Should I go for Start-Up Visa or Innovator Visa?

Many people immigrate to the UK looking to start a business. In March of 2019, business immigration in the UK underwent a significant change. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa was replaced with two new visas – Innovator Visa and Start-up Visa.

After the change took place, many immigrants who were on the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa were switched to the Start-up Visa. Now they wonder if it’s better to stay on the Start-up Visa or should they switch to Innovator Visa.

Let’s first discuss the advantages of the Innovator Visa and the Start-up Visa

When you apply for an Innovator Visa, you enjoy the following advantages:

• You automatically receive 3 years leave to stay in the UK
• At the end of 3 years, you can apply for an extension of leave (3 years). As a result of the extension, you will go past 5 years of stay in the UK which will in-turn allow you to apply for ILR (Indefinite Leave of Remain)

To qualify for the Innovator Visa, you need to have

• A clear, viable business plan
• Access to a business fund of £50,000
• Money to fund your stay in the UK which would be £945 for 90 days
• English Language Requirement – An academic qualification (with English as a medium of instruction) recognized by UK NARIC or a passing grade in a CEFR Level B2 Test
• Endorsement from the endorsing body of an accredited institution. The endorsing body will focus its attention on three guiding questions while assessing your business idea.
1. Is the business idea unique and innovative?
2. Is the business plan viable?
3. Does the business idea have the potential for growth and revenue generation?

But what if you do not have access to a business fund of £50,000? This is where the Start-up Visa comes into play. The one big advantage of the Start-Up Visa is that there is no requirement for you to have access to a business fund.

But unlike the Innovator Visa which grants you 3 years leave, the Start-up Visa will only give you 2 years leave. After the end of two years, if your business has found considerable success (e.g. Your business has been able to create jobs), only then can you apply for an Innovator Visa and eventually for ILR.

To qualify for a Start-up Visa, you need to meet all the requirements for the Innovator Visa, except the need to have access to a business fund of £50,000

Simply put, the Start-up Visa is very useful for young entrepreneurs who have a great business idea but do not have considerable funds since business is at its initial stage. As the business grows and if it finds success, they can settle in the UK.

The Innovator Visa, on the other hand, is ideal for entrepreneurs who have a considerable business fund at the initial stage and are having a long-range business plan. With the Innovator Visa, the chance of obtaining ILR in the UK is significantly higher.

Each entrepreneur can make a personal decision about whether he or she wants to go for the Start-up Visa or the Innovator Visa.

If you need any guidance to help you choose the right path, contact Aristone Solicitors today for an obligation-free initial consultation.

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