Personal Immigration

Innovator Visa Guidance: Investment Funds & Endorsement

The Innovator visa category is for non-EEA nationals who are experienced businesspersons seeking to establish a business in the UK.  With the Innovator visa category due to open on 29 March 2019, but the Innovator Visa Policy Guidance not yet published, we thought we’d shed some light on the investment funds and endorsement requirements of the new Innovator visa.

Do I need to have access to £50,000?

You will need to have at least £50,000 available to invest in your business (or have already invested £50,000 in your business) if:

  • You are applying to enter the Innovator visa category for the first time from overseas;
  • You are applying to enter the Innovator visa category for the first time from within the UK and currently have leave as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 2 General migrant, Tier 2 ICT migrant or Prospective Entrepreneur;
  • You are applying to enter the Innovator visa category for the first time from within the UK, you last had leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Start-up and you are applying to extend your stay in the Innovator visa category in order to pursue a new business venture; or
  • You already hold leave as an Innovator and you are applying to extend your Innovator leave in order to pursue a new business venture.

You will not need to have access to £50,000 to invest if:

  • You last had leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Start-up and are applying to extend your stay in the Innovator visa category in order to pursue the same business venture; or
  • You last had leave as an Innovator and you are applying to extend your stay in order to pursue the same business venture.

Do I need to have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body?

All applicants for an Innovator visa need to have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body.  However, the nature of the endorsement will vary depending on your current immigration status and whether you are applying to set up a new business or continue running the same business.

Your business idea will need to be endorsed as innovative, viable and scalable if it is a new business idea and:

  • You are applying to enter the Innovator visa category for the first time from overseas;
  • You are applying to enter the Innovator visa category for the first time from within the UK   and currently have leave as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 2 General migrant, Tier 2 ICT migrant or Prospective Entrepreneur;
  • You are applying to enter the Innovator visa category for the first time from within the UK, you last had leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Start-up and you are applying to extend your stay in the Innovator visa category in order to pursue a new business venture;
  • You already hold leave as an Innovator and you are applying to extend your Innovator leave in order to pursue a new business venture.

In all of these instances, the endorsing body will also need to be satisfied that you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your new business venture(s).

You will need to be endorsed as having shown significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement if:

  • You last had leave as an Innovator and you are applying to extend your stay in order to pursue the same business venture.

In this instance, the endorsing body will also need to be satisfied that you are registered with Companies House as a Director or Member of your business, your business is active, trading and your business appears sustainable for at least the following 12 months, you have had an active key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business and you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your business venture(s).

You can choose whether you wish to be endorsed as having an innovative, viable and scalable business idea or as having shown significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement if:

  • You last had leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Start-up and you are applying to extend your stay in the Innovator visa category in order to pursue the same business venture.

If you wish to be endorsed as having an innovative, viable and scalable business idea then you will also need to have access to £50,000 or have invested £50,000 in your business.  If you wish to be endorsed as having shown significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement then you will not need to have access to £50,000 or have invested £50,000 in your business.  However, the endorsing body will need to be satisfied that you are registered with Companies House as a Director or Member of your business, your business is active, trading and your business appears sustainable for at least the following 12 months, you have had an active key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business and you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your business venture(s).  In both cases, the endorsing body will also need to be satisfied that you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your new business venture(s).

Contact our Innovator Visa Lawyers

For expert advice and assistance regarding an application for an Innovator Visa, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

SEE HOW OUR IMMIGRATION BARRISTERS CAN HELP YOU

To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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