Innovator Founder Visa
What is Innovator Founder Visa?
The Innovator Founder path is intended for individuals who aim to establish a business in the United Kingdom, founded on an innovative, feasible, and expandable business concept that they have developed or significantly contributed to.
Requirements for an Innovator Founder Visa
To be eligible for an Innovator Founder Visa, you must demonstrate to UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are at least 18 years old;
- You possess an endorsement letter from an authorized UK endorsing organization that verifies:
- You are a suitable and ethical individual to receive approval under the Innovator Founder path;
- The endorsing body has no reservations regarding the origin of any funds that are invested in your business;
- The endorsing body has no grounds to suspect that you or your business could be the beneficiary of illegitimate or unexplained wealth;
- You possess a comprehensive business plan, and you either originated or made a substantial contribution to the concepts presented in that business plan;
- You will play a hands-on role in executing the business plan on a daily basis;
- You will participate in a minimum of two contact point meetings with the endorsing body at periodic intervals;
- You are either the exclusive founder or a crucial member of the team that founded the business; and
- You possess a business venture that is innovative, feasible, and capable of expansion;
- The endorsement letter you received was granted within three months prior to the date when you submitted your Innovator visa application.
- You have a proficiency level of English language proficiency at a minimum of CEFR Level B2 (corresponding to a score of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in IELTS).
- If you are currently outside the UK or have resided in the UK for less than 12 months, you must have a minimum of £1270 to support yourself, as well as an additional £285 for a partner, £315 for a first child, and £200 for each additional child who is dependent on you.
- Your application does not meet the criteria for general grounds of refusal.
- If required, you have presented a certificate demonstrating that you have undergone tuberculosis (TB) test.
An experienced immigration lawyer can provide guidance on the specific requirements and procedures involved in obtaining an Innovator Founder Visa, as well as help you address any challenges or issues that may arise during the application process.
Get in touch with our team of work visa solicitors today to receive free online immigration advice or book an appointment for a comprehensive consultation session to discuss your application for Innovator founder visa UK. We are here to help you navigate the immigration process and achieve your goals.
For whom Innovator Founder Visa Suitable For
The Innovator Founder Visa is suitable for individuals who have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea and are looking to set up a business in the UK.
While the visa is generally intended for start-up entrepreneurs, it is possible for an individual to join a business after it has been registered with Companies House, as long as the business has not yet started trading. In such cases, the Home Office will want to be satisfied that the applicant has made a significant contribution to the business plan and was not added to an existing business plan solely for the purpose of securing investment. This is to ensure that the visa is being used for its intended purpose of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the UK.
Innovator Founders can work independently as a sole founder or together as part of a founding team, as long as they have played an instrumental role in developing the business idea and are able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the business plan.
The business idea can be in any sector or industry, as long as it meets the requirements of being innovative, viable and scalable.
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Investment Funds Requirement for an Innovator Founder Visa
Unlike some other UK visa categories, the Innovator Founder Visa does not have a specific investment amount requirement.
While there is no minimum investment amount required for an Innovator Founder Visa, you will need to demonstrate that your business idea is viable and scalable, which often requires access to sufficient funds to set up and grow the business.
The specific amount of funds required for an Innovator Founder Visa will depend on the individual circumstances of the applicant and the financial needs of their proposed business. The key is to demonstrate that the level of investment funds is sufficient to establish and grow the business and that the funds are available and can be invested in the UK.
The Endorsement Criteria for a UK Innovator Founder Visa
New Business Endorsement Criteria
For your novel business proposal to receive an endorsement from a Home Office-approved endorsing organization and to receive an Innovator Founder endorsement letter, it is imperative that the endorsing body is content with your compliance with several prerequisites.
Innovator Founder Visa General Requirements
The endorsing organisation will be required to verify that:
- You possess the necessary credentials to be eligible for endorsement under the Innovator Founder program as a person who is fit and suitable;
- The endorsing organisation has no reservations regarding the origin of the funds that are invested in your business;
- The endorsing body has no grounds to suspect that either you or your business may be the recipient of unlawful or inexplicable wealth.
Business Plan Requirement for Innovator Founder Visa
To fulfil the Innovator Founder visa’s business plan obligation, it is necessary to possess a business plan and have contributed significantly to the development of the concepts in that plan.
Additionally, you must exhibit your involvement in executing the business plan on a daily basis and verify that you will have a minimum of two scheduled meetings with your endorsing body at consistent intervals during your authorized period.
You must also be either the exclusive founder or a crucial member of the team that is responsible for establishing the business.
Same Business Endorsement Criteria
If you are engaging in a venture that has already undergone evaluation by a Home Office-sanctioned endorsing organization during the duration of your authorized stay on the Innovator, Innovator Founder, Start-up, or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) path, either for a prior endorsement application or at a contact point, then you are eligible to submit an application for an additional endorsement as an Innovator Founder.
This provision could be suitable if you intend to transfer to the Innovator Founder route from any of the aforementioned paths or if you plan to apply for an extension of stay as an Innovator Founder.
To be eligible for an endorsement based on operating the same business as in a previous endorsement application and to acquire an Innovator Founder endorsement letter, you must demonstrate to a Home Office-approved endorsing organization that:
- Your enterprise is registered with Companies House, and you are designated as either a director or a member of the company.
- Your enterprise is registered with Companies House, and you are designated as either a director or member of the company;
- You have achieved considerable advancement towards your business plan’s objectives;
- You are involved in the daily administration and progression of your business
If you currently possess or have previously held authorization as an Innovator or Innovator Founder, you must also prove that you have participated in a minimum of two scheduled Contact point meetings with your endorsing body (or corresponding checkpoints with a legacy endorsing body) at consistent intervals during your authorized period and affirm that you will have a minimum of two scheduled Contact point meetings with the endorsing organization at regular intervals during your authorized period.
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