The Innovator Visa category is aimed at experienced entrepreneurs seeking to establish a new business in the UK. If you are looking to establish a new company, our team are on hand to assist with your visa application.

The UK Innovator Visa was created in April of 2019, replacing the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.
The Innovator Visa route is aimed at those who can demonstrate relevant experience in business and who are looking to start a business in the UK. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, need a minimum of £50,000 in investment funds, and their business proposal must be endorsed by an approved body. The Innovator Visa lasts for three years and can be extended for a further three years. In some cases, Innovator Visa holders will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain status after just three years of lawful residency in the UK.

What are the Requirements?

Anyone who wishes to start a business in the UK under an Innovator Visa will need to meet certain requirements.
To be eligible, you must:

  • Be from outside the EEA and Switzerland
  • Be at least 18-years-old
  • Have at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply for the Innovator Visa.
  • Have at least £50,000 to invest if you want set up a new business
  • Have a business idea which has been endorsed by an approved body
  • Meet the English language requirement
  • Be of good health
  • Have a clean criminal record

Multiple applicants can form a team and apply for endorsement to be co-directors of the same company, but each applicant still needs to be able to demonstrate that they have £50,000 to invest.

What are the Requirements

What is the Difference Between an Innovator Visa and a Start-up Visa?

The Start-up Visa is another type of visa for entrepreneurs. However, this visa is for less experienced entrepreneurs who are classed as high potential but do not have any funds to invest.

Start Up Visa

  1. Applicants do not need funds to invest in their business
  2. Must not have previously set up a business in the UK
  3. Successful applicants can stay in the UK for two years
  4. Can bring family members
  5. Can take on work outside of their business to support themselves
  6. Visa cannot be extended

Innovator Visa

  1. Applicants need at least £50,000 to invest in their business
  2. Eligible if set up business in the UK in the past
  3. Successful applicants can stay in the UK for three years
  4. Can bring family members
  5. Cannot undertake any work outside of business ventures
  6. Visa can be extended

What are the Endorsement Criteria?

You are required to present a detailed business plan to the endorsing body, together with any other documentation which is requested to prove that the visa requirements are satisfied:

Innovation – You will need to display that your business plan is innovative, by meeting market needs or creating a competitive advantage in an existing market.

Viability – You will need to show you have or are developing the skills to run a successful business.

Scalability – You will need to show you have or are developing the skills to run a successful business.

Application Fees

The Home Office application fee for an Innovator Visa is £1,021 if applying from outside the UK or £1,277 if applying to switch into the category from within the UK. If applying with dependants, the same applicable fee applies for each person.

Procedures and Timeframes

The completed application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence. The processing time for applications is around 3 weeks if applying from outside of the UK, however, applications made from inside the UK can take up to eight weeks. The whole preparation process might take longer because you must have a business plan in place and then have your idea endorsed. Innovator Visas are initially given for 3 years and can be extended for another 3 years for an unlimited number of times. Each application will decided on its own merits and it could take longer to process if the Home Office has any concerns about your application or if it needs supporting
documents to be verified.

Our Expertise

Our specialist Innovator Visa solicitors will be by your side throughout all stages of your application. They will discuss your circumstances and present you with options on how to proceed. Legal advice should always be sought before an application is submitted, the case must be argued well and in detail to show evidence that you meet the requirements.

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Why Choose Us?

Our specialist immigration solicitors will be by your side throughout all stages of your visa application. They will discuss your circumstances and present you with options on how to proceed. Legal advice should always be sought before an application is submitted, the case must be argued well and in detail to show evidence that you meet the requirements. Our solicitors have many years of experience in dealing with all types of visa matters. They will expertly guide you in all aspects of your immigration requirements and are ideally positioned to explain any complexities and can represent your position robustly in order to achieve your desired outcome.

How to Get in Contact

Please call us on 01234 350 244 or email us at info@dvsolicitors.com for further information and advice about our family visa application services. We will happily provide you with a free initial discussion about your individual circumstances.
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