Innovator Visa

Innovator Visa

When looking to apply for this Visa Category the first requirement is to have your business assessed by a registered Endorsement Body. If your business is termed viable by the Endorsing Body, they will then issue you the required Endorsement Letter. Our Chestertons team will work with you together with pre endorsed UK businesses that closely match your skill set, this will streamline the endorsement and application process. One of the major benefits of the particular Visa category is that one becomes eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3-years of continuous residence.

Eligibility Criteria

You must be able to show that your business idea is:

  • new – you cannot join a business that is already trading
  • innovative – you must have an original business idea that is different from anything else on the market
  • viable, with potential for growth

You must also:

  • meet the English language requirement
  • be at least 18 years old
  • be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you are in the UK

If you want to set up a new business. You must have at least GBP 50,000 in investment funds to apply for an Innovator visa if you want to set up a new business. You will need to prove where you got your funding from. Although the minimum threshold is listed at GBP 50,000 the realistic investment amount is more likely to come in at between GBP 150,000 and GBP 250,000.

You do not need any investment funds if either:

  • your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa
  • you have changed your business and already agreed on it with your endorsing body

Supporting yourself

You need to have had at least GBP 1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you either:

  • apply for an Innovator visa
  • apply to extend your Innovator visa or switch to an Innovator visa if you have been in the UK for less than a year

You cannot use either of the following to support yourself:

  • money from your investment funds
  • money earned while working in the UK illegally

Processing time

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel and should receive a decision within 3 weeks of your application.

Visa Fees

  • UK Visa Fees – GBP 1021.00 per applicant
  • IHS Health Surcharge Fee – GBP 610 per year for applicants over the age of 18 and GBP 470 for applicants under the age of 18.