Innovator Founder Visa
Please note that Boardroom Advisors provides startup and business advice including research, business planning and the supply of UK Directors. We do not provide immigration or legal advice ourselves but can we can sign-post you to a firm that can provide a free 30 min discussion with immigration advisors or immigration lawyers.
Have you considered taking the Innovator Founder visa route to UK citizenship? Here’s everything you need to know about the visa route.
What is the Innovator Founder Visa?
First, the basics. The Innovator Founder visa is a points-based route designed by the UK government to help startup entrepreneurs seeking to start a business in the country. It has been designed to help people who have innovative, viable and scalable business ideas without the funds to do it. The Innovator Founder Visa started on 13th April 2023 and is a replacement for the Innovator Visa and Start-up Visa.
An applicant doesn’t need to have a specific level of funds in order to take the Innovator Founder route as this depends per business on viability. All they need is a business plan showing their innovative, viable and scalable concept. After a government-sanctioned endorsing body reviews the plan, the visa can be applied for via The Home Office.
To qualify, the applicant needs to either generate the business idea and plan or at least heavily contribute to it. What’s more, to be granted a visa, the applicant needs to have a major role in the development and daily management of the business.
After being granted the Innovator Founder visa, the applicant can stay in the country for 3 years provided the business is still running. Business failure can lead to withdrawal of the visa. When that period is over, the person may be granted to remain in the United Kingdom with their partner and children under 18 for an indefinite period.
Requirements for the Innovator Founder Visa?
The UK government has set out several criteria that need to be met in order for an applicant to qualify for the Innovator Founder visa. Let’s look at these requirements and see how they can be met:
❖ The person must be at least 18 years of age at the time of applying;
❖ A TB test certificate needs to be provided to the governing body if required;
❖ A letter of endorsement by a UK-sanctioned governing body needs to be supplied;
❖ The endorsement letter needs to be at most 3 months old at the time of the visa application;
❖ The applicant needs to take and pass an English language Level B2 test and be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking;
❖ If the applicant lives outside the UK, they need at least £1270 to support themselves, at least £285 for their partner, £315 for a single child, and £200 for each additional child.
As mentioned before, an Innovator Founder visa applicant doesn’t need to possess any specific amount of money to invest in their business. But since they need a “viable” business idea, they still need to show that they have access to sufficient investment funds to manage and grow their business.
Endorsement Standards for the Innovator Founder Visa
For Innovator Founder endorsing bodies to approve your application, your business idea needs to be thoroughly reviewed. For an endorsing body to stand behind your idea, it needs to meet a number of requirements. These requirements include:
❖ The applicant needs to be a fit person creating and managing a business;
❖ The endorsing body can’t have any concerns over the source of investment funds;
❖ The applicant should either generate the business plan or heavily contribute to it;
❖ The endorsing body can’t have reasons to think that your business is a beneficiary of illicit wealth;
❖ The applicant needs to have a daily role in carrying out the business plan;
❖ The applicant needs to have at least two contact-point meetings with the endorsing body;
To satisfy the business requirement, on the other hand, the applicant for the Innovator Founder visa needs to approach the governing with a plan that meets the following criteria:
❖ The business idea needs to be innovative – that is genuine and original
❖ Your business plan needs to be viable – that is realistic and achievable
❖ There needs to be evidence of scalability in the UK market
❖ The endorsing body must be able to assess and evaluate the concept.
The Innovator Founder visa is one of the most promising routes for entrepreneurs wanting to make the UK their permanent home. This is because this route can potentially lead to indefinite leave to remain in the country and eventually gain full citizenship.
Another route to UK citizenship is the Self-Sponsorship route of the Skilled Worker Visa.
How Boardroom Advisors can help
“We are delighted to have a 90% success rate from our endorsement to the Home Office granting Visas.”
John Courtney, Chief Executive
While Boardroom Advisors is not an endorsing body for this visa, we provide critical advisory services for applicants to obtain endorsement in the first place, and Non-Executive Director, Mentor and fractional Director services (marketing, sales, finance, IT, operations, managing) after the visa grant. In the middle we introduce (with strong recommendation if we have been advising) to our partners, the endorsing bodies.
Please click the button below to register your interest in the Innovator Founder Visa and to receive more information:
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