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Innovator Visa

An applicant can apply for an Innovator visa if:

  • they want to set up or run a business in the UK
  • they are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • they meet the other eligibility requirements

An applicant must have at least £50,000 in investment funds if they wish to set up a new business. They do not need funds if their business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

UK Innovator Visa Eligibility

Before an applicant can apply, they will need to have their business or business idea assessed by an approved endorsing body. They will provide the applicant with an endorsement letter if their business is viable.

An applicant must also:

  • meet the English language requirement
  • be at least 18 years old
  • be able to prove that they have enough personal savings to support themselves while they are in the UK

Endorsement criteria – new business

If the applicant is relying on endorsement under the new business criteria, the endorsement letter must confirm both of the following:

  • The applicant’s business venture meets all of the requirements below:

Innovation

The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

Viability

The applicant has the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.

Scalability

There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

(b)       The endorsing body is reasonably satisfied that the applicant will spend their entire working time in the UK on developing business ventures.

Investment funds – new business

  • If the applicant’s endorsement was given under the new business endorsement criteria, at least £50,000 funds must be available to the applicant to invest in their business. This may include funds which have already been invested in the business.
  • If the endorsement letter confirms that at least £50,000 funds are available or have been invested in the applicant’s business, no further evidence of investment funds is required.
  • If the endorsement letter does not confirm that a full £50,000 funds are available or have been invested, the applicant must provide further documents as evidence of the remaining balance of their £50,000 investment funds.
  • If the business venture has one or more other team members who are applying for, or have been granted, leave in the Innovator category, they cannot share the same investment funds. There must be at least £50,000 investment funds available for each Innovator team member. These additional funds are not needed for team members who are resident workers or who have leave under another category of the Immigration Rules, which allows them to engage in business.

Innovator endorsing bodies

See below a list of all the authorised endorsing bodies that can issue endorsements for Innovator visas.

Dependants

The UK Government allows dependents to join you in the United Kingdom. A dependent is categorized as wife, husband, civil partner, same-sex partner, unmarried partner or a child under the age of 18 years.

Additional Services

We can also assist with the endorsement process, if needed. Longer term, our goal is to provide you with the full range of commercial law support and connect you with our exceptional network of business contacts to help you get established faster. You get a business partner rather than simply a form-filler.

Contact our Immigration Lawyers in London

For further information, please contact our Immigration lawyers in London – click here or call us on +44(0) 20 3318 5794.