Which organisation can act as an endorsing body?

The Home Office announced that the Innovator visa category will replace the current Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa from 29 March 2019.

One of the most significant requirements for the Innovator visa is that the applicants must have been endorsed in this scheme by an endorsing body.

Under part W6.8 of the Immigration Rules for the Innovator visa category, an organisation must meet all of the following requirements that to qualify as an endorsing body:

(a) The organisation must demonstrate a proven track record of supporting UK entrepreneurs, including resident workers. (Exceptionally this requirement may be waived, for example where a new organisation is set up by another body which has its own track record.)

(b) The request to become an endorsing body must be supported by a UK or devolved government department as being clearly linked to that department’s policy objectives.

(c) The organisation must be able to competently assess applicants’ business ventures against the endorsement criteria set out in these Worker rules.

(d) The organisation must agree to all of the following responsibilities:

(i) To stay in contact with those they have endorsed at checkpoints 6, 12 and 24 months after their application is granted

(ii) To inform the Home Office if, at these checkpoints, both of the following apply:

(1) The individual has not made reasonable progress with their original business venture

(2) The individual is not pursuing a new business venture that also meets the endorsement criteria set out in these Worker rules

(iii) To inform the Home Office if an applicant misses any of these checkpoints without the endorsing body’s authorisation

(iv) To withdraw its endorsement if either (ii) or (iii) applies, unless it is aware of exceptional and compelling reasons not to withdraw its endorsement, and informs the Home Office of those reasons

(v) To inform the Home Office if it has any reason to believe that an individual it has endorsed is working outside of their own business ventures, in breach of their conditions

(e) The organisation must not be connected to past or present abuse of the immigration system.

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