Earlier this year the Tier 1 Innovator visa was introduced to replace the former Tier 1 Entrepreneur route. The Tier 1 Innovator visa is for business people who are looking to establish their business in the UK. As we understand, the first Tier 1 Innovator indefinite leave to remain (settlement) application will be considered in April 2022 (subject to meeting the requirements). It is important for you to be conscious of the requirements for the indefinite leave to remain application as this will help them be compliant with the Home Office requirements.
What is Tier 1 Innovator Indefinite Leave to Remain?
If your Tier 1 Innovator indefinite leave to remain application is successful you will be granted settled status which in principle means you will no longer be subject to immigration control in the UK. There will be no time limit to how long you can reside in the UK. You will not be required to apply for extension applications and go through the challenging visa application process. However, if you do not comply with the conditions imposed on you, the Home Office can revoke your indefinite leave to remain status i.e. if you commit a criminal offence or decide to leave the UK for a period exceeding two years. You can apply for British citizenship after holding indefinite leave to remain for 12 months.
What are the requirements for Tier 1 Innovator indefinite leave to remain?
In order to successfully apply for Tier 1 Innovator indefinite leave to remain, you must meet the requirements outlined in Appendix W of the Immigration Rules. In particular, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old on the date of the decision and your last grant of leave must have been in the Tier 1 Innovator category;
- Not fail under the general grounds for refusal or have any other issues regarding your character;
- Provide an endorsement letter regarding your business (see below);
- Meet the settlement success criteria;
- Meet the requirements for the English language set out in Appendix KOLL;
- Not be in breach of any immigration laws; and
- Meet the continuous residence requirement (see below).
With respect to the continuous residence requirement, you must be able to show that you have resided in the UK for 3 continuous years without any breaks. For each of the 3 years, you must have held a valid visa. Further, you cannot have more than 180 days absences from the UK in any consecutive 12 month period. In some exceptional and compelling circumstances, the Home Office may allow excessive absences as long as there are worthy reason and documentary evidence in respect of the absences i.e. death certificates showing family bereavement.
The Home Office requires you to obtain an updated letter from your respective endorsing body. The letter must follow the recommended format and include each of the bullet points under Part W6 of the Appendix W. The letter must confirm key details such as your involvement in the day to day running of the business and whether the business appears to be sustainable for at least the following 12 months based on its assets and expected income.
In addition to the above, the Home Office will also give weight to your age and strength of connections in the United Kingdom. Our Solicitors and Barristers regularly assist Applicants with successful settlement applications. Contact us for a detailed case assessment on your case or if would like some assistance in the preparation and submission of your application.
What is the Tier 1 Innovator Indefinite leave to remain success criteria?
The endorsement letter must also confirm that your business meets 2 of the below success criteria’s or otherwise your application is likely to be refused.
- At least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering the business plan assessed in the applicant’s previous endorsement; or
- The number of the business’s customers has at least doubled within the most recent 3 years and is currently higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable main products or services; or
- The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK Page 25 of 45 Published for Home Office staff on 29 March 2019; or
- The business has generated a minimum annual revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts; or
- The business is generating a minimum annual revenue of £500,000 in the last full year covered by its accounts, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas; or
- The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers; or
- The business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for resident workers, which have an average salary of at least £25,000 a year (gross pay, excluding any expenses).
Using Legal Representation to apply for a Tier 1 Innovator visa Indefinite leave to remain
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 1 Innovator indefinite leave to remain application under the UK Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Tier 1 Innovator settlement visa succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Tier 1 Innovator indefinite leave to remain application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Tier 1 Innovator visa application Indefinite leave to remain
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of Tier 1 Innovator indefinite leave to remain application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Tier 1 Innovator visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful Tier 1 Innovator indefinite leave to remain application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.