Innovator Founder Visa

Innovator Founder Visa

The Innovator Founder visa replaced the earlier Innovator and Start-up visa routes in April 2023. The new route has relaxed several of its predecessor’s requirements and introduced more flexibility in the conditions attached to the visa, which will be a welcome change for many potential applicants.

Applicants will be expected to present business plans that are new, innovative, viable and scalable, and capable of obtaining endorsement via a recognised endorsing body. Language and financial maintenance requirements will also apply.

The specific changes include the removal of the £50,000 minimum available funds (although applicants should note that they will still be expected to evidence appropriate funds to sustain their business plan), relaxation of the restriction on visa holders’ ability to take on employment outside of the business and a significant reduction in the number of endorsing bodies. The remaining endorsing bodies are now permitted to charge a fee for their endorsement with the aim of making the process more transparent overall.

Application fees for the Innovator Founder route are £1036 per person from outside the UK, or £1292 per person to switch/extend from within the UK, and visas are granted for initial 3-year periods. The route can lead to settlement after three years in the UK and applicants are able to bring dependants.

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