Start Your Business in the UK
Read on to learn more about the Innovator Founder Visa and how to make an application.
Most importantly, consider getting specialist legal advice and representation for your visa application. This is because the underlying rules and process are complex and you, as a layperson, may not be able to interpret the rules and apply them to your circumstances correctly leading to your application being refused.
A refusal with prejudice may also make a future application much more complex or even impossible in certain circumstances. Getting specialist legal advice and representation at an early stage is therefore advisable to maximize the prospects of success.
1. What is the Innovator Founder Visa?
If you dream of starting a unique and innovative business in the UK, we have good news for you! You can now apply for the Innovator Founder visa. This visa is perfect if you have a fresh and creative business idea that stands out from the rest. Plus, as long as your idea is endorsed by an approved body, and you meet all other requirements, you’re good to go!
Just a heads-up: this visa used to be known as the Innovator visa. So, if you’ve heard of that before, it’s the same fantastic opportunity under a new name!
2. Who is eligible for the Innovator Founder Visa?
You are eligible for the Innovator Founder Visa so long as you can demonstrate that your business idea is:
- Brand New: Your business must be a fresh concept, not an existing one.
- Innovative: Your idea needs to be unique, setting it apart from anything currently available in the market.
- Viable and Growth-Oriented: Your business should have the potential to thrive and expand.
- Scalable: You must provide a plan indicating job creation and future growth, both nationally and internationally.
To ensure your business idea meets these criteria, you’ll need the validation of an endorsing body. They’ll assess your concept to confirm it aligns with these requirements.
Additionally, you must be able to communicate in English and support yourself with You need to have had at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days. The language requirement can be met if you are from a majority English speaking country or if you have passed an approved English language test.
3. How long can I stay in the UK with the Innovator Founder Visa?
You have the option to stay in the UK for up to 3 years if:
- you arrive in the UK on an Innovator Founder visa; or
- you switch to this visa from another visa while you are in the UK.
It’s important to note that you’ll have to meet with your endorsing body after 12 months and 24 months to demonstrate the progress of your business. If your endorsement is withdrawn by the endorsing body, your visa might be shortened. If you wish to extend your stay beyond the initial 3 years, you’ll need to re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.
4. May I stay in the UK for more than 3 years?
ou have the option to apply for an extension, granting you an additional 3 years in the UK, when your current visa is about to expire. There’s no set limit on how many times you can extend your stay.
Furthermore, after being in the UK for 3 years, you might qualify for settlement, allowing you to make the UK your permanent home.
5. What does the Innovator Founder Visa allow me to do?
With an Innovator Founder visa, you enjoy various privileges:
Establish Multiple Businesses: You can create one or multiple businesses under this visa.
Work for Your Business: This includes being employed as a director or being self-employed in a business partnership.
Engage in Skilled Work Outside Your Business: You can undertake skilled work outside your business, such as roles listed in the Skilled Worker eligible occupations list or jobs requiring at least a level 3 qualification.
Bring Your Family
Travel Abroad and Return
Apply for Permanent Settlement: After residing in the UK for 3 years and meeting other eligibility criteria, you can apply for permanent residency, also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain.’
However, there are a few limitations:
However, you will not be able to:
– work as a professional sportsperson, such as a sports coach; and
– apply for most benefits (public funds) or the State Pension.
You must also be able to show that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, unless you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months.
Upon a successful application, you will receive a comprehensive list detailing the rights and restrictions associated with the Innovator Founder visa.
11. Can you help me make an application for the HPI Visa?
Whether it’s an application for the Innovator Founder visa, dependent visa, or indefinite leave to remain / settlement or citizenship, our specialist immigration lawyers are always on hand to provide expert advice and representation to increase your prospects of success.
21. What can I do if my application for the Innovator Founder Visa has been refused?
If your Innovator Founder Visa application has been refused you may be able to make an Administrative Review application to challenge the decision.
Our specialist immigration lawyers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision by way of an Administrative Review application.
Looking to make an application for the Innovator Founder Visa?
Maximize your chances of success by getting specialist legal advice for your application. Use the button below to book your online, phone or office consultation.