This visa category will likely support those candidates who have been awarded UK startup visa. Innovator visa requires applicants to bring innovation in the UK to support its digital market economy. This is a real challenge for prospective candidates. The applicant should have a prior business experience. This visa category requires endorsement of the business plan from registered endorsing bodies. This will be a three-year visa program leading to settlement in the UK. The key role will be endorsement by registered business support entities in the UK for the development of the business plan of candidates. The endorsing bodies will make sure the business idea of the applicant is viable, scalable and innovative.

The Role of Endorsing Body in the Innovator Visa

Endorsing body will be integral to the innovator category visa applicant. They are business support services provider and will help you in developing your business idea. You should not seek immigration services from endorsing bodies. It is the clients or applicant’s responsibility to take independent immigration advice before planning to apply for Innovator visa. The endorsing body will make sure that the applicant is pursuing their business idea and any changes in the original plan that must be accommodated due to changes in circumstances. Endorsing bodies will assess performance at various checkpoints against milestones set for six-month target, twelve-month target, and 24- month targets. The services offered by endorsing bodies may not be an insurance for the endorsement of the applicant. Most likely, if the applicant follow the endorsement body guidance, the applicant business gets successful. However, business success cannot be guaranteed and it is common for a business to get failure for various reasons beyond control of applicant and endorsing bodies.

Duration and Condition of Stay in the UK

This will be a three-year visa and may lead to fast settlement in the UK within three years if two of seven criteria are accomplished.

  • At least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering the business plan assessed in the applicant’s previous endorsement.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers.
  • 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).

Source: Guidance for Endorsing Bodies 03/2020

The Innovator visa will be withdrawn in case the endorsing body revoke its endorsement. The candidate should find another endorsing body in order to carry out the business plan. You can bring your family members with you. They can work and receive education in the UK. You have to pay health insurance IHS. You cannot indulge in receiving public funds, work as a doctor or dentist in training, work as a professional sports person.

Minimum Requirements for UK Innovator Visa

You must attain the age of majority. You should be able to prove your competency in the English language, if required. You must receive your endorsement letter from authorized and registered endorsement body for your business venture. You should have enough fund to support yourself, your family, your business, and the cost associated with the endorsement process. The agency cost associated with endorsement process can be significant.

Minimum Investment Funds for UK Innovator Visa

If you are switching to the innovator category from UK startup visa, you will not need to demonstrate that you have access to 50,000 GBP. However, if you are applying to innovator category without going through startup category, you need to demonstrate that you have access to minimum 50,000 GBP to develop your innovative business in the UK.