United Kingdom Innovator Founder Visa

What Is The United Kingdom Innovator Founder Visa Program

The UK Innovator Founder Visa is a residency-by-investment program designed for experienced businesspeople with a viable innovative business idea who wish to establish their business in the UK. Applicants may wish to apply for permanent residency after 3 years. And further after 1 year apply for citizenship after meeting certain requirements.

The Benefits

Residency and Family Inclusion

  • Permanent residents have the freedom to live and work in the UK without any restriction.

Dependents included:

  • Spouse;
  • children under 18;
  • children over 18 currently in the UK as a dependent.

Travel and Quality of Life

  • One of the highest standards of living in the world and is a member of the G-7 group of countries.
  • A high standard education and healthcare system.
  • Access to business opportunities throughout Europe.

Requirements

  • Eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) to become UK permanent residents after 3 years.
  • Pathway to apply for Citizenship after 5 years.

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    UK Innovator founder Visa Requirements

    • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
    • Have the business idea endorsed by an approved endorsing body no more than 3 months prior to the Visa Application.
    • Must be competent in the English Language to at least CEFR Level B2 (IELTS Score of 5.5-6.0) in all Categories.
    • Must have Sufficient funds to support themselves and any qualifying dependents;
    • The Application does not fall for refusal on general grounds for refusal.

    UK Innovator Founder Visa Endorsement Criteria

    • The applicant must invest at least GBP 50,000 into business and obtain an endorsement from an approved body.
    • The applicant may establish their own business or they can work with a Joint Venture partner in the UK to establish a qualifying business.
    • Joint Venture Business investments with a local UK partner are typically in the region of GBP 200,000 – GBP 250,000.
    • To obtain an endorsement from an approved body, the applicant must provide a business plan and supporting documents showing that the business is:
      • Innovative.
      • Viable.
      • Scalable.
      • Can be sustained.

    The Process

    Arrows process

    Due Diligence and Application

    • Must develop a viable business plan and have the business plan endorsed by an endorsing body approved by the UK Government.
    • Following endorsement, the application must be made to a UK Embassy or Consulate nearest to where the applicant resides.

    Approval and Investment

    • Upon successful application, an initial 3-year visa will be issued to enable the applicant to move to the UK to commence the business.
    • Progress must be reviewed by the endorsing body at the 6, 12- and 24-month marks.

    Citizenship and Passport

    • The visa can be extended for a further 3 years providing that the business is still running and validated by an approved body.
    • Applicants may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 3 years subject to meeting minimum business performance requirements.

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      Frequently Asked Questions

      The UK Innovator Visa is a residence by investment program. It enables experienced business people with a viable ‘innovative’ business idea, to establish their business in the UK and live in the UK.

      To qualify for the new Innovator Visa, the Applicant must meet eligibility requirements which include:

      • Have a viable innovative business idea.
      • Endorsement by an authorised entity. Applicants will be required to apply for and secure endorsement by a business sponsor, who will assess applicants’ business ideas for their innovation, viability and scalability. Regular contact must be maintained with the endorsing body at 6, 12- and 24-month intervals;
      • £50,000 investment in the business from any legitimate source;
      • Have sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependents;
      • Satisfy the English language requirement, to CEFR Level B2;
      • The Applicant must provide a Criminal Record Certificate confirming they have no criminal convictions issued within the last six months; and
      • Provide a ‘clear’ tuberculosis test result.

      The UK Innovator Visa is valid for 3 years and may be renewed for a further period of 3 years subject to continuing endorsement by an endorsing body. Subject to meeting advanced business performance criteria the Applicant may be eligible to apply for permanent residence after 3 years residence.

      Yes, the Applicant is required to spend the majority of their time in the UK, typically this means at least 270 days per year.

      In order to renew the UK Innovator Visa after the initial 3-year period, the Applicant must continue to be endorsed by an endorsing body and meet minimum business performance criteria.

      The Applicant MAY ONLY work for the business specified in the visa application and may not work for any other entity.

      No, the permit only allows the Applicant to live and work in the UK.

      Yes, the spouse (or life partner) and children who are under 18 years old (including adopted children) that are financially dependent on the Applicant may be included. Dependents are free to work or study in the UK.

      The minimum legal requirement is an investment of £50,000 which may be provided by the Applicant or a third party.

      To maintain the visa the applicant must keep the investment until permanent residence is granted.

      Yes, the Applicant is totally free to make additional investments or other acquisitions such as property.

      The Applicant is always free to withdraw all their investments in the UK whilst holding the Innovator visa but the Applicant and dependents will lose their right to reside in the UK, as the investment is not maintained anymore.

      Once the Applicant has permanent residence the investments can be sold freely.

      UK Innovator Visa holders (including dependents) are eligible to apply for permanent residence after 3 years if their business is considered particularly successful, of after 5 years if their business meets minimum performance criteria.

      UK Innovator Visa holders will become eligible to apply for British citizenship after having lived in the UK for at least 5 years AND having held permanent residence for at least 1 year, subject to meeting language and other requirements.

      Yes, there is no restriction on dual (or multiple) citizenship.

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