You can apply for an Innovator visa if you want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK - it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market and your business or business idea has been endorsed by an approved body, also known as an endorsing body and you meet other eligibility requirements.  You must be able to show that your business idea is new - you cannot join a business that is already trading, be innovative, you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market and viable, with potential for growth.

You can stay for 3 years if you either come to the UK on an Innovator visa, switch to this visa from another visa while in the UK.  You can apply to extend your stay for another 3 years when your visa is due to expire. There’s no limit on the number of times you can extend and you may be able to apply for settlement once you’ve been in the UK for 3 years.

Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn by the endorsing body. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.

With an Innovator visa you can:- 

  • set up a business or several businesses;
  • work for your business - this includes being employed as a director, or self-employed as a member of a business partnership;
  • bring your partner and children with you as your dependants if they’re eligible
  • travel abroad and return to the UK;
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) if you’ve lived in the UK for 3 years and meet other eligibility requirements.

 You cannot do any work outside your business, for example work where you’re employed by another business, work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach or apply for most benefits (i.e. public funds), or the State Pension.

Before you apply you need to have your business or business idea assessed by endorsing body.  They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is eligible.

You must also meet the English language requirement, be at least 18 years old and be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the UK

If you want to set up a new business, 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 also need to prove where you got your funding from. 

You do not need any investment funds if either your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa or you’ve changed your business and already agreed it with your endorsing body. 

You must be able to support yourself and need to have had at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you either apply for an Innovator visa or apply to extend your innovator visa or switch to an Innovator visa if you’ve been in the UK for less than a year. 

You cannot use money from your investment funds or money earned while working in the UK illegally to support yourself.  You can form a team with other Innovator applicants, but you cannot share the same investment funds.

Your 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

For further information please call 0207 654 3797 or email