Innovator Visa

For Experienced Overseas Entrepreneurs

The Innovator visa is for those from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to set up business in the UK and who have £50,000 to invest. The business must be innovative, viable and must have the potential for growth and job creation. 

This is a new visa route involving a two stage process.

First of all you need to secure the endorsement of an approved body. You will need a solid business plan that demonstrates your idea is:

  • Innovative: genuinely original - an idea that serves new or existing markets or creates a competitive advantage
  • Capable of producing a business that can grow into national and international markets and will create jobs
  • Viable - you have the skills and experience to make it work and you can turn the idea into a workable reality
  • And that you will devote all your working time to this business.

There is a list of Home Office approved endorsing organisations. You should only approach ones that are suitable for your business idea. We can help you choose the right endorsing body and ensure that you have the best chance of securing endorsement.

Once you have endorsement, it's time to apply to the Home Office.

You will need: 

  • Savings of £945 and £630 for every dependant
  • English language ability:  you need to pass a test at level B2
  • Must be 18 years or above
  • £50,000 to invest 

You can bring close family members with you and you can 'switch' inside the UK to this visa from certain other work visa categories. 

You can stay for 3 years if you:

  • come to the UK on an Innovator visa
  • switch to this visa from another visa

Working with us on your Innovator Visa application

We can help you choose the right endorsing body and ensure that you have the best chance of securing endorsement.

"They are affordable, reasonable, kind, comforting - at the same time they are a complete 'go-getters', who will do everything to defend their client and fight for the best outcome possible, be that in the courts or in the office."

Ars Pog

We will then apply to the Home Office on your behalf. We will prepare the paperwork, ensure the evidence is complete and correct and make your application the strongest it can be. Our team is plugged in to networks that keep us up to date and in the know.

How does the process work?

We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your business idea and your plans. If you decide to go ahead we will put you in touch with the right endorsing body, help you make a strong submission and then prepare the application to the Home Office. We have a strong background in meticulously preparing applications with the best chance of success. We are here to answer all your questions and advise along the way. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get an Innovator Visa? 

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. You should get a decision within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK. However, you can also pay for a quicker decision. You will need to have all your evidence and endorsement in place when you apply. 

My Start Up Visa is coming to an end - can I switch to an Innovator Visa?

Yes you can. You will not need the £50,000 investment funds if you have already been granted Start Up status for the same business idea. If it is not the same business, you will need the £50,000 investment funds. 

How long can I stay in the UK on an Innovator Visa? 

Up to three years. You can apply to extend for another 3 years when your visa is due to expire. There’s no limit on the number of times you can extend.

You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’) once you’ve been in the UK for 3 years on an Innovator Visa. 

We are a team with an idea. Can we apply together for the Innovator Visa? 

No. Each individual member of the team will need to obtain endorsement from the endorsing body and each individual must show they have £50,000 investment funds.

Get in touch
For Experienced Overseas Entrepreneurs
Talk to us to find out more about the Innovator visa by telephone, or alternatively speak to us by email.
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