Innovator Visa Program
The Innovator visa category is for business people outside the EEA and Switzerland who have £50,000 to invest in their business from any legitimate source. All applicants for entry clearance or leave to remain must have been endorsed in this category by an endorsing body. The applicant does not need to be the sole founder of the business and may be a member of an entrepreneurial team.
The applicant under must have at least £50,000 available to invest in their business. This may include funds which are already invested in the business. However, if the endorsement letter confirms that funds are already invested no further evidence for investment funds is required. The funds can be from a;
- Applicant’s own investment funds
- UK organization which employs at least 10 people
- An overseas or UK organization which employs less than 10 people or;
- A third party
The main applicant must have at least £945 and £630 for each dependent available investment funds in Personal Bank Account for 90 days period.
An endorsement letter is required at both extension and settlement stage. The settlement is achieved if two of the following requirements have been met by the applicant’s business;
- At least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering the business plan assessed in the applicant’s previous endorsement.
- The number of the business’s customers has at least doubled within the most recent 3 years and is currently higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable main products or services.
- The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK.
- The business has generated minimum annual gross revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts.
- The business is generating minimum annual gross revenue of £500,000 in the last full year covered by its accounts, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas.
- The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers.
- The business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for resident workers, which have an average salary of at least £25,000 a year (gross pay, excluding any expenses).
Endorsements for settlement applications is made against a range of criteria – covering investment, innovation, business growth and job creation – which applicants may choose from in order to qualify for settlement.
Applicants may apply for accelerated settlement (normally requires 5 years residence) as soon as their businesses satisfy at least two of these criteria, providing they have spent at least three years in the category.
An applicant of Innovator visa can’t meet the Secure English Language test listed in Appendix O if
- The applicant has passed an English language test at CEFR Level B2 (5.5 in Each Module)
- The applicant is a national of majority English speaking country or
- The applicant has a degree taught in English evidenced by UK NARIC equivalence.