The UK Tier 1 Innovator visa is available to individuals who wish to establish a tangible product-based business or a service-based business. Applicants must show that their business is credible and viable and it must be endorsed by a Home Office approved endorsing body. It is also possible for Applicants to apply as a team of innovators as long as each Applicant personally meets the Immigration Rules.
Our immigration team of solicitors and barristers with experience at the very highest levels of immigration law. Members of the team are regularly instructed to deal with all types of points based applications along with family visas, visit visas and general appeals and are involved in judicial review and immigration appeal tribunal hearings at all levels. Our team has the expertise to deal with all immigration issues and the desire to ensure our clients achieve only the best possible results.
We’re based in the legal heart of London in Middle Temple (a Barristers’ Inn of Court). We provide the strongest possible UK Immigration Law advice and a comprehensive UK Visa and Immigration advice service. To contact our immigration team about your UK Visa Application, call ☎ 02071830570.
What is a Tier 1 Innovator Visa?
The Tier 1 Innovator visa is a unique business visa available for entrepreneurs who wish to establish a new and innovative business in the UK. The business proposal must be innovative, viable, and scalable. This route also offers Applicants the opportunity to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK.
Has the Entrepreneur Visa been replaced?
Yes, by the innovator visa. As of 29 March 2019, the Innovator visa replaced the popular Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. The Innovator visa is for entrepreneurs looking to set up and establish a business in the United Kingdom.
Can I apply for an Innovator Visa?
You can if the following requirements are met:
- you want to run or set up a business in the UK
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- you meet the other eligibility requirements
- your business or business idea has been endorsed by a Home Office approved body
How long does it take to get a Tier 1 Innovator Visa?
The Home Office advise that the earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. Normally an applicant will get a decision on the visa within 3 weeks of the application.
How do I get a Tier 1 Innovator Visa for the UK?
- you must have a credible business idea;
- you must have at least £50,000 in cash to invest in their proposed business idea;
- you must meet the English language requirement (Level B2) in accordance with Appendix O of the Immigration Rules;
- you must meet the maintenance requirement of £945 and hold the funds for 90 consecutive days; and
- you must receive a suitable endorsement from an appropriate body.
How do I get an endorsement for a Tier 1 Innovator Visa?
The endorsement must be from an appropriate (Home Office approved) body which is expected to include some higher education institutions which meet the requirements. The endorsement body must have a proven track record of supporting entrepreneurs that are approved by the Home Office. A business plan will be required when applying for the endorsement. Applicants must meet the innovation, viability and scalability requirement to receive an endorsement.
What is the innovation requirement for a Tier 1 Innovator Visa?
Applicants must demonstrate that their business idea is genuine and original. The business idea can be for a tangible product-based business or a service-related business.
What is the viability requirement for a Tier 1 Innovator Visa?
Applicants must demonstrate that their business is practical and credible. Applicants would be required to show that they have the expertise or specialist knowledge of their chosen business field to enable the business to success. Applicants must prepare and submit a well-drafted business plan to show that the business has a clear vision and all the relevant considerations such as start-up costs, target market, market segmentation and competition have been taken into consideration.
The business plan should also show the projected cash flow forecast for the first 3 years for the business. Information on other relevant factors such as strengths and weakness of the business and the impact of future growth/decline of the business sector they wish to operate in.
What is the scalability requirement for a Tier 1 Innovator Visa?
Applicants must show that their business idea will benefit the economy in the United Kingdom and the business will contribute to job creation and growth into relevant markets.
What is the fee for a UK Innovator Visa?
The Home Office application fee remains the same as the old Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa £1021 (entry clearance) and £1277 (switch in-country). The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is currently £400 per year.
What is the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)?
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced by the Home Office on 6 April 2015 and applies to temporary, non-EEA migrants who are coming to the UK for more than 6 months. Payment for IHS is collected by the Home Office and goes directly to the National Health Service (NHS).
Our team of Spouse Application Lawyers can consider whether you will need to pay the IHS. If you wish to consider your options, please contact our team today and arrange a meeting with a qualified immigration solicitor who can advise you of your options.
