How easy is it to get a UK Innovator Visa?

Because of its excellent geographic location on the European map and centuries-old entrepreneurial traditions, the United Kingdom is consistently ranked among the top five most appealing countries for investment. Political stability, economic prosperity, large outlet markets, and healthy competition encourage the growth of British business.

Several visa categories in UK immigration law allow foreign people in business to relocate to the country and establish their own companies.

What Exactly Is the UK Innovator Visa?

The Innovator visa is designed for experienced business people who want to start a new venture in the UK. If you really want to start and run an innovative business in the UK, it must stand out from the crowd.

How do I apply for an Innovator visa?

As with other categories, the UK Innovator Visa application is submitted online. The visa is issued both outside the UK (at one of the visa centres) and within the country’s borders, for example, if you switch from another category.

Your application will take between 3 and 8 weeks to complete. The obtained immigration status is valid for three years and is renewable.

Requirements for Eligibility

It would be advantageous if you met the following criteria for obtaining a UK Innovator Visa:

Business Requirements

When applying for an Innovator Visa, you should first have your company or business idea evaluated by an endorsing organisation.

You must demonstrate that your business concept meets the following criteria:

  • It’s new – you will only be able to apply if you plan to join an existing firm.
  • It’s one-of-a-kind – you must have an original business concept unlike anything else on the market, with room for growth.

Language Prerequisites

You must demonstrate your English language proficiency when applying for the UK Innovator Visa. You must demonstrate the ability to read, write, speak, and understand English at the B2 Level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

You may not need to retake the exam if you have previously demonstrated your English proficiency on a successful visa application.

Financial Prerequisites

When starting a new business and applying for an innovator visa for the first time, you must demonstrate that you have at least £50,000 to invest.

Please keep in mind that you will be required to prove the source of your funds. You can also form a team with other innovator applicants, but you will need help to share the investment funds. Your team must have £50,000 for each applicant. If you have two innovator applicants, your team will require £100,000 to invest.

You don’t need any investment capital if your company is already established and approved for a previous visa or if you’ve changed your business and agreed with your endorsing body.

Before you apply, £1,270 is held in your bank account for 28 days.

Your investment funds’ money cannot be declared as supporting funds.

How easy is it to get a UK Innovator Visa

How easy is it to get a UK Innovator Visa

Four indicators of proper business plan creation

  • The concept of the business plan must meet new or existing market needs while also creating a competitive advantage.
  • Considering the applicant’s current resources, the plan must be realistic and achievable.
  • An applicant for the UK Innovator visa must have the knowledge and practical skills required to run a successful business and constantly develop them.
  • The business plan must include structured planning elements as well as evidence of potential for growth and job creation.


On May 1, 2019, an updated list of approved endorsing bodies was published. For their business proposal, the innovator must seek approval from one of these industries or business experts.

Different endorsement standards apply depending on whether the business is considered “new.”

The endorsement criteria for “new businesses” require the following:

  • A business plan that addresses “new or existing market needs and
  • Creates a competitive advantage.”
  • Scalability with the potential for job creation and growth in national and international markets

The endorsement criteria for “same business” include confirmation that “the business appears to be sustainable for at least the next 12 months, based on its assets and expected income, weighed against its current and planned expenses.”

The application is judged against the business plan evaluated in the previous endorsement: the applicant must demonstrate “significant” progress toward that plan.

The endorser must also confirm that the business is active and trading, that it is registered at Companies House, and that the applicant has demonstrated an active key role in the day-to-day management. Moreover, the development of the business must be demonstrated, and the applicant will devote their entire time to developing the business.

An applicant endorsed for the same business may request entry clearance or leave to remain. If the applicant has previously taken leave as an innovator or a start-up migrant, it is possible to make the same business application from abroad.

What are the restrictions for holders of the Innovator visa?

Those who have relocated to the UK must focus solely on their business.

  • They are not permitted to perform any other tasks.
  • An innovator cannot be a professional athlete or coach.
  • Entrepreneurs who choose this immigration category are not eligible for social benefits.

The Advantages of the UK Innovator Visa

If you are granted an Innovator visa, you will be able to:

  • Establish a business or several businesses.
  • Work for your company as a director or a self-employed business partnership member.
  • If you qualify, you can bring your partner and children to the UK.
  • Travel outside the UK and return
  • After three years in the country, you can apply for “indefinite leave to remain.”

The Bottom Line

That’s all there is to it. We’ve attempted to provide a high-level overview of the UK Innovator Visa.

The United Kingdom has a high standard of living, a desirable lifestyle, and numerous business opportunities. It’s also a popular spot for creative professionals and entrepreneurs looking to break into national and international markets.