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UK Innovator Visa FAQs

The UK tier-1 innovator visa scheme is a route for experienced entrepreneurs and innovators to establish an innovative business in the UK’s best immigration law firm in London. We have answered the most frequently asked questions about applying for an innovator visa UK.


Q.1 Is it necessary to apply for a Startup visa before applying under the innovator visa route?


If the applicant is an experienced businessperson with a minimum of 50,000 pounds of available funding to invest in their business, then they will qualify for a UK tier 1 innovator visa directly, subject to fulfilling other requirements. They will not need to apply for a startup visa.


Q2. Should I apply for the UK innovator visa or startup visa?


Choosing a suitable visa route will depend on your circumstances and long-term business objectives in the UK. The innovator visa is a quick route to settle down in the UK but will require initial funding of a minimum of 50,000 pounds. On the other hand, a UK startup visa has a lower threshold for entry. It also offers more flexibility as applicants under this category are allowed to take up other jobs while their startup gets running. Also, the innovator visa is for experienced businesspersons, and the startup visa is for young entrepreneurs looking to set up their businesses in the UK.


Q3. What is the investment requirement while applying for an innovator visa UK?


As specified by the home office, applicants require an initial investment of at least 50,000 pounds to be invested or already invested in their UK business. The investment can be your own or obtained from an endorsing body. However, the requirement to have a viable and scalable business, in practice, means that you must have more than 50,000 pounds’ visa endorsement available to grow your business.


However, this requirement is waived if you are switching from the tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa or startup visa to expand the same business.


Q4. Which endorsing bodies should I apply for?


The suitable endorsing body for a UK tier 1 innovator visa depends on the individual requirements of the applicant. Requirements like the field of your business operation, application timing, where the business will be based on, and the support, if any, the business requires.


Q5. How can I switch to the innovator visa route?


It is not mandatory to be in the UK while applying for a start up visa. One can also switch to the innovator visa route from within the UK, which is subject to various conditions.


Q6. Can I make a group application for the innovator visa?


Yes, you can apply for this visa as part of a team. You can apply as the sole founder of the business or together as an innovator team. However, the home office stipulates that each applicant must have their own endorsement from an approved endorsing body. Also, every individual in the team must have at least 50,000 pounds’ visa endorsement of funding each.


Q6. Can I make a group application for the innovator visa?


Yes, you can apply for this visa as part of a team. You can apply as the sole founder of the business or together as an innovator team. However, the home office stipulates that each applicant must have their own endorsement from an approved endorsing body. Also, every individual in the team must have at least 50,000 pounds’ visa endorsement of funding each.


Q7. How long is the innovator visa valid?


The initial innovator visa is valid for 3 years.


Q8. Can I extend my innovator visa?


Yes, the innovator visa can be extended for 3 years at a time. However, you will have to be re-endorsed every time. You can also apply for indefinite leave to remain as an innovator after living 3 years in the innovator visa category.


Q9. Does the visa provide a residence permit?


To qualify for indefinite leave to remain, you will have to live in the UK for 3 years, having spent not more than 180 days during any 12 months.


Q10. Can I undertake other employment during my stay under the UK tier 1 innovator visa scheme?


You are not allowed to undertake any employment other than the business you have established in the UK as an innovator. Any other arrangement of employment will lead to a breach of the conditions of your stay.


Q11. How can Osbourne Pinner help?


If you are applying for an innovator visa UK, our immigration lawyers will provide you with all the help that you need with your start up visa application, finding the right endorsing bodies, appeals, representation in administrative tribunals, etc. We help you fulfil the eligibility requirements and navigate the complexities of immigration laws as an innovator.

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