On 29 March 2019, the Innovator visa category was officially launched. Under Appendix W of the Immigration Rules, the Innovator visa scheme is aimed at experienced and driven foreign entrepreneurs seeking to establish and run an innovative business in the UK.
Please note that multiple Innovator migrants can apply for endorsement to be co-directors of the same company. However, each applicant must receive their own individual endorsement from an approved endorsing body. Each migrant must also independently demonstrate that they have a separate £50,000 available to invest with a ‘new business’ endorsement. It is important to note that the funds can be sourced from a third party or in the alternative they must be held in the migrant’s personal bank account for a 90 days period.
Entry clearance and initial leave to remain will be normally granted for 3 years and the extension will be issued for a further 3 years. Please note that there is no limit to how many extensions an Innovator can apply for. In addition, applicants can apply for settlement as soon as they meet the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain having spent 3 years in the UK.
The fee for the Innovator visa when applied inside the UK is £1,277, whilst the UKVI will charge £1,021 for an application made outside the UK. Please note that fees are reviewed and increased annually. The applicants will also need to pay £1200 for the immigration health surcharge and for an additional fee, the processing of the application can be expedited.
Please note that migrants will be able to apply for settlement under the “Innovator” visa category having spent 3 years in this category if their business were to meet at least two of the following requirements:
(i) At least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering the business plan assessed in the applicant’s previous endorsement.
(ii) The number of the business’s customers has at least doubled within the most recent 3 years and is currently higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable main products or services.
(iii) The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK.
(iv) The business has generated a minimum annual gross revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts.
(v) The business is generating a minimum annual gross revenue of £500,000 in the last full year covered by its accounts, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas.
(vi) The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers.
(vii) The business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for resident workers, which have an average salary of at least £25,000 a year (gross pay, excluding any expenses).
As part of our corporate service, we conduct a thorough assessment of the candidate’s eligibility under the Innovator visa category. Our services include but are not limited to the following:
For expert advice regarding any aspect of Innovator visa application please do not hesitate to contact us for advice. Call us on +44 20 3384 3075, email: [email protected] or use contact form below.