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Innovator Visa

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Innovator VISA

The innovator VISA is for people who want to set up or run a business in the United Kingdom. However, this only applies if you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. There are a few eligibility requirements that must be met alongside the compulsory requirement of your business/business idea being endorsed by an approved body.

In many cases you will need to have access or have invested at least £50,000 towards your business, however there are some exemptions. In addition to this your business idea will need to be innovative, scalable and viable.

Eligibility requirements

1. You are at least 18 years old.

2. You have at least £50,000 available to invest in your UK business or have already invested £50,000 in your UK business (exemptions apply).


3. If applying to set up a business venture as in your initial application, you have been endorsed by an approved endorsing UK body that is satisfied that you have fulfilled their criteria.

4. Your endorsement letter isn’t issued more than 3 months before the date of innovator visa application.

5. You are competent in the English language to a t least CEFR Level B2.

6. You have at least £945 in savings (£630 for each dependent) without relying on public funds.


How long will it take to get my visa?

A: The earliest you can apply for a visa will be 3 months before your intended date of travel. Furthermore, it often takes up to 3 weeks to get a decision on your application.

Do I have to pay healthcare surcharges?

A: Yes, you will have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. You can calculate how much you will need to pay on the home office website.

How long can I stay?

A: You can stay for up to 3 years if you

1. Come to the UK on an innovator VISA.

2. Switch to this VISA from another VISA.

You can also apply to extend for another 3 years once your VISA is due to expire. There is no limit on the time you can extend, however you may apply for settlement once you’ve been in the UK for 5 years.

What happens if my endorsement is withdrawn?

A: If your endorsement is withdrawn then your VISA may be cut short. However, if you intend to stay for the remainder of your time then you must apply for a new endorsement.

You can:

· Bring family members with you.

· Switch to this VISA from some other VISA categories

· Work in another job, as well as working for your business.

You cannot:

· Get public funds.

· Work as doctor or dentist in training.

· Work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach.

· Settle in the UK on this VISA.