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Innovator Visa Guide




The innovator visa category is for more experienced business people seeking to establish a business in the UK.

  • You are at least 18 years old, but NO previous qualifications required.

  • Applications for Innovator visas can be made from outside the UK, but it is also possible to switch into the Innovator visa category from within the UK if you were last granted leave to remain as a Start-up, Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 2 General or Tier 2 ICT Skilled Worker or Prospective Entrepreneur.

  • Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany or join you as your dependant(s)

  • You must have at least £50,000 available to invest in your UK business or have already invested £50,000 in your UK business (this requirement is waived if switching from the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Start-up category to pursue the same business venture or extending as an existing Innovator to pursue the same business venture and, in both cases, you have shown significant achievements judged against your business plan);

  • If applying to set up a new business venture, you must be endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body. You do not need to be the sole founder of your business and you may be a member of an innovator team. However, each applicant must receive their own individual endorsement from an approved endorsing body. Innovator team members that are required to satisfy the investment funds requirement for a new business endorsement also cannot share the same £50,000 but must instead have at least £50,000 investment funds each.

  • If applying to continue the same business venture as in your initial application, you must be endorsed by endorsing body that it is satisfied that you have shown significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement, you are registered with Companies House as a Director or Member of your business, your business is active, trading and appears sustainable for at least the following 12 months, you have had an active key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business and you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your business ventures.