Applying for a UK Innovator Visa
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa pathway was officially replaced by the new Innovator Visa at the end of March in 2019. Under the terms of the new scheme, the individual applying must obtain formal endorsement from an approved body, though the initial investment requirement has been reduced.
Eligibility Under the Innovator Visa Pathway
The new Innovator Visa scheme is open exclusively to those who can both provide evidence of their business acumen and demonstrate that they have a viable business idea.
The viability and relevance of the business idea will be scrutinised by both the endorsing body and the Home Office. This will include a thorough assessment of your business plan, the documentary evidence you provide and your own experience and expertise.
It is also possible that you will be interviewed directly, during which additional questions will be asked on your business idea and your intentions upon gaining entry to the UK. If you have any questions regarding the Innovator Visa scheme or would like to discuss your eligibility in more detail, contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors today.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements?
The Innovator Visa pathway has radically altered the eligibility requirements of the previous Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) scheme. The most important criteria you will need to meet in order for your application to be considered are as follows:
- Formal endorsement from an approved and recognised body must be obtained, prior to your application being submitted
- The endorsing body must contact the applicant at six, 12 and 24 months after entering the UK, to ensure their business is making sufficient progress
- The previous £200,000 minimum investment amount has been reduced to a much more accessible £50,000 under the new scheme
- A grasp of the English language at B2 Level must also be demonstrated – increased from the previous B1 Level requirement
No specific limitations are placed on how long the individual may be permitted to remain in the UK, but confirmation of continuous endorsement must be provided upon requesting an extension to an existing Innovator Visa.
What Are the Criteria for Endorsement?
The endorsement is necessary to verify the validity and value of your business idea to the Home Office. An endorsement can only be provided by a recognized body of the business organization, such as Chambers of Commerce.
You will need to create and submit a detailed business plan, along with financial projections and evidence of your experience and expertise. Other than this, there are three basic requirements all applicants must fulfil, in order to qualify:
- Innovation – You must verify that your proposed business meets a genuine market requirement (new or existing), or creates a competitive advantage
- Viability – Evidence should be presented to prove that the business idea is viable. You will need to prove you have the skills, knowledge and acumen to make the business a success.
- Scalability – Provision of evidence of structured planning and growth opportunities, along with the potential for job creation.
How Aristone Solicitors Can Help
At Aristone Solicitors, we can provide the expert advice and support you need to ensure a smooth and streamlined application process. Whether in the midst of an Innovator Visa application of planning ahead, we’ll ensure your case is presented with the robust evidence required to ensure its success.
Call anytime for an obligation-free consultation, or email Aristone Solicitors and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.