Tier 1 Innovator Founder Visa

Would you like to set up a business in the UK? The Innovator Founder Visa (new name since 13 April 2023) allows entry to those setting up or taking over and being actively involved in the running of a business in the UK.
 Applicants will need to:
1. provide a business plan that is innovative, viable, scalable;

2. have the plan endorsed by an endorsement body in the UK. There are just 4 endorsing bodies at 20 April 2023. The Global Entrepreneurs Programme (GEP) is one of them. Note GEP is a government programme run by the Department for Business and Trade for internationally mobile, tech-based entrepreneurs and helps them scale and internationalise their innovation rich companies from a UK global HQ. GEP only provide visa endorsements for founders that have already been invited to participate on their programme. The list of endorsing bodies can change.  Innovator Founder and Scale-up visas endorsing bodies – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

3. stay in contact with those endorsing bodies regularly and pay their fees.

The Innovator visa is for more experienced business people.  The visa is for 3 years.

The visa requires the applicant to have a minimum amount of funding for maintenance in the UK before the application is submitted.

The Tier 1 Innovator Founder Visa can lead to settlement in the UK after 3 years. A number of conditions have to be fulfilled. The conditions are tougher than for an ordinary ILR application.

This visa route may sound attractive for an entrepreneur especially since the £50,000 funding requirement has been dropped and since it is possible to take on additional work as of 13 April 2023 and the route to ILR is only 3 years compared to the usual 5 years. But watch out – the conditions for achieving ILR are much tougher than the conditions for other visa routes. As a result, holders of this visa are often looking to switch out of it into another visa route before the 3 years is up. That means more cost and usually means 5 years is required to achieve ILR eligibility.

The Start Up visa route closed to new entrants on 13 April 2013. People on that visa can still switch to the Innovator Founder visa route.

Please contact us to speak to our specialist immigration advisors to avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure your Tier 1  Innovator Founder Visa has the best chance of success.