Innovator visa overview
If you want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK and your business or business idea has been endorsed by an approved body, also known as an endorsing body, you can apply for Innovator visa.
You must be able to show that your business idea is new, innovative and viable, with potential for growth.
In some cases, you must have at least £50,000 in investment funds to apply for an Innovator visa if you want to set up a new business. You’ll need to prove where you got your funding from.
If your business is already established, has been endorsed for an earlier visa or you’ve changed your business and already agreed it with your endorsing body then there is no need to provide evidence of investment funds.
You also can form a team with other Innovator applicants, but you cannot share the same investment funds. The team must have £50,000 for each Innovator applicant. For example, if you have 2 Innovator applicants, your team must have £100,000 to invest.
You need to have had at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days in order to satisfy the maintenance requirement.
Successful applicants will receive a visa for 3 years, there is no limit on the number of times you can extend your visa. You may be able to apply for settlement once you’ve been in the UK for 3 years on this visa.
Home Office fees for the Innovator application is £1,036 (for applications made outside the UK) and £1,292 (for applications made in the UK). Fees are the same for all dependents.
When applying for this visa, you must also pay IHS Surcharge.
Requirements for the level of English:
General requirement for the level of English is B2 (SELT).
You do not need to take English language test if you are a citizen of a country in which English is the official language. The requirement is also not applicable if the applicant has a degree obtained in a British university or in another country if the degree was taught in English.
Applicant is also exempt from the English language requirement if the applicant can provide evidence of having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English gained through study at a UK school that began when the applicant was under 18.
You cannot switch to this visa if you are in the UK on the following visas:
• a visit visa
• a short-term student visa
• a Parent of a Child Student visa
• a seasonal worker visa
• a domestic worker in a private household visa
• immigration bail
• permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds.