Innovator visa

Innovator visa - Application

The Innovator visa

This visa is aimed at those who are more seasoned businesspeople as there is a requirement of £50,000 to be invested in the innovative business. The business should be innovative, viable and scalable. Applicants can work on their own as a sole founder or as part of a team.

Applicants are present a new business idea and the business will not already exist. Where it already does exist, the new business should not fully be trading.


The innovator will need to seek endorsement from one of the endorsing bodies. This will be from one of the industries or business experts for their business proposal.

The endorsement standard will depend on whether the business is considered new. The requirement for a new business is that it should be:

  • Innovative: You have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;
  • Viable: You have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to successfully run the business;
  • Scalable: Your business plan shows evidence of structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

If the business is not new, the endorsement criteria will be confirmation of the business being suitable for at least the following 12 months, based on its assets and expected income. This will be weighed against its current and planned expenses. The applicant will need to demonstrate significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement.

The endorsing body will also need to be satisfied that the applicant will spend their entire working time in the UK on developing the business venture.

The applicant will also need to show that they are registered with Companies House as a Director or Member of their business, the business is active and trading. They will also have an active role in the day-to-day management and development of the business, and you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your business ventures.

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The applicant will have to satisfy certain criteria to be able to qualify for the Innovator visa:

  • Must be 18 years or above
  • Must be endorsed by an approved endorsing body and the endorsement letter must not have issued more than 3 months before the date of your innovator visa application.
  • Have an investment of £50,000 to put into the UK business
  • English language ability, passed the test at level B2
  • Applicant must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge
  • Overseas applicants must provide criminal records certificate
  • Maintenance for those who are outside or been in the UK for less than 12 months, will need at least £1270 to support themselves, plus £285 for a dependant partner, £315 for a first child and £200 for each additional child.
  • Application costs of £1021 and £1277 for extensions.

There can be more than one founder of the business, but each applicant must receive their own individual endorsement, and each have their own £50,000 to invest. The £50,000 can be from any source for instance, an endorsing body, a UK organisation, or a third-party individual.


Innovator visas are granted for three years at a time. After three years, the applicant will be able to apply for settlement after three years.

There must be evidence of job creation, structured planning coming into fruition and growth into national and international markets.

The endorsing body will have to be satisfied that the applicant has made significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in their previous endorsement.

Part W6.7(b), the applicant’s business venture will meet at least two of the following requirements:

  • The number of the business’s customers has at least doubled within the most recent 3 years and is currently higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable main products or services.
  • At least 50,00o has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering the business plan assessed in the applicant’s previous endorsement.
  • The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK.
  • The business has created the equivalent od at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers.
  • The business has generated a minimum annual gross revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts.

The business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for resident workers, which have an average salary of at least £25,000 a year (gross pay, excluding any expenses)

How can we help?

Our immigration lawyers regularly assist those who would like to apply for Innovator visas around the world by providing pragmatic and reliable legal advice, preparing their individual case, taking care of the whole process and procedure for the UK Innovator visa category, compliance, liaising with the endorsing bodies and securing the visas.

We have been trusted immigration advisors to successful Business Immigration and people around the world. We understand our clients and their business needs. We strive to provide reliable legal advice to our clients. Our experienced solicitors offer quality legal advice. We are proud to help and guide our clients through complex legal situations with innovative solutions.

Video Consultation

To discuss about your legal matter with one of our solicitors, book an instant video consultation or call us on 02084323076 for an instant legal advice.
Innovator Visa

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legallex does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.

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