The Innovator route was introduced in 2019 for entrepreneurs with new, innovative and viable business plans that are capable of securing endorsement.
To obtain an Innovator Visa, you will need to either have £50,000 in investment funds if wanting to set up a new business in the UK, or if your business is already established it must have been endorsed for an earlier visa. From 1 December 2020 applicants will also be subject to a points-based system. A score of 70 points must be reached; some of these are mandatory for all applicants, whereas others are dependant on whether it is a new business or, if extending, the same as previously.
You will need to pass an English language test (unless you are coming from an English-speaking country or you have a university degree which was taught in English). You must also be able to support yourself and any dependants by showing a minimum amount of funds for living needs.
Innovator visas are granted for 3 years initially. The visa can be renewed, for a further three years, as many times as required, provided you still meet the eligibility requirements. If you can show that your business is viable and that you have created 2 full-time paid jobs, you may be eligible for permanent residency after five years.