How long can you stay in the UK on an Innovator Visa?
The Home Office state that you can stay for 3 years if you:
- come to the UK on an Innovator visa
- switch to this visa from another visa
Can I apply to extend a Tier 1 Innovator Visa?
Yes, you can apply to extend for another 3 years when your visa is due to expire. There’s no limit on the number of times you can extend.
You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you’ve been in the UK for 3 years or more.
Can a team apply for an Innovator Visa?
Yes. It is possible for a team of 2 or more individuals to apply together for a Tier 1 Innovator visa for the same business. Applicants do not need to be the sole founders of the business in question as long as the founder is also applying for the visa at the same time.
Applications submitted on the basis of an innovator team require extra legal submissions, as it is important to clarify what each Applicant will bring to the business.
Each Applicant must obtain an endorsement in their own right, as endorsements cannot be shared. In addition to this, each Applicant must show that they have at least £50,000 available to invest in the business i.e. if there is a team of three innovators each must have £50,000 totaling to £150,000.
Can you switch to the Innovator visa?
Yes. But you can only switch into an Innovator visa if you were last granted valid leave on any of the following:
- Start-up migrant;
- Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant;
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant;
- Tier 2 work permit migrant; or
- A visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur.
If you were not last granted leave in any of the above you will need to apply for entry clearance from your home country or any other country where you have valid immigration status.
Case Study: Successful innovator visa granted to our Indian national client
Our specialist business immigration team recently received some wonderful news that our client’s (“the Applicant”) Innovator visa application was successful. We had previously assisted the Applicant in obtaining a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. In our initial consultation, the Applicant had informed us that he had a new innovative business idea and wanted to explore whether he could apply for the new Innovator visa.
Our business immigration team conducted a detailed assessment and confirmed that the Applicant met the requirements for an Innovator visa under Appendix W to the Immigration Rules. We assisted the Applicant through the entire process and also helped him obtain an endorsement from an approved provider.
Our business immigration team prepared detailed legal representations and submitted a well-prepared application allowing the Applicant to receive his Innovator visa within 2 weeks from the date of his biometric enrolment.
Why is it important to instruct expert Tier 1 Innovator Visa Lawyers?
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a spouse visa application. Our Solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Our UK Innovator Visa Service
Expert UK Tier 1 Innovator Visa Lawyers
Our expert immigration team are regularly instructed to advise on the prospects of submitting a UK Innovator Visa application before the application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of an Innovator Visa application and ensure that you get all the necessary points under the Points Based System.
If you wish to have your documents checked by an expert immigration solicitor, please contact us so we can explore your options.
We are an Immigration law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our specialist immigration team today and we can offer you a consultation in person or via telephone or Skype so we can explore your options. You can leave us a message on our Contact Form or give us a call on 02071830570.
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We calculate and advise on risk factors and the complex UK Visas & Immigration rules and Home Office guidance. We factor in your background, immigration history, risk-appetite, costs sensitivity and determination. We plan the best possible strategy for you and deliver strategic immigration advice right at your first meeting.
Want your case assessed? Just fill out our simple enquiry form; it goes immediately to our immigration team in Middle Temple, London. Or call our London immigration lawyers on ☎ 02071830570 (9-6 GMT, M-F).
IMMIGRATION DEADLINES – WARNING
UKVI (part of the UK Home Office) set very strict deadlines which must be complied with otherwise your UK immigration rights will become severely limited. You should submit an application as soon as possible e.g. 28 days before the expiry of a UK Visa and should seek specific legal advice about your Visa or right to remain or appeal at the earliest opportunity so that you understand the time you have left. Delay in making an application or taking advice can be fatal. If you have a refusal letter from the Home Office carefully note the short deadlines stated therein (it may be 14 days). Such deadlines run from the date of the letter so you may have less than 10 days to take action. Late appeals can lead to you being forced to make an out of country UK Visa application and can affect the prospects of success.