Applying for your innovator visa
What is the UK innovator visa?
The innovator visa category is very similar to the startup visa category in that it allows for people from non-EEA and Switzerland countries to move to the UK and start or progress their business. It has replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route since 29th March 2019.
Unlike the startup visa, the innovator visa is specifically aimed at more experienced business-people who are seeking to establish a presence for their company in the UK, rather than people just beginning their business career. Whilst in the UK on an innovator visa, you will only be allowed to carry out work for your business or businesses. You cannot work for anyone else.
It is valid for three years, after which it can be extended for another three years. There is no limit on how many times you can extend your innovator visa. It can be applied for on its own, or as a leave extension of someone who has been in the UK on a startup visa for two years.
After five years continuous residence in the UK under the innovator visa, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain, which is permanent residence.
Requirements for the innovator visa
The requirements for the innovator visa are very similar to that of the start up visa, with just a few additional requirements. All applicants must:
- Be 18 years old or more
- Be able to speak English to a certain level
- Have held £945 in their bank account for 90 consecutive days
- Have been endorsed by an approved and regulated UK body
- Be able to prove that they have a genuine, original business plan
- Have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to successfully run the business
- Provide evidence of structural planning and potential for growth of the business
In addition to these requirements, you must be able to prove that you have at least £50,000 in investment funds. Unlike with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, with the new innovator visa two individuals cannot share investment funds, even if they are part of the same business.
Our immigration team can help you determine if you are eligible to apply for an innovator visa, and will help you put together and submit your application if you are.
Who can apply?
If you meet all of the requirements listed above, you will be able to apply for an innovator visa. You do not have to be the sole founder of the business so can be part of a team, so long as each member of the team has above the minimum investment threshold.
Unlike with the previous category of Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas, in order to be granted leave via the innovator visa route you do not have to be a university graduate.
You also have to be from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland in order to apply for this visa.
How to apply
If this will be your first time coming to the UK, you will need to apply under the ‘new business’ subsection of the innovator visa category.
Currently, if you in the UK under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category and wish to extend your stay using the innovator visa to continue work in the same business, you can select either the ‘new business’ or ‘same business’ subsection. However, in future, those who first apply for a startup visa and then wish to extend their leave and expand the same business using the innovator visa will have to apply under the ‘same business’ subsection.
Applications for the innovator visa are submitted online. Since this is a brand new visa category, it is worth getting professional legal help and advice in order to give you the best chance of success.
The earliest you can apply for this visa is 3 months before you are due to travel to the UK. The fees to apply from outside the UK are £1,021 or £966, depending on where you’re a registered citizen, and £1,277 or £1,222 if you are switching from another visa category inside the UK.
How we can help you
The prospect of expanding your business in the UK is very exciting. We can help make sure that the process remains as stress-free and simple as possible for you, helping and supporting you from the very start of your application all the way until your visa is granted.
Our extensive knowledge of business immigration and years of experience helping business-people grow their companies in the UK means that with us you have the best chance of success.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
What our clients are saying about us
Very efficient firm. You have handled my case’s impeccably. My advisor, Charlotte, has been 100% professional and efficient.
You were the third solicitor firm who handled my claim. Things were going at a pedantic rate but your file handles Craig Johnson kept me informed and advised me whenever! The claim took over 3 years from start to finish but Craig worked on it in good time.
She saw to every little detail and made sure I was reassured every step of the way. She showed me empathy and always went the extra mile.
Our Promise to You
- Friendly, personal legal services
We promise that our approachable solicitors will provide you with a genuinely personal service that puts your needs first. Our team of experts are always on hand to give you support when you need it.
- Award-winning service in our fields of expertise
We pride ourselves in offering the highest standards of service across each of our legal departments. Regardless of your situation, we promise to provide you with the very best legal advice.
- Advice tailored to your needs
We promise to listen to your needs and offer the right guidance for your situation.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution in any area of the law. Every case requires a tailored approach and you deserve a solicitor who understands this.
- Outstanding customer service and care
Our excellent reputation is built on our exceptional level of client care.
Every case is handled with the highest level of respect and many of our clients go on to recommend us after building an invaluable relationship with our solicitors.
- Transparent fees and processes
Transparency is very important to us. We promise to provide you with total Transparencyrency on fees, so you know exactly what you are paying for. We’ll also make sure you’re kept updated on the progress of your case every step of the way.
Get in touch
Let us know how AWH Solicitors can help you by providing us with your details in the form below.
Please let us know when you want to be contacted so we can get in touch with you at a time that suits you best.