UK Innovator visa

UK innovator visa is a UK visa category usually for entrepreneurs who wish to run a company in the United Kingdom. You need to invest in a new business idea meaning you are not allowed to join or invest into an already established business.

You are eligible for this visa if

  • You want to set a business in the UK
  • You are not a national of European economic area and Switzerland
  • Your business or business idea must be endorsed by an approved body

You must have at least £50,000 in investment funds if you want to set up a new business. However, you do not require funds if your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

Other requirements

Aside from important business experience and instruction entrepreneurs must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must have a valid business plan
  • You must have the ability to support yourself without claiming public funds
  • Your knowledge of English level should be at level B2
  • You must be a good health
  • You should not make any criminal offence

How long it takes to apply for an innovator visa

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. However, the whole preparation process might take longer because you must have a business plan in place and then have you idea endorsed. Initially innovator visa is issued for 3 years and can be extended for another 3 years unlimited number of times.

Benefits of UK innovator visa

UK innovator visa is an ideal route that gives access to growing UK market. It is your opportunity to grow your business, increase clients around the world, produce profit and contribute to the community by creating the jobs. Initially, UK innovator visa is given for 3 years and you can extend it any number of times and every three years you can start another business.

How to get endorsement?

To be eligible to apply for the innovator visa you must prove that your business idea is viable, innovative and scalable. Your business idea must be endorsed by a relevant body.

General criteria for endorsement


It is obvious from the name of the visa itself that you cannot depend on anything that already exists on the market. You should have the option to offer a product or a service that is genuinely unique and new and it must target new or existing customers. Furthermore you must have competitive advantage.


You must show that you will have the option to form your thought into a genuine business that is vigorous and future proof. To do this, you will require an important range of abilities, capabilities and experience, joined with an extraordinary comprehension of the present market so as to impel your thought forward.


In growing a business, you should not be self-satisfied and never stop. Your business must have the option to make occupations and become both in the UK and worldwide markets.

Follow-up re-evaluations

After your visa is true, you will have three alleged checkpoints at 6, 12 and two years from that point forward, to refresh the endorsing body on your progress and affirm the compliance with every one of the prerequisites. In the event that the endorsing body pulls back your endorsement before your visa expires, you have to get another endorsement and re-apply. Something else, your visa will be cancelled.

Apply for Indefinite leave to remain

Entrepreneurs can apply for ILR in 3 years from the first entry under the innovator visa. You must give an endorsement letter that would affirm what you and your business have accomplished since the previous endorsement and you have been actively engaged in running the business and will keep on doing so in the future.

Settlement requirements

The business must meet in any event two of the accompanying criteria in any combination

  • £50,000 has been spent on running a UK company
  • Significant increment in the number of customers, higher than the market normal
  • Research and development activities, patents
  • Gross revenue of £1 million in the last year
  • 5 full-time jobs with average annual salary of £25,000 (gross)
  • 10 full-time jobs for resident workers
  • Gross revenue of £500,000 in the last year, including £100,000 from exports

British citizenship and passport

If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain, you and your family can apply to be naturalised or registered as British citizens in 12 months once you have spent at least five years in the UK.

You must meet all the eligibility criteria below. To get a decision it normally takes 4-6 weeks.

  • In 5 years prior to applying for citizenship you cannot go through over 450 days outside the UK and over 90 days in the most recent year.
  • You must have clean criminal and immigration records
  • Knowledge of the English language at Level B1 or higher
  • Life in the UK test
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