Are you planning to conduct your business in the UK? If you are an experienced entrepreneur with business experience for years and thinking of introducing your company here, the first step you need to take is applying for an Innovator visa.
Haven’t heard about it before? In today’s guide, you will get an ins and outs about it in brief. Let’s dive in!
What Is a UK Innovator Visa?
In April 2019, an Innovator visa was introduced for international and experienced entrepreneurs looking to expand or start a business in the UK. This visa lasts three years, which sets you on track to achieve ILR status. You can extend this visa for the next three years or apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain(ILR) after lawfully residing here for the first three years.
Who is Eligible for a UK Innovator Visa?
Now, let’s come to UK innovator visa eligibility! If you wish to start a business in the UK, you can apply for this Innovator visa. But, to be eligible for this visa application, you need to meet the following requirements:
- You need to invest at least £50,000 for the required capital to start your business. If you can’t afford it, go ahead with a Start Up visa.
- Be a minimum of 18 years old.
- You have to be outside Switzerland and the EEA.
- Show a business proposal countersigned by any approved bodies
- Have to meet the personal financial requirement
- English language requirements
Note: More than one applicant can apply for the visa as the co-directors of the same organisation. In this case, each person needs to invest £50,000 here.
Difference Between a Start Up Visa and an Innovator Visa
The Start Up visa is also for less experienced entrepreneurs categorised as high potential who cannot invest £50,000 in business. Here, you do not have to invest in any fund or have any existing business in the UK. After achieving business success, you can stay in the UK for two years and bring your family members as well.
Unlike a UK Innovator visa, you can work outside your business ventures to support your company. But, you cannot get a visa extension as you can do with an Innovator visa.
UK Innovator Visa Requirements
As an Innovator visa applicant, you need to meet a number of requirements to ensure your application is accepted. For instance:
- Business proposals must meet innovation (original and genuine business idea), scalability (potential for job growth) and viability (providing skills and knowledge).
- You must have an endorsement letter from an approved endorsement body before making your Innovato visa application.
- Financial requirements where you must be able to provide the investment funds and at least £945 in your account for at least 90 consecutive days before you apply for the visa
- English language requirements where you need to show some proof of meeting a B2 level of English set by the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR)
Note: If you belong to a native English-speaking country, you will be exempt from the English language requirements.
UK Innovator Visa Benefits
Applying for an Innovator visa in the UK has a lot of advantages, including:
- You can bring your family under this visa as dependents, such as your partner, child under 18 and child over 18 currently living in the UK. However, you must have an amount equivalent to £630 per dependant, including £945, in your account to support your life.
- You can travel abroad and return to the UK.
- It is possible to settle in the UK permanently with a simple Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) application.
- You can switch to an Innovator visa for any other UK visa, including a Skilled Worker visa, Start Up visa and Visitor visa if you are in the UK and meeting all the requirements.
Ready to Apply for a UK Innovator Visa?
If yes, and looking for the best immigration solicitors nearby, count on us. At Intime Immigration Limited(Intime Solicitors), we have the best immigration solicitors to help you throughout the application process. Our UK immigration lawyers stay updated on the latest UK visa laws and processing.