Innovator Visa

Innovator visa

The new innovator visa is a route for more experienced businesspeople who seek to set up 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, you must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea endorsed by a government authorised endorsing body. You must have at least £50,000 funds to invest in your UK business, which is significantly reduced from £200,000 funds requirement of Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application. You also need to satisfy financial maintenance and English language requirements. Please note that the English language requirement increases to B2 level of CEFR (the Common European Framework of Reference for Language), which is equivalent to IELTS as total score of 5.5.

The Innovator visa is initially granted for a period of 3 years and can be extended for further 3 years. There is no time limit in this route and settlement is possible after initial 3 years if you can meet certain requirements. Please feel free to contact us if you need further information about settlement requirements for this route.

Please note that if an applicant is granted an Innovator Visa, they cannot have any employment other than working for their set-up business.

Key Points
  • Route for more experienced businesspeople who intend to set up a business in the UK
  • An innovative, viable and scalable business idea supported by an endorsing body is essential
  • 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?

Applicants need to create a business plan to apply for endorsement and provide along with other relevant supporting documentation to evidence that you satisfy 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

In addition, the endorsing body must reasonably satisfy 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: July 2021