What Business Idea Will Get Endorsed Under Innovator Visa

What Business Idea Will Get Endorsed Under Innovator Visa

Coming up with business ideas is not for the faint-hearted, so applicants for the Innovator Founder visa must have plenty of experience and expertise to create a business plan that will receive endorsement. But are some business ideas more viable than others? And what are the criteria for the Innovator Founder visa? Let’s take a look.

An Introduction to the Innovator Visa

An Introduction to the Innovator Visa

The Innovator Founder visa is the newest entrepreneurial work visa created by the UK government to replace the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and the Start-Up visa. The idea is to bring new talent to the UK to start “innovative, viable and scalable” businesses to add to the UK’s growing business sector and support economic growth in the UK.

The visa costs £1,191 for applicants applying from outside of the UK (and each of their dependents) as well as an additional cost for the Immigration Health Surcharge.

To apply, applicants must present a detailed business plan to an approved endorsing body within the UK to evaluate and issue a letter of endorsement if they believe the business can be successful. Once the applicant has the endorsement letter, they can complete the online visa application, submitting their supporting documents and paying the application fee.

After your application, you’ll receive a response from the Home Office within 3 weeks; if unsuccessful, your letter will explain why your application has been refused and if you have the right to appeal.

Benefits of Getting the Innovator Visa

The Innovator Founder visa is issued for up to 3 years, so it’s a great way of assuring long-term, yet temporary residency in the UK for a reasonable fee in comparison with other UK visas. However, one of the main benefits of getting the Innovator Founder visa is that after 3 years in the UK, you’re eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

ILR, also known as permanent residency or settlement, allows you to live, work and study in the UK with very few restrictions – although your ILR status will be removed if you spend more than 2 years continuously outside of the UK.

To apply for ILR, you must not spend more than 180 days a year outside of the UK during your 3 years with the Innovator Founder visa, you must show your intention and, in some cases, sufficient finances or income, to stay in the UK indefinitely, and you must pass the Life in the UK test.

With most UK visas you can only apply for ILR once you have been in the UK for at least 5 years, so one of the Innovator Founder visa’s main benefits is a fast-track to residency. However, you must, of course, meet the eligibility criteria, which relies on a solid business idea that will undergo heavy scrutiny to receive endorsement.

Eligibility Criteria for the Innovator Visa

Eligibility Criteria for the Innovator Visa

To be eligible for the Innovator Founder visa, you first must have a letter of endorsement from an approved body in the UK. To get this endorsement, you must submit a detailed business plan, with a timeline of expected growth over at least the next three years and details of how the business is unique, innovative, viable and scalable. Meeting this criterion is the hardest part of receiving the Innovator Founder visa, so if you have an idea, speak to colleagues, mentors and respected business people in your chosen field to understand the viability of your business idea to write your succinct business plan.

Once you have received your endorsement, to be eligible for the Innovator Founder visa, you must also:

  • Be over 18
  • Have sufficient knowledge of the English language
  • Have sufficient personal funds to support living costs (as well as for any dependants)
  • Have sufficient funds to support your proposed business’ initial expenses

Visa applications aren’t cheap, so make sure you meet all of the criteria before starting your application. Investing in the support and advice of an agency specialising in UK visas can help understand the process and your likelihood of success, so you can be fully ready for your application.

What Business Idea Will Get Endorsed Under the Innovator Visa

What Business Idea Will Get Endorsed Under the Innovator Visa

There is no single industry that will ensure you get the Innovator Founder visa for your business idea, so if you’re looking for a gap in the market, you should concentrate on your field of expertise, as the endorsing body will also be looking at your own skills, experience and expertise when it comes to running your proposed business when evaluating your business plan.

However, some industries see more potential than others when it comes to a business idea that’s innovative, viable and scalable; the digital technology industry, for example, is ever-progressing, with new types of technology and ways it can be utilised being introduced regularly. From Artificial Intelligence to engineering and robotics, there are plenty of areas where development and scalable business ideas can fit into the field of tech. That said, there are many industries that can be tapped into with innovative business ideas, including:

  • Hospitality (restaurants, accommodation, travel & tourism and entertainment)
  • Medicine
  • Retail
  • Renewable energy
  • Cybersecurity
  • Fashion
  • Fine Arts
  • Research & Development

This is by no means a comprehensive list of industries that businesses should fall into, nor are these industries guaranteed to get your business proposal endorsed by an endorsing body. So rather than thinking about what business ideas will be endorsed in terms of what industry, start with your expertise and ideas to come up with your business plan.

How to Get Your Business Plan Endorsed

So there’s no sure way of receiving endorsement for your business plan for the Innovator Founder visa, however, if you have already gained success in an area, this will greatly help your new business plan receive endorsement, as you’ve shown you have the knowledge of your industry and the experience to lead a new business venture in the UK. Of course, your business plan needs to be foolproof, clearly showing it’s innovative, viable and scalable, but your own achievements and knowledge will go a long way to help getting endorsed.

Before taking your business plan to an endorsing body, it’s also advisable to get the feedback from others in your industry, as they can help advise on adjustments to your business plan to make it more successful and give you needed confidence in your idea. What’s more, if you receive a letter of commendation for your business plan from an established mentor, colleague or titan of industry, this will greatly help the success of your application for endorsement.

Creating a Solid Business Plan

Creating an effective business plan for an Innovator Founder Visa application demands meticulous attention to showcase the viability, scalability, and innovation of your business concept. Below are essential components to incorporate into your business plan:

  • Applicant’s name
  • Applicant’s proposed role in the business
  • Proposed business name
  • An executive summary outlining the business proposal
  • Detailed information of the business’s core functions, products or services
  • Detailed information on the innovative, viable and scalable business idea
  • Identification and resolution strategy for potential challenges and risks

While each element holds significance in your Innovator visa business plan, particular emphasis should be placed on the executive summary as this serves as the focal point for articulating your business idea, showing its market potential, and highlighting your qualifications and experience as an entrepreneur ready to lead the venture.

Subsequently, the business description should delve into finer details of the concept, encompassing product or service offerings, target demographics, value proposition, and unique selling points distinguishing it from competitors and indicating potential success. Additionally, incorporate a business timeline projecting financial milestones, resource requirements, estimated revenue, and expenses for a minimum of the next three years to demonstrate scalability.

These aspects are key to your business proposal as the aim of the visa from the government’s perspective is to promote economic growth in the UK, so the business plan needs to have a solution to any and all challenges, as well as a realistic growth strategy. When assessing your business plan, these are the main aspects the endorsing body will scrutinise so they need to be comprehensively addressed to receive an endorsement for the Innovator Founder visa.

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