The UK Innovator visa was a new category of visa introduced on 1st April 2019, it would be worth to take stock to see how this visa category has shaped up for the UK. The UK Innovator visa is designed for experienced business people to set up an innovative business in the UK. Applicants are required to:

  • Have an endorsement from an endorsing body and.
  • access to £50,000 in investment funds

The endorsing bodies will evaluate ideas on the basis of innovativeness, viability and scalability. FAQs answered by Consultants : UK Innovator Visa.

What does innovation mean for innovator visa?

Innovation means applicants have to demonstrate that they have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

What does viability mean for innovator visa?

Viability means applicants must be able to demonstrate the necessary skills, knowledge and experience, plus market awareness, to run a business competently.

What does scalability mean for innovator visa?

Scalability means applicants need to provide evidence of structured planning and the potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

The role of endorsing bodies

The Home Office has allocated up to 25 endorsements to each endorsing body, so it works out to about 975 innovative entrepreneurs to enter the UK. The endorsing bodies can also seek permission from the Home Office for additional allocations should they require.

Whilst almost 1000 endorsements may seem a lot, putting it in perspective – during the first three months after the launch of the Innovator visa – between April and June 2019 – just four people had applied for the Innovator visa of which only two applicants were successful in acquiring it, whilst 23 applicants were successfully granted Start up visas.

Several endorsing bodies, including The Bakery, Bethnal Green Ventures, Envestors Limited, Founders Factory, Innovator International, Invest Northern Ireland, MDR LAB, and The Royal Society of Edinburgh, only accept applications if the applicant is part of one of their support or development programmes. Others, like Capital Enterprise and DRS Business Solutions will only accept applications from founders working in their client base.

Business owners and entrepreneurs can still enter the UK on other visa options like:

Sole Representative visa

This non-points based visa allows an overseas business to send a senior representative to the UK to establish a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary.

click here to read more on UK Sole Representative visa.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

is suited for applicants who are considered to be exceptionally talented individuals in science, humanities, engineering, the arts, and digital technology.

Click here to read more on Tier 1 Exceptional Talent.

Tier 1 (Investor)

ideal for ultra high net worth individuals who have at least £ 2 million to invest in a business in the UK.

Tier 2 sponsorship

this is an elaborate route that allows a UK business to bring in workers from outside the UK. A business owner can set up a company in the UK and then apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.

At The SmartMove2UK (a division of SmartMove Immigration) our UK immigration experts have helped businesses in the UK to bring workers from overseas. We have also helped businesses from outside the UK to set up wholly-owned branches or subsidiaries in the UK and apply for visas for representatives of an overseas business, Tier 2 sponsor licences, Tier 2 general visas, Tier 2 intracompany transfers, in addition to Tier 1 Investor visas.

If you want to know more about this visa category or need assistance in your UK Visa application, you can contact us on below given details. Our UK Innovator Visa Consultants are based in Mumbai | Delhi | Gurgaon | Chandigarh | Bangalore | London.

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