The UK Innovator Visa is a new immigration route that has been established, along with the start-up visa. It has the major aim to encourage skilled foreign citizens from around the world to come to the UK and start their interesting business ideas, which could drive the UK industries and economy into innovation. It is very important to prove that your business is scalable, viable, and innovative to the Home Office and an endorsing body. In the majority of the cases, you will need to have at least £50,000 to invest in your business idea. However, certain exceptions might apply. An Innovator Visa is valid for 3 years and can help you apply for indefinite leave to stay in the UK at the end of the visa period. The visa applicants can also bring their partner and any minor under the age of 18 to the UK.
If you want to start a new business under the new UK Innovator Visa route, you must satisfy the following criteria:
A UK Innovator Visa has a validity of three days. This time could be used to establish your innovative business in the UK and also bring your family to the country. However, this immigration route won‘t automatically lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain. If a visa holder wants to gain the status of settled or citizenship, it is important to look for an extension of the visa. This would again need a business endorsement, which is granted only after the assessment of the growth of the business. If you are given the endorsement, you might again Indefinite Leave to Remain or even citizenship in the UK. However, it is always better to take advice from an immigration expert like Osbourne Pinner to understand the complexities of the requirements of this Visa route.
The Start-up visa is more suitable for the less experienced entrepreneurs who want to start a new business in the UK. In comparison, the UK Innovator visa is suitable for more experienced businesspersons. The following are more differences between the two visa routes;
|Start-Up Visa||Innovator Visa|
|The applicants don't need to have access to funds for investing in their business.||The applicants must have access to at least £50,000 for investing in their business.|
|The applicants must not have a previous business set in the UK.||The applicants can have a previous business set in the UK.|
|The successful visa holders can live in the UK for 2 years.||The successful visa holders can live in the UK for 3 years.|
|The visa holders can bring their family members.||The visa holders can bring their family members.|
|It is possible for them to undertake work outside their business.||They cannot undertake any work outside of our business.|
|This Visa route cannot be extended. They have to switch to another visa.||This visa route can be extended. However, an endorsement will be required.|
|The applicants don't need to have access to funds for investing in their business.|
|The applicants must not have a previous business set in the UK.|
|The successful visa holders can live in the UK for 2 years.|
|The visa holders can bring their family members.|
|It is possible for them to undertake work outside their business.|
|This Visa route cannot be extended. They have to switch to another visa.|
|The applicants must have access to at least £50,000 for investing in their business.|
|The applicants can have a previous business set in the UK.|
|The successful visa holders can live in the UK for 3 years.|
|The visa holders can bring their family members.|
|They cannot undertake any work outside of our business.|
|This visa route can be extended. However, an endorsement will be required.|
Osbourne Pinner can help you meet the demands of the Home Office and endorsement body. We work with our clients with great dedication to developing high-quality business plans.
If you want your business to get endorsed by an approved endorsing body, you will need to satisfy the following criteria:
It is important to satisfy the endorsing body that you will be spending your time developing your business venture in the UK. You will need to show the significant achievements that you have earned after your previous assessment.
It takes around 3 weeks to process a decision for an Innovator Visa application. However, the preparation process for this visa route might take longer because you have to get your business plan endorsed first. The Innovator Visa is given for 3 years and can be extended for 3 years again.
It is possible to extend your visa if you are still working with an endorsed business in the UK or wish to establish a new one. In both cases, as an applicant, you will need to get an endorsement letter from an approved endorsement body and have minimum funds of £50,000 if you are planning to start a new business. These are the additional criteria to extend your innovator visa;
It is mandatory to include all the dependants in your application for the UK Innovator Visa extension. This will include children that have turned 18 during the initial stay. You can extend the Innovator Visa for three years an infinite number of times.
If you are planning to join an existing business in the UK, then the Innovator Visa is not a suitable category for UK business immigration. However, a new business, which is a part of a joint venture may be acceptable. If you want to apply for an Innovator Visa on the basis of a joint venture agreement, then it is highly recommended to talk to our immigration experts.
It is not necessary to be the only founder of your business for the Innovator Visa. You can also be a member of an innovator team. However, each visa applicant must get their own endorsement from an approved endorsement body.
This team of innovators must have access to investment funds to receive a business endorsement. However, they cannot share the same funding of £50,000. Instead, they must have at least £50,000 investment funds each.
The current fee for the UK Innovator Visa is £1,021 if applying from outside the United Kingdom or £1,277 if you are switching from another visa category in the UK.
It is possible for businesspersons to apply for ILR in 3 years after entering the country under the Innovator route. However, it is mandatory to provide an endorsement letter to give assurance that your business has been active since the previous endorsement and you have been invested in your business and will continue your efforts even in the distant future.
We recommend applying for the visa application three months before you intend to travel to the UK.
Yes, you can apply without legal assistance. However, it is not recommended since UK immigration has become stricter and complicated after the global pandemic.
There are high chances of your application getting refused if you fail to meet the requirements of the Home Office. They carry out a strict criterion to grant the Innovator Visa to the individual. For a complex, you should consider calling us for legal assistance.
No, you just need to provide evidence that you have possession of £50,000 in a bank account.
The decision for the visa application for the Innovator Visa takes around 3 weeks.
Yes, it is possible to bring dependants with you. However, you need to pay extra charges for each dependant that you bring to the country.
The UK immigration laws have become stricter after the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the potential business innovators with a strong business plan are facing immigration problems while entering the country. Building a business plan, receiving an endorsement letter, and handling the application could be challenging for individuals who are new to UK immigration laws. A team of UK business immigration solicitors can always give you an edge to smoothly go through the visa application process. We provide personalised advice at every stage of the Innovator Visa.
As a UK-based law firm, Osbourne Pinner has years of expertise in UK immigration law. Over the years, we have achieved a strong record in obtaining successful UK Innovator Visa applications. We have helped hundreds of visa applicants to acquire various UK visas and enter the country successfully. Our solicitors ensure that you receive endorsement from the right endorsement body and draft visa application for a successful UK Innovator Visa.
We provide highly personalised services that are tailored to meet your unique requirements. You can call for a free initial consultation to explain the need for your preferred visa route. This helps us to understand the areas where you might need additional assistance for the visa process. As experienced solicitors, we know every component of the UK immigration law to provide you with an expert level of care and assistance like no one else.
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