A COMPLETE GUIDE ON UK INNOVATION VISA

  • Who is Suitable for an UK Innovator Visa?

  • Requirements for an Innovator Visa

  • Investment Funds for an Innovator Visa

  • Endorsement Criteria for a UK Innovator Visa

  • List of Approved Innovator Visa Endorsing Bodies

  • Joining an Already ExisƟng Business as an Innovator Visa Holder

  • Applying for an Innovator Visa as a Member of a Team

  • Innovator Visa Application Fee

  • The Validity Period of the Innovator Visa

  • Indefinite Leave to Remain as an Innovator

  • Stages of Obtaining an Innovator Visa

  • Applying for an Innovator Visa?

The Innovator visa category is for people who have experience in business and want to establish a business in the UK. In most cases, you are required to have access to at least £50,000 to invest in your business, but there are certain exceptions to this. You also need to have an innovative and scalable business idea that is approved by an endorsing body.


Innovator visas are valid for a period of 3 years. Innovator visa holders can bring their partner and children under the age of 18 years to the UK.

Who is Suitable for an UK Innovator visa?

The Innovator visa category is suitable for skilled individuals who are willing to set up a business in the UK which is innovative and scalable. Applicants are required to present a new business idea. Generally, a business that does not exist already. However, where it does exist, the new business should not have started trading fully.


Applicants can work as a sole founder or as part of an entrepreneurial team. Joint venture arrangements are also acceptable. The business idea can relate to any sector, provided that the business idea is innovative and scalable. Applicants can develop other businesses along with their main business idea.

  • If you are willing to join an already trading business, then the Skilled Worker visa is much better.

  • If you are willing to invest in an already trading business then you must consider the Tier 1 Investor visa.

  • If you are an experienced employee of an overseas business seeking to establish a commercial presence in the UK, then you must consider the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa.

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Investment Funds for an Innovator Visa


You are usually required to have a minimum amount of £50,000 to invest in your UK business or you should have already invested an amount of £50,000 in your UK business. You can rely on money of your own or funds provided to you by an endorsing body.


The requirement to have a ‘scalable’ and ‘viable’ business idea which means that you are required to have more than £50,000 available to invest. Some endorsing bodies also require an additional level of funding as a condition of endorsement.


The investment funds required for an Innovator visa are waived for applicants switching from either the Start-up category to continue the same business venture or the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or extending as an existing Innovator to continue the same business venture. In both cases, applicants are required to explain significant achievements judged against their business plan.


Endorsement Criteria for a UK Innovator Visa


For your business proposal to be endorsed and approved by an endorsing body, you are required to satisfy that your business idea meets the following criteria:


  • Innovation: You have an original business plan that meets current market needs and creates a competitive advantage.

  • Viability: You have the required skills, experience, knowledge and market awareness to run the business successfully.

  • Scalability: Your business plan shows evidence of potential for job creation and of structured planning and growth into national and international markets.

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