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Innovator Founder visa

What’s the main difference between the innovator founder visa and innovator visa?

They are very similar. You can apply for an Innovator Founder visa if:

  • you want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK – it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market
  • your business or business idea has been endorsed by an approved body, also known as an endorsing

You must also be able to show that your business idea is:

  • new, which means you cannot join a business that is already trading
  • innovative – your business idea must be original which is different from anything else on the market
  • viable – it must have the potential for growth
  • scalable – this includes creating jobs and growing into national and international markets

If you want to set up a new business, you will need to prove to your endorsing body that you have enough funding and where it’s from.

The main change is that there is no longer a requirement to invest £50,000 in your new business.

What’s happened to the start up visa?

From 13 April 2023 this route is only available to those who hold a valid Start-up endorsement issued before the 13 April 2023. From 13 July 2023 the Start-up route will be closed to all new applications.

Who can endorse my business?

It must be endorsed by an approved endorsing body or a legacy endorsing body.  A letter of endorsement from a Legacy Endorsing Body in support of an application under the new business criteria will only be accepted, and points will only be awarded, if:

(a) the endorsement letter was issued by the Legacy Endorsing Body before 13 April 2023 for use in the Innovator route; or

(b) the applicant previously had permission under the Start-up route and the Endorsing Body for that previous permission is the same as the Legacy Endorsing Body supporting the current application

Can I work on another business or take up other employment whilst on the Innovator founder visa?

You must be involved in the day-to-day management and development of the business.

On a successful application you will be subject to the following conditions:

(a) no access to public funds; and

(b) no work, other than working for the business(es) you have established or other employment, where that other employment is in a role that requires a skill level of not less than RQF Level 3; and

(c) study is permitted, subject to the ATAS condition.

How can we help?

Need help with your Innovator Founder visa application? Contact our expert business immigration lawyers at Davenport Solicitors here.

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