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Applying for a UK Innovator visa - Latitude Law

Applying for a UK Innovator visa

The Innovator visa route replaced the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa and in March 2019. The new route requires a lower investment, but the individual will have to secure endorsement from an approved organisation before an application can be made to the Home Office.

Who is eligible for an Innovator visa?

The Innovator route is aimed at entrepreneurs that can demonstrate a credible business idea and their credibility in business. The route will be open to those who have already secured endorsement from an approved governing body.
The credibility of your business idea will be assessed during the initial application process by both the Home Office and your endorsing body. This will involve assessment of documentary evidence, including your business plan, and could include an interview.
You may be eligible to switch to an Innovator visa if you are currently in the UK and do not have leave in one of the following categories:

  • as a Visitor; or
  • as a Short-term Student; or
  • as a Parent of a Child Student; or
  • as a Seasonal Worker; or
  • as a domestic worker in a private household; or
  • outside the Immigration Rules.
latitude-law-sponsor-licence-guidance

What are the eligibility requirements?

The criteria for the Innovator category differ significantly from the previous Entrepreneur rules. Key criteria include:

  • You must receive endorsement from an approved body prior to applying for an Innovator visa. The endorsing body will review the applicant’s business plan for innovation, viability, and scalability. The rules require that the endorsing body contacts the individual at 6, 12 and 24 months from the grant of your leave – the endorsing body is required to contact the Home Office should the individual not make reasonable progress with the business, or if contact is missed.
  • You must invest at least £50,000 from a legitimate source. This has been reduced from £200,000 in the Entrepreneur category. If the applicant is switching from a Start-up visa, the investment requirement is waived;
  • You must satisfy the English language requirement to Level B2, so higher than the B1 requirement in the Entrepreneur category.

Unlike the Entrepreneur route, there are no maximum time limits set for an applicant’s stay in the UK, but applicants will be required to confirm endorsement if they apply for an extension, and must meet strict additional criteria when seeking settlement in the UK.

What are the endorsement criteria?

Prior to applying for the Innovator visa, you will need to gain endorsement from a relevant body; these are likely to include Chambers of Commerce and other business organisations.

Applicants will be expected to create a thorough business plan when applying for endorsement, alongside any other relevant supporting documentation to prove you satisfy the Innovator route requirements:

  • Innovation – You will demonstrate innovation with a business plan that meets new or existing market needs, or creates a competitive advantage
  • Viability – Show you have, or are actively developing the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to run a business successfully
  • Scalability – Provide evidence of structured planning and growth opportunities into national markets. You will also need to demonstrate the potential for job creation as a result of the endorsement
latitude-law-health-care-visa

How we can help

Applying for a visa to live and work in the UK can be a long, complicated process. Our team of solicitors have vast experience in immigration law and can offer help and support at every stage of the process. Whether you need assistance compiling documents for your application, or require legal help with the judicial review, administrative review or appeals system, Latitude Law will ensure you get the best possible chance of securing a successful UK visa. Contact us today to make sure you get expert legal guidance.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Latitude Law has extensive knowledge in all aspects of immigration, human rights, and nationality law. Our experienced solicitors have assisted clients with some of the most complex issues that can arise from visa applications, extensions and switching into other categories.

We have the largest immigration team in the North West and work tirelessly to ensure all of the necessary steps are completed to the highest standard. We are recognised as a Tier 1 immigration law firm by the Legal 500.

Innovator route Q&As

You may be eligible to switch to an Innovator visa if you are currently in the UK in one of the following categories:

  • Start-up
  • Entrepreneur
  • Graduate
  • Entrepreneur
  • Skilled Worker
    a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

You may be eligible to switch to an Innovator visa if you are currently in the UK in one of the following categories:

  • Start-up
  • Entrepreneur
  • Graduate
  • Entrepreneur
  • Skilled Worker
    a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

You may be eligible to switch to an Innovator visa if you are currently in the UK in one of the following categories:

  • Start-up
  • Entrepreneur
  • Graduate
  • Entrepreneur
  • Skilled Worker
    a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

You may be eligible to switch to an Innovator visa if you are currently in the UK in one of the following categories:

  • Start-up
  • Entrepreneur
  • Graduate
  • Entrepreneur
  • Skilled Worker
    a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

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Gary McIndoe

Managing Partner

Natasha Willett

Senior Associate

Mohammed Hafejee

Senior Associate

Joel Reiss

Associate

Jessica Lee

Solicitor

Kajal Nayee

Solicitor

Katherine Lunt

Trainee Solicitor

Alexandra Mason

Caseworker

Sam Jubb

Senior Caseworker

What our clients say…

The British passports of my four children successfully reached us this week.

I wanted to thank the Latitude Law Firm for the constant professional support provided to us throughout the process. Your services have been helpful for us at each stage of the process. We would be happy to hire you again in the future for the process of my husband, and would also recommend your firm to others around us.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the hard work of Joel Reiss towards the successful completion of our case. His support for all of us from day 1 till the very last day has been commendable. Me and my children are very thankful to him for the smooth execution.

Looking forward to hiring the firm for our next case as well.

Four British passports

To Gemma and the team, Thank you very much for your amazing job done. You are life savers.

Allowed Appeal

Just to thank you all for the help given with Bodil’s EU Settlement Scheme application, which came through in the last few days.

A good friend of ours once said: “People do not employ lawyers because they help; they employ them because they make a difference”.

I’m convinced that referral to Latitude did jolt the Home Office into progressing consideration of the application, and it made all the difference.

T & B.

Stalled EU Settlement Scheme Application

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