and scalable to submit their visa applications. The applicant is required to demonstrate relevant business experience and are capable of investing a minimum of £50,000.
Further and most important part is the applicant’s business idea should be approved and supported by an authorized endorsing body prior to submitting the application to the home office / British embassy.
This program is more suitable for people with Senior management experience or business background, who are looking to set up a new business in the United Kingdom which meets the endorsement criteria of being Innovative, viable and scalable.
There is no maximum time limit placed on the Applicant to remain in the UK under this category, but endorsement will be required at the extension and settlement stages.
Innovator visas are valid for 3 years and can lead directly to indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK at the end of this period. After 1 year of attaining Settlement (ILR), the applicant and his family members may apply for British Citizenship upon fulfilling the citizenship criteria.
Innovator visa applicants can bring their partner and any children under the age of 18 to the UK.
The category may also lead to settlement after 3 years of continuous UK residence provided a minimum of two of the following conditions are met:
The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
£50,000 investment in the business from any legitimate source. This investment is waived if the applicant is switching from the Start-Up Visa.
Genuine intention to undertake, and to be capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK as stated in the application
The applicant does not intend to work in the UK in breach of their conditions
Any money which the applicant claims to be available is genuinely available as described, and the applicant intends to use it for the purposes described in the application
The Home Office will further take into account any endorsement of the applicant and may also take into account additional factors:
Evidence the applicant has submitted and its credibility
Applicants previous academic history, Vocational Experience and Immigration history
Declarations made to other government departments regarding the applicants previous employment and other activity in the UK
The Home Office may ask the Applicant to attend an interview or to provide additional information and evidence.
Applicant must obtain endorsement from the government authorized endorsing body prior to submitting the application.
Applicant will need to show maintenance funds of £945.00 for a consecutive 90-day period ending no earlier than 31 days before the date of application.
Applicant must have good command of English to be able to communicate with variety of business organizations and potential customers. This can be demonstrated by one of the following:
Applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
Applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.
The applicant will also be eligible to apply for British citizenship after completing the residential requirements.
Get in touch with our British solicitor for an initial eligibility consultation and KYC
Initiation of scalable business idea.
Getting in touch with home office approved endorsing bodies
Submission of visa application
Move to UK and initiate the business activity as mentioned in the business plan and endorsement. Applicant will be asked to stay in contact with their respective endorsing body with checkpoints every 6 and 12 months.
The endorsing bodies will monitor whether the Applicant is continuing to work on their business ventures and have either demonstrated reasonable progress with their original ideas or are pursuing new business ideas that are also innovative, viable and scalable.
Thinking of applying for Innovator visa, please contact us our Immigration Solicitor!