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You can apply for The Innovator Visa category if you are an experienced Business person intending to set up or run a Business in the UK. You will need to have an original and feasible Business idea, an endorsement from a suitable endorsing body and at least £50,000 in funds.


You can apply for this visa if you want to enter the UK after 1 January 2021 are an overseas applicant including from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. If you are from EEA or a Swiss National and were already living in the UK by 31 December 2021, you should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.


Although Innovator Visas are valid for three years, they can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK at the end of the valid period.



  • You must have an endorsement letter from an endorsing body approving the viability of your Business idea;
  • You will need to meet the English Language requirement;
  • You must be at least 18 years of age;
  • You must have adequate funds to support yourself in the UK without recourse to public funds; 
  • You must have a minimum of £50,000 in investment funds (the minimum funds). However, there are some exceptions to this requirement;
  • You may merge with another innovator applicant. However, you both need to have a minimum amount £50,000 in investment funds.
  • You need to have sufficient funds of at least £945 for 90 consecutive days before applying to support yourself in the UK.


Funds Required:

For setting up a new Business, you must have a minimum amount of £50,000 in investment funds.


Exceptions to requiring the minimum funds:

  • Your Business is established and has already been endorsed for a prior visa.
  • Your Business has changed and has been agreed with your endorsing body.


Business Endorsement:

To acquire an endorsement, you must demonstrate the following:

  • Your Business must be a new concept– joining or investing in a currently trading Business will not obtain an endorsement.
  • The Business idea must be unique- it cannot match other Businesses on the market.
  • The Business must be feasible and show potential for growth.


You can explore the endorsing bodies list to see which one is relevant to your requirements. Only approach ones that are suitable for your Business idea.


What you can do:

  • Set up a Business or several Businesses.
  • Work for your Business.
  • Bring dependents (family members) with you.


What you can’t do:

  • Any work beyond your Business.
  • Work as a doctor or dentist in training.
  • Work as a professional sportsperson.
  • Receive public funds.


You cannot apply until 3 months before you travel. When applying from outside of the UK, you should receive a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. If your country offers a Priority Service then you can apply for this at an extra cost. If a Priority Service is available then generally the collection time for standard Priority Service is 5 working days and for the Super Priority Service this is within 24 hours.

This visa is valid for three years regardless of whether you arrive in the UK on this visa or apply for a visa switch from within the UK. Following from that, you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

You must meet the requirements for eligibility if you aim to switch to the Innovator Visa and the switch to this visa must be made before your current visa expires.

You need to be currently in the UK on one of the following visas:


  • Start-up Visa
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa
  • Any Tier 2 Visa
  • Standard Visitor Visa – if you came to the UK to get funding and had a supporting letter from an endorsing body 

Contact White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public for expert advice by experienced professionals on all areas of Immigration law. The many conditions and immigration requirements that must be met are handled by White Horse Solicitors and Notary Public with excellent professionalism, reliable conduct and integrity. We will ensure that our advice focuses on your personal circumstances and will always aim to achieve brilliant results for our clients.


White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public is well placed and highly qualified in providing professional advice and assistance on making an Innovator Visa application. We recommend getting in contact with us on 020 7118 1778 for our specialist and professional advice on such an application before any action is taken.

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public makes every effort to keep this information current, however prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on

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