UK innovator visa processing time

You can apply for UK innovator visa if

  • You aspire to set up or run a business to the UK
  • You are from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland
  • You meet the eligibility requirements

You must have been at least £50,000 in investment funds if you aspire to run a new business. However, if your business is already established you do not require funds.

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. You should get your decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

You can stay three years if you come to the UK on an innovator visa or switch to this visa from another visa.


You require having your business idea assessed by an approved body. If your business is viable they will provide you an endorsement letter. You must also

  • Meet the English language requirement
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • You must be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while residing in the UK

Knowledge of English

You may require providing your English language requirement while applying. However, you can prove your knowledge of English by either passing an approved English language test at least CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Or you have an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognized by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree.


Documents you must submit

While applying you require providing endorsement letter to show that an approved body has assessed your business or business idea. You also require providing:

  • A current passport or other valid travel identification
  • Documents showing that you have had at least £945 in savings in your bank
  • Submission documents that you meet the English language requirements
  • Documents of your investment funds

Apply for innovator visa

You must apply online for an innovator visa. You will need to have your finger and photograph taken at a visa application centre to get a biometric residence permit as part of your application. You will have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you would arrive in the UK.

Extend UK innovator visa

You may be able to extend your innovator visa and before your current visa expires you should apply. You are eligible to extend your visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and if you still run a business in the UK or aspire to set up a new one.

Switch to UK innovator visa

You may be able to switch to an innovator visa. But you should apply before your current visa expires. You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you are already in the UK on one of the following visas:

  • Start-up visa
  • Tier 1 entrepreneur visa
  • Tier 2 visa
  • Standard visitor visa

You can stay for 3 years after switching to an innovator visa.

Your family members can move to the UK with you while you come to the UK with this visa. If your family members are outside the European Economic area or Switzerland they must have a visa.

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