UK Innovator Visa
The Innovator Visa allows non-UK Citizens to set up an innovative new business with an investment of at least £50,000 of their own money.
UK Innovator Visa Application Requirements
There are some significant requirements that must be met in order to qualify for this visa.
Your business idea must be endorsed by an authorised endorsing body. To receive endorsement your business idea must be:
- New – you cannot invest into an existing business that is already trading;
- Innovative – your idea must be original and different from anything else that is currently on the market;
- Viable – you should have relevant knowledge, skills and experience for the type of business you wish to establish;
- Scaleable – the business should have significant potential for growth and job creation.
You will also need to show that you have at least £50,000 available to invest in your business idea and you must show that you can meet a Maintenance Requirement to show that you can afford to support yourself without using your investment funds.
You will also need to meet the English Language requirement.
UK Innovator Visa Conditions
The UK Innovator Visa allows you to:
- set up a business or several businesses;
- work for your business – this includes being employed as a director, or self-employed as a member of a business partnership;
- bring family members with you.
You are not permitted to:
- do any work outside your business, for example work where you’re employed by another business;
- work as a doctor or dentist in training;
- work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach;
- access public funds.
UK Innovator Visa Extension Application
Your initial Innovator Visa will be granted for a period of 3 years and can be extended for further periods of 3 years if you meet the requirements for extension. The primary requirement for extension is that the endorsing body still endorse your business idea. You will need to have stayed in contact with your endorsing body on a regular basis and have demonstrated that you are working on your business and that progress is being made.
ILR for UK Innovator Visa Holders
There are significant requirements that must be met in order to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain after at least 5 years in the UK with Innovator Visas:
- You must be registered as a Director or Member of the business and have been actively involved in the business; and
- The endorsing body is satisfied that you have made significant progress and achievements with your business; and
- You have not spent more than 180 days outside the UK during any 12-month period during the 3 years prior to application;
- You can satisfy the English Language requirement.
In addition to the above, you must meet at least two of the following criteria:
- At least £50,000 has been invested into the business and used to develop the business;
- The business has created at least 5 full-time jobs for resident workers, with an average salary of at least £25,000 per annum;
- The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers (no minimum average salary requirement);
- The number of customers has at least doubled within the most recent 3 years and is currently higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable products or services;
- The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK;
- The business has generated a minimum annual gross revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts;
- The business has generated a minimum annual gross revenue of £500,000 in the last full year covered by its accounts, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas.
How We Can Help
These applications can be exceptionally complex and professional assistance at all stages is highly recommended. If you would like assistance then please get in touch to discuss this in more detail. Our first step would be a Consultancy service to assess your business idea and determine whether we believe there is merit in pursuing endorsement.