Innovator Visa UK

The Innovator Visa UK is new visa category introduced w.e.f. 29th March 2019. It replaces the Entrepreneur Visa UK, which has been discontinued.

This visa category is for more experienced business people, providing them an opportunity in starting a business in the UK. To apply –

  • You must be atleast 18 years old
  • Be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • You must meet the English Language Requirement
  • You must meet all UK visa requirements
  • You must have an innovative, viable and scalable business or business idea endorsed by an approved “endorsement body” in the UK.
  • You must have atleast £ 50,000 to invest in the new business. NOTE : You do not need funds if your business is already established in the UK and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.
  • You must be able to prove that you have enough funds, at the minimum prescribed levels, to support yourself and your family while you are in the UK.

You can form a team with other innovator applicants. However, each innovator applicant must invest at least £ 50,000. Further, you are only permitted to work on developing your business and cannot take on any employment outside of the business.

For a business to be eligible under this visa category it must satisfy the following criteria :

  1. Be innovative – The business plan to be submitted must be original and genuine. Further, it must meet new or existing market needs and/or create a competitive advantage.
  2. Be viable – The applicant must have (or is developing) the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
  3. Be scalable – The business must have potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

It is important to note that a proposed business / business idea must be supported by a listed endorsing body. An “Endorsement Letter” will need to be obtained from an “endorsing body” confirming that the applicant’s business venture meets the endorsement criteria. This is to be done before you apply for the visa.

Family members (dependents) who can apply along with the main applicant are –

  • Your husband / wife / partner
  • Your child under 18
  • Your child over 18 if they are currently in the UK as a dependant

The Innovator Visa UK allows a visa holder to reside in the UK for 3 years. You can apply to extend your visa for another 3 years when your visa is due to expire. You can seek any number of extensions for your visa.

The Innovator Visa UK, unlike the UK startup visa, leads to settlement (PR). An innovator visa UK holder can apply for “Indefinite leave to remain” (settlement) once you’ve been in the UK for 3 years.


Innovator Visa UK holders must note that their UK Immigration visa will be cancelled if the endorsement of your business is withdrawn by the endorsing body at any point of time.

Once an applicant has successfully applied for their Innovator Visa UK, they must then fulfill any two of the below-listed conditions to obtain Indefinite leave to remain (PR) :

  1. Invest at least £50,000 into the business
  2. Double the number of business customers within the last 3 years
  3. Business has engaged in significant R&D and applied for intellectual property protection in the UK
  4. Reach minimum annual revenue of £1 million in the last full year
  5. Reach minimum annual revenue of £500,000 in the last full year, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas
  6. Create 5 full-time jobs for resident workers, which have existed for at least 12 months, at an average salary of  at least £25,000 each p.a.
  7. Create 10 full time jobs for resident workers, which have existed for at least 12 months

Startup Visa UK | Tier 1 Investor Visa UK