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UK Innovator Visa

The Innovator Visa is a route businessmen or aspiring start-ups can take with an aim to establish their business in the UK. There are set requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for this scheme, one of which is that the entrepreneur intending to set up or take over a UK business must possess a minimum of funds between £50,000 and £200,000 that can be invested solely on the business.

The new scheme is only procedurally different from the previous Tier 1 Entrepreneur category. The basic changes are that the requirement for mandatorily creating 2 jobs is removed and a new condition of getting endorsement from a recognised body is required, additionally, these bodies will be monitoring the progress of the applicants after they are approved.

So far 24 bodies have been nominated, these are mostly reputed venture capital and seed development companies that are active in talent hunt and arranging capital for promising applicants.

Thus to summarise:

  1. The applicant should be at least 18 years of age.
  2. They should pass an English language test at Level B2.
  3. They should have £50,000 to invest in their business. The amount should be in a regulated bank for 90 days.
  4. If the bank is not in the UK then the money should be transferable to the UK in case the application is approved.
  5. The investment can be from borrowing or provided by venture capitalists.
  6. In case of offer of borrowing, further documentation is required.
  7. There should be a Business Plan of the proposed business.
  8. One of the endorsing bodies will assess the project and provide a recommendation.
  9. The endorsing body will later monitor the performance of the business and in case of an adverse report the arrangement can be cancelled.
  10. The business and plans are credible and genuine, and the applicant is truly an entrepreneur.
  11. The applicant is an innovator, someone who is already experienced in running a business.
  12. He should have £945 in his bank account as maintenance funds.
  13. The initial visa will be for 3 years and before expiry of that visa they can make an application for extension for another 2 years, and after completing 5 years they may apply for settlement/indefinite leave to remain, in a further year they can apply for UK nationality.
  14. For settlement you have to meet a success criterion as specified in the Rules. They should meet a few out of a selection that also include investment, number of employments generated, quantum of sales revenues
  15. During the 5 years residence in the Uk, absences of up to 180 days in a year are permissible to provide flexibility for migrants.
  16. He has to focus solely on his business and should not undertake any other business responsibilities or employment, higher studies; allowed subject to conditions.
  17. If more than one person wishes to form a team, as co-directors in the same company, then each has to have endorsement by the body and both have to invest £50,000 each.
  18. There is an application fee of £1,021 per person, this is non-refundable if the application is refused.
  19. There is an Immigration Health Surcharge of £1,000 per person. This is refundable in case the visa is refused.
  20. There is no right of appeal against a refusal, only an administrative review is available.
  21. He can also include his/her wife/husband and under 18 children in the application as Dependents so that they can accompany him or join him.
  22. For the Dependents there should be another £630 per head in the bank.
  23. The Dependant wife/husband will be eligible to take up any employment or set up a business.
  24. The whole family will have a free medical cover and the children will have access to free education up till Sixth Form in Government regulated schools.
  25. No applicants or their dependents are permitted to claim any state/social security benefits.
  26. Documentation required include:
    • Passports
    • Application Form
    • Application Fee
    • Immigration Health Surcharge Fee
    • English language Test Certificate
    • Bank statements for investment and maintenance funds
    • Endorsement letter
    • A full detailed Business Plan

We can assist you in the entire process. Our professional charges are £3,500. However, the Business Plan has to be prepared by a professional firm which may charge an additional variable fee of £1,500 approximately.

Get Professional Help With Your Innovator Visa

Our highly experienced team of lawyers will assist you with the innovator visa application process. For more information, please call us on one of the numbers below.

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