The Tier-1 Entrepreneur Visa category has been removed as an option to set up a business in the UK. However, the Home Office has come up with two even better and feasible categories. While the Entrepreneur visa made availability of funds up to £200,000 a necessity, these other two categories focus less on money and more on ideas. Concordantly, understanding the difference between the UK Innovator and StartUP visa becomes a crucial first step.
The Innovator visa and the Start-up visa are the two categories that focus on Innovation, Viability and Scalability. These categories target two different categories of entrepreneurs – whilst the innovator focuses on the more experienced businessperson, the start-up visa encourages individuals with no business experience to start a business in the UK. Both the categories have a common requirement of innovation, scalability and viability. Any individual willing to start a business in the UK can opt for either of these routes keeping in mind the eligibility and implementation rules.
The UK Innovator visa
The Innovator visa category is for more experienced business people seeking to establish a business in the UK. An applicant with a minimum of £50,000 funds available to invest in their business can apply through this program. The application will however need to be endorsed by a endorsing body on the prescribed list in the UK. An Innovator visa is a settlement visa i.e. it allows an applicant to obtain settlement and eventually naturalize as a British citizen. This visa is initially granted for 3 years and can be extended for additional periods of 3 years. An Innovator visa does not permit employment elsewhere but focuses on growth of the established business.
For other frequently asked questions about the Innovator Visa, run through our Innovator Visa UK FAQs article.
The UK Start-up visa – 2019
The Start-up Visa on the other hand is for early-stage yet high potential entrepreneurs seeking to establish a business in UK for the first time. An applicant does not need any funding to invest at this stage but needs an endorser to establish the business in UK. An endorser for a Start-up visa could typically be a Higher Education University or any other endorsing body on the prescribed list available. An applicant under this visa category is granted entry for only 2 years. However, switching to an Innovator visa is a viable option if the applicant wishes to continue developing the business in UK. The Start-up visa focuses on development and expansion of the business but permits employment elsewhere for an applicant to support oneself.
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