This visa category has been created in April 2019, replacing the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. The Innovator Visa route is designed for experienced businesspeople who seek to start a business in the UK. Applicants need a minimum of £50,000 to invest in the business, and their business proposal must be endorsed by an endorsing body.

Eligibility requirements

In order to qualify for an Innovator visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You are at least 18 years old;

    • You have at least £50,000 available to invest in your UK business or have already

      invested £50,000 in your UK business (unless switching from the Tier 1 Graduate

      Entrepreneur or Start-up category to pursue the same business venture);

    • You have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has positively assessed your business idea for innovation, viability and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your business


  • Your endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Innovator visa application;

  • You genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application;

  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B2

  • If you are outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months, you have at least £1270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first

    child and £200 for each additional child.

    How long you can stay

    The Innovator Visa lasts for three years and can be extended for a further three years. In some cases, Innovator Visa holders will be eligible to apply for indefinite Leave to Remain

    Switching to Innovator Visa

    It is possible to change (‘switch’) to an Innovator visa if you’re already in the UK on a different type of visa.
    You cannot switch to this visa if you have one of the following:

  • a visit visa

  • a short-term student visa

  • a Parent of a Child Student visa

  • a seasonal worker visa

  • a domestic worker in a private household visa

  • immigration bail

  • permission to stay outside the immigration rules,for example on compassionate


    Family members eligible to join

    Your partner and children under the age of 18 can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’.

    Further information, help, and advice

    Our team of specialists has years of experience in visa services. We are registered with the OISC at Level 3 to provide Immigration advice and services.

    For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or at

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