You can apply for the innovator visa if:
Before you apply, you need to have your business or business idea assessed by an approved body. They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is viable.
You must also:
You must have at least £50,000 in investment funds to apply for an Innovator visa if you want to set up a new business.
Your funding can come from any source. You do not need any investment funds if your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.
You can form a team with other Innovator applicants, but you cannot share the same investment funds.
Your team must have £50,000 for each Innovator applicant. For example, if you have 2 Innovator applicants, your team must have £100,000 to invest.
You must be able to show that your business idea is a new idea – you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading. It must be viable, with potential for growth.
There are a number of endorsing bodies and you should only approach ones that are suitable for your business idea.
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
How much you pay for an Innovator visa depends on your situation and where you apply from. If you are applying from outside the UK it will cost £1021, if you are applying outside the UK and are from Turkey or Macedonia it would cost £966 and the cost for all dependants would be £1021 each person.
If you are extending/switching the cost would be £1277 unless you are from Turkey or Macedonia, in which case the cost would be £1222.
You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
If you are applying to extend or switch in the UK, you will need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.
You can stay for 3 years if you:
You can apply to extend for another 3 years when your visa is due to expire. There is no limit on the number of times you can extend.
You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you have been in the UK for 5 years.
If your endorsement is withdrawn, your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.
You may be able to switch to an Innovator visa. If you wish to do so, you should apply before your current visa expires.
You must already be in the UK on one of the following visas in order to switch in the UK:
You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you are here on a different type of visa.
You can stay for 3 years after switching to an Innovator visa. There is no limit on the number of times you can extend your visa.
If you need help with your Innovator Visa application, call us on 020 7903 6888 or request a call back at a time convenient for you. You can also drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We aim to reply within 24 hours.
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