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As the name implies, a UK Innovator visa is an ideal path for entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas.
Along with the innovativeness in the plan, the business/business idea should also prove to be useful and profitable to start a firm in the UK.
It is also required that the business owner must have some industry experience and has been running a business outside the UK.
Apply for a UK Innovator visa
To apply for a UK Innovator visa:
- The business or the business idea must be Innovative, Viable & Scalable in nature.
- The business plan must receive endorsement from an approved endorsing body in the UK.
- It is mandatory to have £50,000 as investments, to fund the set-up of the new firm in the UK.
Role of an Endorsing Body
Endorsing bodies are organisations that have been approved by the UK government to assess the UK Innovator visa applications and determine which business plans that are most likely to succeed in the UK market.
After a successful UK Innovator visa application, the endorsing body will list checkpoints every 6, 12, and 24 months to track the progress of the applicant’s business.
Applicants looking to stay for more than 3 years are required to apply for a visa extension and they will also need another endorsement – most commonly from the existing endorsing body. The endorsing bodies will need to confirm their continued interest in the company’s projects.
The endorsing body can withdraw their endorsement if they see negligence in carrying out the business activities and of the UK Innovator visa, which can lead to the end of the applicant’s residency in the UK.
Getting an endorsement for the business plan
To get an endorsement from an approved endorsing body, they will need to run a thorough check that the business idea/business meets all the following criteria:
- Innovation: Innovative, an original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
- Viability: The entrepreneur must take an active part in developing the business in the UK and other markets, grow the business, and create revenue and jobs. He/she should possess the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to run the business successfully.
- Scalability: The business plan has the potential to create employment (jobs) for the citizens of the UK and a development edge for the country.
Benefits of a UK Innovator visa
- Bring a partner and/or children (under 18 years) to the UK.
- Get eligible for Settlement in the UK after 5 years.
- Get a visa extension for 2 years.
- Access the UK’s best-in-class healthcare and educational facilities.
- A UK Innovator visa leads to settlement in the UK and eventually to British citizenship for the applicant and the dependents if they too apply. (partner and children – under 18 years).