UK Innovator Founder Visa
The UK Innovator Founder Visa is designed for both aspiring startup entrepreneurs and seasoned business professionals aiming to establish a business in the United Kingdom. There is no specific requirement regarding the amount of funds an applicant must possess for investment. However, prospective visa holders must present an innovative, feasible, and scalable business idea. This idea should be supported by a business plan that has received approval from an endorsing body.
Innovator Founders are expected to be significant contributors to their business concept. Moreover, Innovator Founders are also expected to play a key role in the day-to-day management and growth of their business.
The validity of Innovator Founder visas is three years, and successful visa holders may qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after this period. Furthermore, Innovator Founder Visa applicants are permitted to bring their partner and any children under the age of 18 to the UK.
Indefinite Leave to Remain as an Innovator Founder
In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain as an Innovator Founder, one must meet the criteria set by the UK Visas & Immigration, that is:
- The individual has received endorsement from a recognized UK endorsing body, demonstrating substantial accomplishments in alignment with the previously assessed business plan. Additionally, the person is registered with Companies House as a Director or Member of their business, the business is currently active, engaged in trading, and exhibits sustainability for a minimum of the subsequent 12 months. Furthermore, this individual has actively played a key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business.;
Additionally, at least two of the following conditions must be fulfilled:
- At least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering your business;
- The business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for settled workers, which have an average salary of at least £25,000 a year;
- The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers with no average salary requirement;
- The number of 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;
- The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK;
- The business has generated a minimum annual gross revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts;
- The business has generated 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.
- You have spent not more than 180 days outside the UK in any rolling 12-month period during the 3 years prior to the date of application; and
- You have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.
Requirements for the UK Innovator Founder visa
- Proof of funds. While there is no stipulated minimum investment requirement outlined in the law for a successful visa application, the prerequisite of possessing a ‘feasible’ and ‘scalable’ business, eligible for endorsement by an approved endorsing body, implies the necessity of having access to an adequate amount of funds capable of supporting the envisioned business.
- Business idea. Your business idea must be new, innovative, viable with growth potential, and scalable, including plans for job creation and expansion into national and international markets. More so, an approved Endorsement body needs to assess and certify that the business idea meets these requirements.
- Minimum subsistence: You must have access to sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents. You need to have had at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply for the Visa. The amount specified herein increases for every dependent you wish to include.
- No criminal records
- Medical certificate
- B2 level knowledge of English (IELTS score of 5.5 – 6.5 across sections)
The current visa application fee payable to the immigration office is £1,191 per person if applying from outside the UK. For extending the visa or switching over to this visa type from within the UK, it costs £1,486 per person.
Additional fees apply for Endorsement Body application.
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