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Innovator visa

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa has been replaced with the UK Innovator visa as of 29 March 2019.

We can help you to find a business and help you meet the requirements.

Requirements and options for the Innovator Visa

  1. You will need to prove you have £50,000 (each partner)

  2. You can apply alone or with a partner

  3. You will need to come up with a business plan and get your business idea endorsed

  4. You will be allowed to extend your visa any number of times

  5. You can become permanent resident in 5 years

  6. You can obtain a British passport in 6 years

  7. 7.You will need to be at least 18 years of age.

Requirements for Innovator visa

If you wish to set up a new business, you need to demonstrate you have £50,000 available to you or your business. You will also need to provide identity documents as part of the UK’s anti money laundering laws. However, if the business is being purchased with partners, each partner must have £50,000 adding up to the total investment amount.

You can also buy an established business.

Obtaining an Endorsement for your business idea

To be able to apply for the Innovator visa, your business idea or business must meet three basis criteria i.e. it must be “viable, innovative and scalable. You will be required to have it initially assessed then endorsed.

If your visa is granted, you will have three “checkpoints” at 6, 12 and 24 months after the granting of the visa, to confirm compliance If you do not comply, then your endorsement will be withdrawn, and your visa could be cancelled.

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Other criteria

Apart from relevant business experience and must be able to show the following:

  • Ability to support yourself and dependants.

  • Knowledge of English.

  • Tuberculosis test (if applicable).

  • Criminal record certificate(s).

Visa validity: 3 years.

Applying with a business partner

You can make an application with other business people and form a partnership or limited company. Each partner or director must have access to at least £50,000.

Innovator visa extensions

Innovator visa can be extended for three years for an unrestricted number of times.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

After five years from entry to the UK, entrepreneurs can apply for ILR in 5 by providing an endorsement letter that would confirm the following:

  • What the applicant and their business have achieved since the previous endorsement;

  • The business is currently trading and looks to be sustainable for at least another year;

  • The applicant is actively involved in running the business and will continue to be involved.

The business itself must be able to demonstrate two or more of the following (based on a single-applicant application):

  • At least £50,000 has been spent on running a UK company;

  • There has been a significant increase in the number of customers;

  • Research and development activities;

  • Gross revenue in the last year:

    • £1 million, or

    • £500,000, including £100,000 from exports.

  • Full-time jobs for settled workers:

    • 10 jobs, or

    • 5 jobs with average annual salary £25,000 (gross).

Other criteria:

  • Absences from the UK cannot be more than 180 days in any 12 months before applying for settlement. Dependants are given ILR on the basis of the main applicant.

  • English language test.

  • Life in the UK test.

Citizenship and passport

An innovator and their family can apply for citizenship in 1 year after settlement and 5 or 6 years after their first entry, subject to everybody complying with all the criteria:

  • Not more than 450 days can be spent outside the UK during those 5 years prior to applying for naturalisation, and no more than 90 days in the last year.

  • No criminal and immigration offences.

  • English language test.

  • Life in the UK test.

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