Innovator Founder Visa

The Innovator Founder Visa is for entrepreneurs with unique ideas looking to lay the foundation of their business in the UK.

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Even though there is no specific requirement of the capital invested in the business, however, one must have a business idea with the possibility of expansion in the future. There is also a mandatory requirement of a business idea, endorsed by an approved body.

Innovator Founder visa requirements

The applicants who wish to enter the UK under an Innovator visa must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Need to be at least 18 or older and new in the business world.
  • Endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed the business idea as innovative, scalable and viable.
  • The endorsed letter must not be more than 3 months older than the date of filing the Innovator Visa application.
  • Be able to support themselves and family without relying on public funds by meeting the maintenance requirement.
  • Proof of language: should be able to speak, read and write well in English and show evidence of the same knowledge (CEFR level B2 or IELTS 5.5 equivalent).
  • Have a credible business plan and genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK.

Successful Innovators are granted valid visa for 3 years at a time and can bring their family members (spouses/partners and children under18) to the UK. Innovators must abide by set of conditions to stay. They need to work for their business and any other business that they have established in the UK and will be allowed to engage in employment outside their business but only under secondary employment in a skilled role (at least RFQ Level 3).

After 3 years, Innovators can apply to extend their stay for a further 3 years or settle permanently in the UK. There’s no limit on the number of times you can extend. If the innovator founder is applying for an extension, they are subject to being re-endorsed each time.

List of approved Innovator Founder Visa endorsing bodies

Earlier there was an extensive list of endorsing bodies to approve the business plan for the Innovator Founder Visa but now the UK government has set a limitation and appointed the following list of bodies for the same:

–      UK Endorsement Services

–      Innovator International

–      Envestors Limited

–      The Global Entrepreneurs Programme (GEP) (by invitation to participate only)

There is an application fee of £1000 plus VAT when applying for Innovator Founder Visa and once and if it is endorsed then there has to be two meeting with the endorsing body which will cost £500 per meeting.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting entrepreneurs in setting up and expanding their business in the UK. We have also partnered with industry experts who work with us on a regular basis to assist our clients in preparing their endorsement applications. We can introduce you to the endorsing body and make sure you meet each requirement timely. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.


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