USA and the UK
UK Innovator Visa
The UK Innovator Visa is a dedicated to experienced businesspeople who wish to set up their business in the UK. This permit replaces the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa category, which closed on 29th March, 2019.
An initial investment of £50,000 is required. Besides, applicants must be endorsed by an approved body. If you are interested in this permit, you must demonstrate that your business idea is innovative, viable and scalable, as well as supported by an endorsing body. Since this visa may lead to settlement in the UK, the Home Office will need a comprehensive portfolio of supporting documents to review your case.
At IAS, our immigration lawyers are experienced in UK business law, and have already helped many applicants get their Tier 1 Innovator Visa. If you to find out more about our services for international, ambitious businesspeople, you can get in touch with our team.
Tier 1 Innovator Visa Eligibility
Eligible Tier 1 Innovator Visa applicants must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Meet the English language requirements
- Have a business idea approved by an endorsed body
- Have access to at least £50,000 in investment funds
- Demonstrate that they have enough personal savings to support themselves while in the UK. You need to have at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply. Besides, you cannot use money from your investment funds to support yourself.
Innovator Visa required supporting documents
To prove your eligibility, you must provide the Home Office with the following documents:
- An endorsement letter to show that your business has been assessed by an approved body
- Your passport or other valid travel identification, with a blank page
- Your bank statement, showing that you have had at least £945 available in savings in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before the date of your application
- Proof that you meet the English language requirements (if appliable)
- Evidence of your investment funds and their source
Additional documents may be required depending on your circumstances and immigration background.
How to apply for an Innovator Visa
You can apply for an Innovator visa online. However, you will need to have your biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) taken at a visa application center.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. Nevertheless, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before your travel date.
If your application is successful, you will have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of the date you intend to travel to the UK.
How long can I stay in the UK?
Successful applicants will receive a visa valid for 3 years. At the end of this period, they can apply to extend their permit for another 3 years.
Although there I no limit on the number of times you can renew your visa, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK once you have been in this country for 3 years.
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The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
You are allowed to form a team with one or more innovator applicants. However, you cannot share the same investment funds.
This means that your team must have £50,000 for each applicant.
As part of your Innovator Visa application, you must prove your English proficiency by either:
- Passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B2
- Having an academic qualification which was taught in English and is recognized by UK NARIC.
Nationals of English-speaking countries do not generally need to prove their knowledge of English.
It costs £1,021 to apply for an Innovator Visa. In addition, if you are applying with your family members, you must pay an additional fee of £1,021 for each dependent in your household.
It must be noted that applicants are required to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application.
If your endorsement is withdrawn, your visa may be cut short. Nevertheless, if you wish to remain in the UK, you can re-apply for a new endorsement before your current Innovator Visa expires.