For the Business Entrepreneur: UK Innovator Visa

For the Business Entrepreneur: UK Innovator Visa

If you are an experienced businessperson with an innovative, viable, scalable, and sustainable business idea who is intent on living in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), a UK Innovator Visa may check off all your needs!

The UK Innovator Visa will afford you the opportunity to live in one of the safest regions in the world and establish your business. Applicants will also be able to include their dependents – both spouse and children – into their application, allowing their dependents to both work and study in the UK, access the UK healthcare system, and be afforded the global mobility and security of a UK visa on their passport.

To apply for the UK Innovator Visa, applicants must invest approximately GBP 250,000 of which GBP 50,000 is capsuled in the business and obtain endorsement from an approved body for their business idea. To obtain such endorsement, the applicant must provide a business plan and supporting documents showing that the business is:

  • Innovative: the applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
  • Viable: The applicant has the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to successfully run the business.
  • Scalable: There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.
  • Committed: The endorser must also be “reasonably satisfied that the applicant will spend the majority of their working time in the UK on developing business ventures”.

It must also be clearly demonstrated that the applicants intend to reside in the UK to run their business.

Once approved, a UK Innovator Visa is valid for up to 3 years and 4 months. After this time, applicants and their dependents may apply to extend this visa for another 2 years, provided they demonstrate certain business performance milestones. These milestones include, amongst other metrics, the number of jobs created, gross revenue measures achieved, or the progress in research and development activity for the business.

Alternatively, upon expiry of their UK Innovator Visa, applicants and their dependents may apply for UK permanent residence, known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), provided certain business performance criteria is met, and that each applicant has not spent more than 180 days away from the UK.

Ultimately, the UK Innovator Visa is a great option for individuals with high business acumen with a demonstrated intent in starting a business in the UK. As a distinguished G8 member with clear connections to the European Union and a highly sought-after standard of living, the UK is a clear choice for individuals wishing to expand their business networks and set up a stable life for their dependents.



If you would like further advice on the UK Innovator Visa or other residency visa and citizenship by investment programs offered, please contact our immigration lawyers at


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