Innovator Visa application process

The Tier 1 Innovator Visa scheme was announced by the Government early 2019, as a replacement for the UK Entrepreneur Visa. Applications for the route are set to open in April 2019.

The Innovator Visa differs from the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, in that it also allows current business-owners to move a business to Britain, so long as they expand it there. Another major difference between the Innovator Visa and the Entrepreneur Visa are the financial requirements. Applicants for the previous Entrepreneur Visa need £200,000 to be eligible, but the Innovator Visa financial requirements are much lower, at £50,000.

As with the new Start-Up Visa, the applicant for the visa for innovators needs to be endorsed by a governing authority. These will be the same as those which supply endorsements for Exceptional Talent Visas (for example Tech Nation or Arts Council England). When making an application, the business idea will be scrutinised based on three major factors; its innovation, scalability and viability.  A person can switch from a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, or a Start-Up Visa, to an Innovation Visa. They can also make a fresh application if they want to start a business in the UK.

How can IAS help you apply for an Innovation Visa?

For those who are unsure about whether they qualify for this new visa route, or want to switch over from a previous category, the lawyers at IAS can help.

All our specialist immigration lawyers are well-versed in changes to visa legislation and can assist you if you are unsure. As part of our services, you will be assigned an immigration lawyer who perfectly suits your needs, with experience making Tier 1 applications. After this, your lawyer will work with you to acquire a bundle of evidence to support your Innovator Visa application. They will organise this evidence into an ordered portfolio, which means that UKVI officials will be able to process it more effectively. After this, they’ll write a detailed Letter of Representation to support your case, which will draw upon legal knowledge and previous case-law. They’ll then complete and submit your application on your behalf, making sure it meets the standard demanded by the Home Office. If you need, we will also provide specialist help with writing business plans for your Innovation Visa application. If you want to find out more about the Innovator Visa, call us on 0333 363 8577 or request a free call back by leaving an enquiry with us.

Innovator Visa FAQs

How do you apply for an Innovator Visa?

You can apply for an Innovator Visa if you are looking to expand or start a business in the UK. To meet the Innovator Visa requirements, you will need to have a business idea which is innovative, scalable and viable. You will also need £50,000 in savings, to prove that you will be able to launch the business once in the UK.

The business you propose must have a prospective benefit to the British economy and/or workforce.

You can make an application for an Innovator Visa online or by post, through the Gov site or privately though your endorsing body (for example, Tech Nation).

What are the Innovator Visa costs?

The Innovator Visa application fees are as follows:

£1,021 for the application

£400 immigration surcharge

When can I make an Innovator Visa application?

Applications for the Innovator Visa will be opened on the 29th March. The original Entrepreneur Visa will remain open for extension until April 2023.

Can I switch from a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa to an Innovator Visa?

Yes, you can switch from a Graduate Entrepreneur to an Innovator Visa, in the same way that you would to an Entrepreneur Visa.

The process for switching from a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa to an Innovator Visa is straightforward, but you will need to meet certain eligibility requirements. For example, you will need to still be involved in the running of a ‘successful’ business which is still thriving and benefitting the British economy.

Can I switch from a Start-Up Visa to an Innovator Visa?

Yes, you can switch from a Start-Up Visa to an Innovator Visa as long as your business is still thriving and contributing to the British economy. You will need to prove to the Home Office, if this is the case, that your business is still viable and that it is supporting you (in other words, you are not claiming public funds while in the UK).

What services does IAS offer?

Our lawyers are highly qualified and experienced in all forms of corporate visa applications. This means that they will support you every step of the way in your application for a UK Innovation Visa and ensure your application meets the standards which are demanded by the Home Office.

Our services include:

  • ensuring your documents are satisfactory before making your application;
  • creating a detailed bundle to present your application to the Home Office;
  • providing you with a Letter of Representation to support your application;
  • communicating with the Home Office until the end of the process; and
  • making sure that your application form is completed to the highest standard.

Our lawyers can also work with you if you need helping writing a business plan. 

Contact us today using our online contact form or call us on 0333 363 8577 to speak with one of our specialist immigration lawyers, and take your first steps towards completing your Innovator Visa application.

Our Innovator Visa packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals


Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible


Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline


Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any hearings/tribunals


Our Innovator Visa lawyers

Our lawyers will support you no matter what stage you are at in your journey towards starting and growing a successful business in the UK. Get in touch today.

Case studies

We are proud to have changed lives for the better. Here are some of their stories:

Hector: Tier 2 Work Visa with Dependant

Hector, a Mexican National, was offered employment in the UK. He contacted IAS and spoke with one of our lawyers via Skype. Hector was told that he could not stay… Read More

Aleksander: Fiance Visa Reapplication

Aleksander is a South African National who was in long-term and long-distance relationship with his Fiancee in the UK.
He applied for a Fiancee Visa but was refused and the days until… Read More

Gaston: Switching from Tier 2 to Tier 4

Gaston had been working in the UK for two years and decided that he wanted to stay in the UK and study.
He was unclear about the process and the… Read More

Serhan: Fee Waiver for Further Leave to Remain

Following a family illness, Serhan and his family needed to stay in the UK longer than his Visitor Visa allowed them. The lawyers at IAS were able to help him… Read More

Guy: Switching from Tier 4 to Tier 1

Guy was an international student about to finish his university course and had his sights set on starting a company in the UK. His spare time was very limited and… Read More

Joginder: Tier 2 to Tier 4

Joginder is a Kenyan National who had been working in the UK under a Tier 2 Visa.
Although he was given the option to extend his Tier 2 Visa, he… Read More

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