Our specialist business immigration team recently received some wonderful news that our client’s (“the Applicant”) Innovator visa application was successful. We had previously assisted the Applicant in obtaining a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. In our initial consultation, the Applicant had informed us that he had a new innovative business idea and wanted to explore whether he could apply for the new Innovator visa. Our business immigration team conducted a detailed assessment and confirmed that the Applicant met the requirements for an Innovator visa under Appendix W to the Immigration Rules. We assisted the Applicant through the entire process and also helped him obtain an endorsement from an approved provider. Our business immigration team prepared detailed legal representations and submitted a well-prepared application allowing the Applicant to receive his Innovator visa within 2 weeks from the date of his biometric enrolment.
The case for an Innovator visa
The Applicant was an Indian national who was residing in the UK with his wife and daughter on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. During the initial consultation with our business immigration team, the Applicant explained that he had been developing a new product and wanted to establish a brand new innovative business in the UK. In order to apply for an Innovator visa, Applicants must demonstrate that they have a unique innovative business idea that is viable and scalable. Applicants are also required to obtain an endorsement.
After reviewing the Applicant’s circumstances, we explained that he was eligible to apply for the innovator visa under Part W6 of Appendix W to the Immigration Rules. Our immigration team prepared the entire application from the start to the end. Our team also assisted the Applicant to obtain an endorsement (mandatory requirement) from a Home Office approved endorsing body. Our team has a number of affiliated partners who work closely with us assisting Applicants with their Innovator visa applications.
What is an Innovator visa?
The Innovator visa is a business visa for entrepreneurs looking to set up and establish a new and innovative business in the UK that has been endorsed by a Home Office approved endorsing body. Applicants are required to demonstrate that their business is credible and viable.
How do I get a UK Innovator visa?
Applications for the Innovator visa must be submitted in accordance with Part W6 of Appendix W to the Immigration Rules. In order to submit a successful Innovator visa application the following requirements must be satisfied:
- Applicants must have an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea (see below);
- Applicants must obtain an endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsing body;
- Applicants must meet the English language requirement (Level B2);
- Applicants must have at least £50,000 in cash to invest in their proposed business idea; and
- Applicants must meet the maintenance requirement of £945 and the hold the funds for 90 consecutive days.
What does Innovation, Viable & Scalable mean under Appendix W to the Immigration Rules?
Innovation – Applicants must demonstrate that their business idea is genuine and original. The business idea can be for a tangible product-based business or a service-related business.
Viability – Applicants must demonstrate that their business is practical and credible. Applicants would be required to show that they have the expertise or specialist knowledge of their chosen business field to enable the business to succeed. Applicants must prepare and submit a well-drafted business plan to show that the business has a clear vision and all the relevant considerations such as start-up costs, target market, market segmentation, and competition have been taken into consideration. The business plan should also show the projected cash flow forecast for the first 3 years for the business. Information on other relevant factors such as strengths and weaknesses of the business and the impact of future growth/decline of the business sector they wish to operate in.
Scalability – Applicants must show that their business idea will benefit the economy in the United Kingdom and the business will contribute to job creation and growth into relevant markets.
What is the endorsement requirement in Innovator visa applications?
One of the key requirements for Innovator visa applications is that Applicants must obtain an endorsement before submitting their visa application. The Home Office will no longer participate in reviewing the business proposals, as the endorsing body will assess business ideas on behalf of the Home Office. This is a massive advantage for Applicants, as industry experts with years of experience and knowledge will now assess their business. Our Immigration team can assist Applicants to obtain an endorsement as they have a number of affiliated partners who they closely work with.
Please click here to see the current list of endorsement bodies for the Innovator visa.
Can you switch into an Innovator visa?
It is possible to switch into an Innovator visa if you are already in the UK. However, you can only switch into an Innovator visa from within the UK if you hold any of the following visas:
- Tier 1 Start-up migrant
- Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant;
- Tier 2 work permit migrant; or
- A visitor visa and you have been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur, as set out in Appendix V to the Immigration Rules.
If you were not last granted leave in any of the above you will need to apply for entry clearance from your home country or any other country where you have valid immigration status.
How many years will the Innovator visa be granted for?
The Innovator visa will be granted for 3 years and it is possible to extend the visa for a further 2 years. Following this, Applicants can consider applying for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) under this route and subsequently British citizenship.
How much does it cost for an Innovator visa application?
The Home Office visa application fee is £1,021 for applications submitted from outside the UK and £1,277 for applications submitted from within the UK. The current Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee is £400 per year, however, from 27 October 2020, the IHS fee will rise to £624 per year. For applications submitted from within the UK, Applicants can pay an additional charge of £810 for the Super Priority service. If you opt for the Super Priority service you will receive a decision within 24 hours from the date of the biometric enrolment. Due to COVID-19, priority services are currently suspended in the UK.
How our immigration solicitors can help with an Innovator visa application
Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in Innovator visa applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful Innovator visa applications for a range of different clients. The key to submitting successful applications is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.
Using our immigration solicitors to submit Innovator visa applications
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 an Innovator visa application.
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 Innovator visa application 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 Innovator visa application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Innovator visa applications with our immigration solicitors
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 your Innovator visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We 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. LEXVISA is just 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 Innovator visa 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.