Innovator Visa

Overview of Innovator Visa

Innovator visa is one of the ideal routes for budding entrepreneurs who have all new business ideas. However, the only requirement is to start their company in the United Kingdom. Besides, if you are an experienced or seasoned business individual, running a business outside the UK for several years and want to grow and expand it to the UK, you may do it alone or with your preferred business partner. It is the same as with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Even here, teams can collaborate and form an entrepreneurial unit. But, to be eligible for such a visa programme, one need to invest in new business ideas, meaning you can’t invest or join an established business.


The innovator visa programme can result in settlement and then British citizenship at the end of it all. The idea is to demonstrate your business strategy or concept with which you will be introducing innovation. So, once an applicant gets the idea endorsed, all they have to do is kick start their organization, come up and be active in developing the business in the United Kingdom. Moreover, the innovator should grow their business and create jobs and revenue at the same time. Meanwhile, ensure to stick to the initial projections provided when you initially applied for the programme.

Benefits of Innovator Visa 

The innovator visa is one of the business visas that can allow you to enter the growing UK market. Here, you have the chance to grow your business, enhance and boost customer count worldwide, and produce a profit to contribute to the community.

  • You have the opportunity to kickstart your business in the United Kingdom by projecting a business plan under the innovator visa programme.
  • Simply start your business in the United Kingdom after finding the endorser to invest money in your idea.
  • If you do not want to work alone, you have the option to work with or as an entrepreneurial team in the United Kingdom.
  • Through the innovator visa programme, you can bring your direct family to the United Kingdom. 
  • After spending a specific amount of time in the UK, you can apply for the British Passport.
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Who Obtains Innovator Visa 

  • An applicant needs to invest a minimum of £50,000 into a new organization.
  • If you wish to form an entrepreneurial team, every member must have a minimum of £50,000. However, the source can be any.
  • An applicant applying under such a visa programme should have a minimum of 18 years to apply for the innovator visa.
  • When you have presented the business plan or idea to the concerned authorities through your letter, it should be endorsed to land you in the UK.
  • You need to maintain your dependents and yourself while working under the innovator visa programme.
  • An applicant who has applied for the innovator visa must have knowledge of level B2 English. This is the minimum requirement for the English language.
  • If you are applying alone, you need to pass the health test. And, if your family is also accompanying you in this programme, everyone has to be in good health.
  • You should not have any criminal record in the past. No criminal record will be appreciated, and the application will be rejected.

Steps to Obtain Innovator Visa 

  • You need to prepare a letter and documents with a business plan. The business idea should carry innovation, scalability, viability and community building by providing jobs.
  • Investment Funds are necessary if you want to enrol on this visa programme. Unless the endorsing bodies provide you with investment funds, you need to ensure that you present at least £50,000 for business investment.
  • Endorsement is necessary under the innovator visa programme. You need to get the endorsement letter from an approved body to submit with your application.
  • Credibility is vital. You need to adhere to the regulations provided by the Home Office. Moreover, you will not breach any  UK immigration law and should have the claimed money.
  • Mandatory Requirements have already been listed in the above point. You need to qualify through a secure English language test.


FAQs about Innovator Visa UK

If you are one of the experienced businesspersons with a minimum of £50,000 available as an investment in the UK business, you can qualify for the Innovator visa programme directly, without having to apply for the Start-up programme.

You generally require to have a minimum of £50,000 available. You can rely on your money if you do not have an endorsing body. This requirement has been waived if you switch from the Start-up or Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category to go after the same venture or are planning to extend.

When it comes to endorsing bodies, the Home Office has published a detailed list of bodies that may endorse visa applications. These endorsing bodies comprise names of approved endorsing Innovator visa bodies and links to their sites.

The ideal body will depend on individual requirements like the niche of your business and the timing of your visa application. Moreover, it depends on your business base and what support it might need.

Applications for an innovator visa can be made from outside the United Kingdom. However, it is also possible to make a switch to the innovator visa programme if you are already in the UK, provided you were not granted permission as a Short-term Student, Visitor, Seasonal Worker, Parent of a Child Student, Domestic Worker in Private Households.

The programme is ideal and suitable for experienced people in business looking for a new setup in the United Kingdom that is scalable and viable. All the applicants are subjected to submit and present their business idea under this programme.

Your company or business strategy may relate to any field, provided it is sufficiently viable, innovative, and scalable. Innovator visa applicants can also develop different businesses and their primary business idea.

The applicant may have to stay in contact with the endorsing body with checkpoints at six months, 12 months, and 24 months after you have successfully enrolled in the programme. The body needs to be content with your work and business progress. The endorsement can be withdrawn at any point.

One can extend the Innovator visa for a period of three years initially, which is subject to being re-endorsed. Moreover, there’s no maximum time limit when it comes to the Innovator programme.

To qualify for the ILR, one has to spend not more than one hundred eighty days outside the United Kingdom in any twelve-month rolling period during the prior application date of 3 years.

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