What are the requirements for the Innovator visa?

Under paragraph W6.1 of the Immigration Rules, all applicants for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain must have been endorsed in the Innovator category by an endorsing body listed on the gov.uk website.

The migrant must provide an endorsement letter, issued by the endorsing body, which includes all of the following information:

(i) the name of the endorsing body

(ii) the endorsement reference number

(iii) the date of issue, which must be no earlier than 3 months before the date of application

(iv) the applicant’s name, date of birth, nationality and passport number

(v) a short description of the applicant’s business venture and the main products or services it provides (or will provide) to its customers

(vi) confirmation that the applicant’s business venture meets the endorsement criteria in paragraph W6.3, W6.6 or W6.7 below (as appropriate)

(vii) the name and contact details (telephone number, email and workplace address) of an individual at the endorsing body who will verify the contents of the letter to the Home Office if requested

If the endorsement is under the new business criteria, the applicant will not need to provide the evidence in paragraph W6.5 below for any investment funds where the endorsement letter confirms:

(i) the endorsing body is providing the funds

(ii) the endorsing body has verified the funds are available from other sources (including the applicant themselves)

(iii) the endorsing body has verified that the funds have already been invested in the applicant’s business

Please note that the applicant does not need to be the sole founder of the business and may be a member of an entrepreneurial team.

If the migrant’s last grant of leave was in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Start-up or Innovator category, the endorsement does not need to be from the same endorsing body as the endorsement which led to that grant of leave.

Please also note that the endorsing body must not have withdrawn the endorsement by the time the application is considered by the decision maker.

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