What Are the Benefits of Innovator Visa in UK

What Are the Benefits of Innovator Visa in UK

The Innovator visa, now the Innovator Founder visa, is a type of work visa in the UK to encourage people with unique business ideas to come to the UK, start and scale their business to benefit the UK’s economy. But who can apply for the Innovator Founder visa and what are the main benefits of getting such a visa for the UK? We’ll answer all of this and more.

What Are the Requirements for the Innovator Visa?

What Are the Requirements for the Innovator Visa?

The main requirement of the Innovator Founder visa is that you have a new, unique, viable and scalable business idea that has been approved by a valid endorsing body in the UK. That means, you need to create a detailed business plan to submit to an approved endorsing body showing that your proposal is unlike anything else currently in the market, has been thoroughly thought out and has a high chance of success, and it can expand, generating a profit. The endorsing body will also look at the applicant’s skills and experience, so experience running a successful business and expertise in the chosen field is integral to have your proposal approved in order to apply for the Innovator Founder visa.

Knowledge of how to operate a business in the UK is also a big plus that will increase your chances of a successful application. You don’t need to be starting a business, but can also switch from a Start-Up visa to an Innovator Founder visa while in the UK, in which case you don’t need to show sufficient funds to set-up and run the business. However, if this is your first application to come to the UK, you must show at least £50,000 available to invest in your business, as the government does not provide loans or funding, so the business must plan to succeed without assistance.

As well as the requirements for the business proposal and endorsement, to apply for the Innovator Founder visa, each applicant must also:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Have B1 level English according to the CEFR
  • Have at least £1,270 in their personal account for at least 28 consecutive days to support themselves while in the UK (plus more if bringing dependants)
  • Must be of ‘good character’ and disclose any information about previous criminal convictions

Is the Innovator Visa Easy to Get?

The Home Office reserves the right to deny entry to any individual, however, rejection letters will usually detail the explanation of why the application is being refused. There is a relatively high visa rejection rate for visas in the UK, however, each application is assessed individually, and if the applicant meets each eligibility requirement, there is no reason for the application not to be successful.

The main reason why most visas are rejected in the UK are due to the applicant:

  • Not disclosing criminal history
  • Being deceptive on their application
  • Not meeting all of the eligibility requirements, such as having insufficient funds

What Are the Benefits of the Innovator Visa?

What Are the Benefits of the Innovator Visa?

The Innovator Founder visa has many benefits for visa holders, including:

  • Support establishing a business in the UK, bringing novel ideas to a thriving market
  • Flexibility in establishing a business or becoming self-employed in the UK
  • Fast-track to permanent residency
  • Ability to bring dependants

Although Innovator Founder visa holders don’t receive direct funding or support from the UK government, the UK has a great global market, which offers networking opportunities for support as well as a diverse talent pool and a well developed business infrastructure, increasing your chances of success and giving further opportunity to expand internationally.

What’s more, is that where most UK visa holders can’t settle in the UK for 5 years, Innovator Founders can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after just 3 years. This offers long-term stability for applicants and their families as well as access to more resources once their business is established.

Overall, the Innovator Visa offers a pathway for talented and innovative entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses in the UK, benefiting from its vibrant economy, supportive ecosystem, and access to global opportunities.

Innovator Visa Application Process

Innovator Visa Application Process

Most UK visas need to be applied for online unless the applicant doesn’t have access to a computer, the internet or cannot apply online due to a disability. You can apply for an Innovator Founder visa from outside the UK, or from within the UK by switching from a current valid visa, paying the application fee and immigration health surcharge (IHS) and scanning and submitting supporting documents.

The documents you’ll need to provide with your application are:

  • A valid passport with a blank page for your visa if you’re from outside of the EU or EEA, or don’t have a biometric chip in your passport
  • Your endorsement letter for your business plan from an approved endorsing body
  • Bank statements showing at least £1,270 in your personal bank account
  • Proof that you meet the English language requirement (unless from an English-speaking country)
  • A negative tuberculosis test result if applying from one of the specified countries
  • Evidence of any past criminal convictions
  • Certified translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh with the credentials of the translator

For the English language requirement you either need a certificate from an approved SELT test provider or a certificate from your degree-level course taught in English, unless you completed GCSE or A-Level English in the UK before the age of 18.

Once your application is complete, you may need to make an appointment to have your biometric data (fingerprints and photograph) taken for your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Once in the UK, you’ll need to report to your endorsing body every 12 months to ensure your business is operating as planned or your visa may be rescinded. After 3 years, you can then extend your visa or apply for permanent residency.

Apply for Permanent Residency in the UK

With the Innovator Founder visa, you can apply for ILR after just 3 years in the UK, if:

  • You have passed the Life in the UK test
  • You have not broken any visa or immigration rules
  • You have not committed any serious crimes
  • You have not spent more than 180 days within 12 months outside of the UK

If you meet these requirements, you can apply for ILR and pay the application fee to be granted permanent residency in the UK which enables you to remain in the UK with very few restrictions.

Getting Help with UK Visa Applications


Visa applications can be complicated processes as you need to establish your eligibility before starting your application and gather all of the necessary documents to support your application. The Innovator Founder visa can be particularly complicated as you need to develop a detailed business proposal and find an endorsing body before starting your application.

Visas are also expensive, so rather than wasting money and making a mistake with your application, it can be greatly beneficial to invest in a visa agency for help.

Visa agencies can offer you:

  • Expertise in country-specific immigration laws and processes to help applicants understand and complete complicated applications
  • Personalised advice based on the individual circumstances of each applicant, informing each applicant of their options
  • Help with application preparation – gathering documents, preparing for interviews, completing forms
  • Personal assistance giving peace of mind that the application is being done thoroughly and correctly
  • Assurance of legal compliance as reputable agencies help applicants avoid deceptive applications and advice that may scupper their chances of receiving a visa

Visa agencies can, therefore, be particularly useful for applicants who have had visas refused in the past or criminal convictions and thus may have a harder application process. But visa agencies can help any individual who desires support and peace of mind navigating the complex world of UK visas.

The key is finding a reputable and knowledgeable UK visa agency… Like Synergy Immigration Solutions!

Need Help? Contact Synergy Immigration Solutions

If you need a team of experts to help you apply for your UK visa, contact Synergy Immigration Solutions for more information. You can read about how we process your data in our privacy policy.

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