Innovators Visa

The innovator visa is for more experienced business people seeking to establish a business in the UK. Innovators must have £50,000 in investment funds to invest in a business.
Innovators can form a team with other Innovator applicants, but cannot share the same investment funds.

Initial application
There is a two-stage process for this visa. The first stage of the process involves getting endorsed and the second stage is to apply for a visa.

1. Getting endorsed

  • You must have a new business idea which is viable, with potential for growth, and
  • You must have an endorsement from an authorised body that is a business organization with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs, or a UK higher education institution.

2. Making a visa application
You must apply online and demonstrate that you meet the eligibility requirements, i.e. you are 18 years old or above and meet the maintenance and English language requirement.

A successful application leads to a grant of 3 years leave. After 3 years, Innovators can apply to extend their stay for a further 3 years or to settle permanently in the UK. You must be endorsed at each stage of the process – initial application, extension and settlement.

Innovators are required to work on developing their business are not allowed to take on other employment outside their business.

Extension application
You can apply to extend your visa if

  • you’re still running a business in the UK or want to set up a new one,
  • you have an endorsement from an authorised body, and
  • you meet the eligibility requirements
  • Switching to innovator route If you are in the UK

You can apply to switch to innovator visa if you are in the UK on one of the following visas:

  • Start-up visa
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 2 visa
  • Standard Visitor visa – if you came to the UK to get funding and had a supporting letter from an endorsing body

Innovator applicants are allowed to bring their family members (spouses/partners and children under 18) to the UK.

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