Innovator Visa is an opportunity for international entrepreneurs looking to invest in a business in the UK. If you’re considering this route, it’s crucial to secure endorsement from an approved endorsing body and have a minimum investment of £50,000 for your business.
For immediate assistance and guidance on the Innovator Visa application process, feel free to call us at 0333 0124 253. Whether in person, over the phone, or online, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Let’s make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality!
Visitor Visa UK
The Innovator Visa offers a promising avenue for experienced business professionals aiming to establish themselves in the UK. With a minimum investment of £50,000 and the endorsement of a recognized endorsing body for your business proposal, you can secure this visa. The initial three-year period can be extended for an additional three years, and some may even qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain after three years of lawful residency in the UK.
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The eligibility criteria for the Innovator Visa are quite specific, ensuring that applicants have the necessary qualifications to embark on a business venture in the UK. As an applicant, being outside the EEA and Switzerland, aged 18 or older, possessing a minimum of £50,000 for investment, and securing endorsement for your business idea from an approved body are key requirements. Meeting the English language standard and fulfilling personal financial obligations are also crucial aspects of the application process.
What is the Difference Between an Innovator Visa and a Start Up Visa?
Start Up Visa
Applicants do not need funds to invest in their business
Applicants need at least £50,000 to invest in their business
Must not have previously set up a business in the UK
Eligible if set up business in the UK in the past
Successful applicants can stay in the UK for two years
Successful applicants can stay in the UK for three years
Can bring family members
Can bring family members
Can take on work outside of their business to support themselves
Cannot undertake any work outside of business ventures
Visa cannot be extended
Visa can be extended
Your business proposal must fulfill the following criteria:
- Innovation: The applicant should showcase a genuine and original business plan addressing a new or existing market need, contributing to the British economy and workforce. (Note: An applicant cannot join or invest in an already trading business).
- Viability: The applicant must demonstrate the essential skills, knowledge, and market awareness required to effectively manage the business.
- Scalability: The applicant should present evidence of potential job creation and growth in the business.
Endorsing Bodies for the Innovator Visa
A crucial requirement for the Innovator Visa is to obtain approval for your business idea from an endorsing body. Prior to initiating your Innovator Visa application, securing an endorsement letter from an approved endorsing body is essential.
Endorsing bodies meticulously assess the applicant’s business proposal to ascertain its alignment with the three pivotal requirements outlined above.
Upon approval of the business proposal, the endorsing body issues an endorsement letter to the Home Office, providing comprehensive details about the applicant and their business proposition.
Endorsing bodies must showcase a proven track record of supporting UK entrepreneurs, unless a new organization is established by another body with its established track record.
In the endorsement letter, the endorsing body clarifies whether they are supplying the investment funds or if the applicant possesses the funds and is prepared to invest in the business (or has already done so).
If you seek further details on the business proposal endorsement, feel free to contact us at 0333 0124 253.
What is the English Language Requirement?
Every Innovator Visa applicant must demonstrate proficiency at the B2 level of English, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It’s important to note that citizens of most native English-speaking countries are exempt from this requirement.
You won’t be required to meet English language criteria if you:
Hold a degree or higher qualification that was taught in English and is recognized by the UK NARIC.
Already possess a CEFR B2 level certificate in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Additionally, citizens of the following countries are exempt from this requirement:
Antigua and Barbuda
St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
All other Innovator Visa applicants must successfully pass a B2 English language test in reading, writing, speaking, and listening from an approved test provider to qualify for the Innovator Visa.
The processing time for a UK Visitor Visa application can vary depending on several factors, including the applicant’s home country and the type of service chosen for application processing. Here are some key points to consider:
- You can submit your UK Visitor Visa application to the Home Office between three months and 48 hours before your intended travel date.
- In general, the visa processing time can take up to three weeks for applicants outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Keep in mind that processing times may vary depending on the volume of applications and the specific circumstances of your application.
- To expedite the processing of your application, you have the option to select the Priority Service or Super Priority Service, provided they are available in your country. These services come at an additional cost but can significantly reduce the processing time:
Priority Service: Application processed within approximately five working days.
Super Priority Service: Application processed within approximately 24 hours.
- In some countries, you may have the opportunity to book a Home Office Same-Day Premium slot for your application, which can lead to an expedited decision.
Choosing the right service option depends on your specific needs and the urgency of your travel plans. It’s important to check with your local visa application center or embassy to see which services are available in your location.
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Frequently Asked Questions
UK Standard Visitor Visas generally grant short-term stays, allowing visitors to stay in the UK for up to six months. It’s important to understand the limitations of these visitor visas:
- The standard visitor visa typically allows you to stay in the UK for a maximum of six months during a single visit.
- While on a standard visitor visa, you can enter and leave the UK multiple times as long as your visa remains valid. Each visit, however, should not exceed the maximum duration of six months.
- There are long-term visit visas available for specific nationalities, such as the United States, China, Pakistan, India, and others. These visas can be issued for two years, five years, or ten years. While they provide the flexibility to enter and leave the UK multiple times, each visit within these visas should still not exceed the six-month duration.
- Certain categories of visitors, such as academic visitors and those receiving private medical treatment, may be eligible for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This permit allows for longer stays in the UK and may require biometric enrolment, where you provide personal details, fingerprints, a photo, and other information. BRP’s are typically issued for the duration of the specific purpose of your visit.
It’s important to note that regardless of the type of visit visa you hold, you must always adhere to the conditions and duration of your visa. Overstaying your visa can lead to immigration issues and future visa rejections. Always consult the UK Home Office or seek legal advice to understand the specific visa options and their limitations based on your circumstances and nationality.
If you’re planning to travel to the UK and you’re not a British citizen, an EU or EEA citizen, or a national from a country with special visa arrangements, you will likely need to obtain a visitor visa before your trip. It’s essential to have the necessary travel documents, as UK immigration laws are stringent. To determine if you need a visa to visit the UK, you can use the UK Home Office’s online interactive tool available on the gov.uk website. This tool will ask you questions about your travel plans, including your country of origin, and provide information on the visa requirements.
Here are some key points to consider:
- Members of the European single market, including EU countries and additional EEA members, have the right to visit the UK for tourism, work, or travel without requiring a UK visitor visa. This freedom of movement allows citizens of these countries to enter the UK for short-term stays.
- While most foreign nationals from non-EEA countries need a visa to visit the UK, some exceptions exist, such as the Visa Waiver Programme. This programme allows nationals from specific countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait, to obtain an electronic visa waiver (EVW) for short-term visits to the UK (up to six months). The EVW can be obtained by paying a premium fee and providing essential information, including passport details, UK address, travel plans, and more.
Keep in mind that visa requirements can change, and it’s crucial to check the latest regulations and eligibility criteria before planning your trip to the UK. Always refer to official government sources and consider consulting with immigration professionals if you have specific questions or unique circumstances related to your visit.