Innovator Visa

Innovator visa

As of April 13th, 2023, the Innovator Visa program has closed for new applicants and has been succeeded by the Innovator Founder Visa route. If you are currently on the Innovator Visa route, transitional rules are in place. For further details, please Contact Us.

The Innovator Visa is tailored for experienced businesspeople seeking to establish a business in the United Kingdom, introduced by the government as a replacement of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa on 29 March 2019.

To make an initial application in this category, your business idea must be both innovative and viable, with the potential for scalability. It should also receive endorsement from a government-authorized endorsing body. Additionally, you must have a minimum of £50,000 in funds to invest in your UK-based business, a significant reduction from the £200,000 funds required for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application. Meeting financial maintenance and English language requirements is crucial. Please be aware that the English language requirement now stands at the B2 level of CEFR (the Common European Framework of Reference for Language), equivalent to an IELTS total score of 5.5.

The Innovator Visa is initially granted for a 3-year period, with the possibility of extending it for an additional 3 years. There is no specific time limit within this route, and settlement becomes achievable after the initial 3-year period, provided certain requirements are met. If you require further information about the settlement requirements for this route, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Key Points
  • A pathway designed for experienced businesspeople who intend to set up a business in the UK
  • Requires an innovative, viable and scalable business idea, endorsed by an authorised endorsing body
  • Maintenance and English language requirements applied
  • It is possible to apply as an entrepreneurial team
  • At least £50,000 funds required to invest – under certain circumstances, no investment funds is needed
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Can bring family
  • Initial period of 3 years granted and further 3 years extension is possible with no time limit under this route
  • Settlement is possible after initial 3 years granted under this route

What are the endorsement criteria for new businesses?

For endorsement in this category, applicants must develop a comprehensive business plan and provide other relevant supporting documentation to demonstrate their ability to meet the following requirements:

  • Innovation: the business plan must be genuine and original that meets new or existing market needs and/or create a competitive advantage
  • Viable: the applicant must actively develop their necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run their business
  • Scalability: applicants must provide detailed evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets

Furthermore, the endorsing body must reasonably believe that the applicant will spend all their working time on developing their business in the UK.


To give your case the best chance of success, get in touch

To give your visa the best chance of success, and to reduce your stress, please contact our immigration experts.

If you wish to speak directly with one of our immigration specialists to get advice about business and personal immigration, or education in the UK and other visa issues, then please contact our Glasgow Head Office on Phone T:+44 (0)141 212 3355 or request a call back by completing the Online Form. You can also email us at More information can be found from Contact Us.

* Disclaimer: The above information is for general reference only. Specialist legal advice should be sought.

Latest update: August 2023