The Innovator Visa UK gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to come to the UK and contribute to economic growth through their business ideas, irrespective of their financial status or business history. However, it is important to note that the application process can be very time consuming and rigorous, especially if you do not have any experience in applying for visas or making similar applications on behalf of other people or businesses. This article aims to give you a better understanding of what you need to do in order to apply for this visa, as well as the timescales involved in each stage of the process.
Innovator Visa is part of the UK government’s drive to attract innovators and investors to Britain. It gives non-European Union entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their business in the UK, with more freedom and a greater range of benefits than other visas on offer. But before you can apply, you need to know if you meet the required criteria and how to fill out the online application form. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about applying for an Innovator Visa application.
What is an Innovator Visa?
The UK government has created a new visa category for high-value entrepreneurs from overseas who have earned at least £50,000 ($70,000) with their innovative business venture. Applicants will be considered for either an extended three-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa or a six-year Tier 1 Investor visa if they qualify for an investment of £200,000 ($270,000).
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The latter option is available only to applicants who have owned their business for at least two years. Additional points are awarded if an applicant holds one or more degrees from English universities and can show that he or she has participated in research and development work within these institutions.
About the Innovator visa
The Innovator visa replaces the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category. It is for the more experienced, proven business entrepreneur who wishes to establish a viable business in the UK with real growth prospects.
What are the critical criteria for obtaining an Innovator visa?
- An original business plan demonstrating innovation
- Support from an Endorsing Body
- Business investment from just £50,000
- An acceptable level of English
- Adequate maintenance funds (unless exempted)
To qualify for an Innovator visa to set up a business in the UK, there are several requirements that you must meet. First and foremost, you will need either (1) £50,000 available capital or (2) £200,000 of government support. If your idea is deemed worthy by one of several designated bodies, like Nesta and NESTA or your local Enterprise Agency, they may also be able to offer some funding.
Additionally, you will need to demonstrate that your idea has the potential to disrupt/transform/create new markets with excellent growth potential. Finally, if your business idea falls into one of twelve specific categories, from space technology to Agri-tech, you are eligible for streamlined application processing.
How to Qualify
UK business owners and entrepreneurs with at least £50,000 of investment capital may qualify for an Innovator visa. Once approved, you’ll be able to live and work in Britain for three years. To qualify, your proposal must show that you intend to develop or commercialize a new product, service, or process which will generate significant export earnings for Britain.
You can apply for an Innovator visa from one non-EEA country: Australia, Canada; Israel, Japan; New Zealand; Republic of Korea; Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) SAR, China; Taiwan Province of China; United States of America. We offer UK Startup Visas using our extensive network of contacts and expertise. Contact us to start your UK business today! Start Here
Entrepreneur Immigration Solutions (UK)
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) UK immigration scheme was designed for people who want to start a business in Britain. This has recently been rebranded as ‘Immigrant Investor.’ Entrepreneurs can now obtain settlement via an innovative residence route, where they can apply after two years of entrepreneurship instead of five.
From April 2017, applicants will also be able to stay on and switch into Tier 1 (General) or other routes if their business is successful or they need to extend their stay because of family reasons. The requirements of each category may vary, so we recommend that you contact us with your specific circumstances and needs before proceeding with your application.
Innovator Visa Requirements
UK immigration rules specify the following requirements to be eligible for the Innovator Visa:
- Innovation: Proof of a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and creates a competitive advantage.
- Viability: Applicants must demonstrate the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience, plus market awareness, to run a business competently.
- Scalability: Evidence of structured planning and the potential for job creation and growth in national and international markets.
Preparing for Immigration
Before applying for an innovator visa, you’ll need to be prepared. The UK immigration application process is lengthy and requires thorough preparation. You’ll have to collect several documents, including proof of your education, employment history, English language skills, and bank statements. And while you may have been able to stay put while applying for your US or Canadian visa.
That’s not an option when dealing with UK immigration officials; they expect applicants to attend their interviews in person. But before we go into detail about what it takes to prepare for your innovation visa interview, let’s look at what constitutes an innovative idea or business plan under UK law. You can find more information on qualifying for an innovator entry clearance permit.
Applying For a UK Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
Applying for a UK settlement has two parts. First, you’ll need to apply for permission to live and work in the UK (known as indefinite leave to remain), and second, you’ll need to apply for British citizenship (if you want it). You don’t have to do both at once—you can decide whether or not you wish to pursue citizenship later. But if you know now that your long-term plans include staying in Britain indefinitely, it’s worth getting started sooner rather than later.
Starting your business in the UK
In general, you’ll have to have cash of at least £200,000 and be able to prove that you have access to at least £20,000 more money. In addition, your family should also be able to support you by having an additional net worth of at least £60,000. You must also show that your business has an economic need for it to succeed.
Lastly, it would help if you convinced UK authorities that you would likely make enough money to stay above water and pay taxes. Not all new businesses are created equal, and not everyone will qualify for an Innovator Visa either. The first step is determining whether or not your business fits into one of these three categories.
You may want to start your own business but don’t know where to begin. With so many avenues, making an informed decision is difficult and time-consuming. We have created simple paths that you can use to make your life easier. Use them wisely, and they will serve you well. After all, nobody knows your business better than you do! Good Luck!!!
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