Innovator Visa UK
An application for an Innovator visa can be made if you plan to establish or mange a company in the UK. This visa is mandatory if you are from a country that is not a part of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. Additionally, if you are coming into the country with an existing business or a business proposition which has the endorsement of any business body which is in the list of UK endorsers, then the Innovator Visa gives you the necessary permissions to enter and operate in the country.
The first criteria which makes you eligible for this visa is the endorsement letter of report from the approved body within the UK. The due diligence conducted by the approvers will provide a comprehensive report or a letter stating the feasibility of your business or proposal.
The endorsement is required to prove that your venture is a new one, which you intend to now launch and adequately establish that it has sustainable viability for growth and expansion.
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. For example, you can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
Innovator Visa Fees Structure
The fee structure for the Innovator Visa is dependent on the application and where it is being made from.
|The Applicant||If applying from outside the UK||If applying in the UK to extend or change visas|
|You (if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia)||£966||£1,222|
|All dependents||£1,021 each person||£1,277 each person|
Additional Medical Fees
There is a mandatory Medical fee that must be paid as a part of the UK visa application. The fees vary depending on if you are applying alone, coming into the country with dependents or coming in to join an existing applicant in the UK.
In case of a new application for a change of visa, you will need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.
Length of Stay in the UK
When you apply for the Innovator Visa or apply for a change to this visa, you are granted the permission to stay in the country for a timeframe of 3 years. This visa has the provision that gives you the freedom to apply for as many extensions as you wish, provided you apply to extend before the present visa expires. After you’ve been in the country for more than 5 years, you can make an application for a Permanent Residency in the UK.
The ratification made by the endorsing agency is critical to your stay within the UK on the Innovator visa. In the event of any changes in the endorsement, your visa will be withdrawn, and you will have to produce a new authorization document before the expiry of the current visa.
A set of regulations have been set in place to guide you when you are n the UK on an Innovator visa. You have the freedom to set up just one business or several businesses, if you have procured the endorsement for all of them by the endorsing body. Your family members are also allowed to travel with you in this visa.
The regulations also stipulate that your work is restricted only to the business that you have permission for, and you may not be employed by another business. Practicing as a doctor or a dentist or a professional sports coach is strictly not allowed. You are also not allowed to access any public funds or benefits offered by the government of the UK.
Extending or Changing the Innovator Visa
Applications for an extension of your Innovator visa can be made prior to the expiry of the timeline on the existing visa. If you are still running your business in the UK or intend to launch a new venture, you must continue to meet the eligibility requirements, including £50,000 in investment funds if you want to set up a new business. If your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa, you do not need additional funds.
A new endorsement of the business you intend to launch must be obtained for an extension of your Innovator visa. Any dependents who are on your current visa on your application must make new applications for an extension including children who have turned 18 during your stay.
All applications must be made online, adequately supported by the necessary documentation and biometric information. An appointment at any center which processes applications to the UK will be able to give you an appointment for the biometric report which must be furnished with the application. If you are in the UK, any travel outside the country while the visa processing has begun will result in a rejection of the visa application for extension.
You may be able to change to an Innovator visa from an existing visa in another category (Startup Visa, Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Entrepreneur, any Tier 2 Visas or any standard Visitor Visa) by applying before the visa expires. You must however exit the UK and make your application from outside the country if you are here on a different type of visa.
The number of times you can extend your visa is unlimited, though the length of time you can stay in the country after changing to an Innovator visa is for a period of 3 years.
All applications for a change in visas must be made online, with the required documentation and biometric information being adequately provided. (See section on General Work visa for details)
Dependents and Family Members
Dependents, who include your partner, your child under the age of 18 years or a child over 18 years and living with you with no independent life, can apply to live with you in this visa. However, if they are from any country not in the European Economic Area or from Switzerland, they must have valid visas to be in the country.
The guidance document on dependent applications gives you the details you need for the application. Adult family members must provide a criminal record certificate from any country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.
It is mandatory that you adequately prove that you are able to care for and support anyone coming into the UK as a dependent. A minimum amount of £630 must be available to each of the dependants coming in on your visa or on an independent visa, to add to the £945 you must be able to produce as the amount that is required to support yourself. The evidence of all these financial details must be produced in your own bank account or the account of your family members at least 90 days before the visa application is made. For example, you must have £2,205 in your bank account if you want to bring your partner and one child with you to the UK (£945 to support yourself + £630 for your partner + £630 for your child).
The visa application for a change to the Intracompany Transfer Visa generally follows the timeline of 8 weeks under the standard service. The priority service application (with the additional fees) takes 5 working days from the date of your UKVCAS appointment.
The super priority service is available at a premium cost and gives a turnaround time of 2 working days after your UKVCAS appointment.
Children born while you’re in the UK
You must apply for a permit that allows any children born to you while you’re in the UK to stay in the country. Travel in and out of the country will be possible only if this permission has been granted by the government of UK. A full UK birth certificate is mandatory for the visa application. Applications can be made online.