How Many Points Do I Need to Apply For The Innovator Founder Visa?

Understanding the Points Needed for the UK Innovator Founder Visa: A Pathway for Ambitious Entrepreneurs

The Innovator Founder Visa offers a chance for international entrepreneurs to launch their innovative ventures in the UK – but what does it take to qualify?


The United Kingdom has long been a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. To attract and support the best and brightest minds from around the world, the UK government has introduced the Innovator Founder Visa, a visa category made specifically for business professionals who wish to establish or grow an innovative business in the UK. In this article, we will delve into the specific criteria and requirements that applicants must meet in order to be granted this coveted visa.

The Innovator Founder Visa Points System: An Overview

To qualify for the Innovator Founder Visa, applicants must be awarded a total of 70 points. Fifty of these points can be gained by producing a new business idea. The remaining 20 points are awarded for meeting the English language and also the basic financial requirements (having funds of at least £1,270 for a one-month period – the £50,000 criteria has been abolished under this new route). Let’s break down these criteria in more detail.

New Business Criteria for the Innovator Founder Visa

The new business criteria comprise two main components, with a potential maximum of 50 points. First, applicants can earn 30 points for their business plan. Second, they can receive 20 points if their new business venture is deemed innovative, viable, and scalable.

Business Plan Requirements

To secure the 30 points awarded for a business plan, applicants must:

  1. Have a business plan that is relevant, scalable and attractive for the UK economy. 
  2. Prove that they will have a day-to-day role in executing the business plan.
  3. Adhere to the fact that they will be required to have at least two meetings per year with their endorsing body during the grant of their visa. 
  4. Be either the sole founder or an instrumental member of the founding team.

Business Venture Requirements

To obtain the 20 points for an innovative, viable, and scalable business venture, applicants must fulfil all of the following requirements:

  1. Submit a genuine business plan based on a new and innovative idea that clearly aims to solve a new or existing problem and benefit the UK’s business environment with a competitive advantage. 
  2. Explain how the plan is realistic and how the idea can be achieved based on the resources of the applicant and their proposed business structure. 
  3. Show that the individual applicant is working on or is already actively developing the knowledge and skills needed to make the idea succeed and also that they have the market awareness to successfully run the business in the UK once teh visa is granted. 
  4. Provide evidence that the business can grow and that there is a potential for job creation in the UK and beyond. 

English Language and Financial Requirements

In addition to the new business criteria, applicants must also meet the following English language and financial requirements to be awarded the remaining 20 points:

  1. English language requirement: Applicants must prove their knowledge of English by passing an approved English language test or providing evidence of a degree taught or researched in English.

Bringing Family Members to the UK

The Innovator Founder Visa recognises the importance of family support for entrepreneurs embarking on their business journey in a new country. As such, visa holders are permitted to bring their dependents with them to the UK. Eligible dependents include the applicant’s spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, and children under the age of 18. When applying, the visa holder must provide evidence of their relationship to the dependents and demonstrate that they can financially support their family without requiring public funds. By allowing visa holders to bring their loved ones, the UK ensures a more seamless transition for international entrepreneurs, helping them maintain a healthy work-life balance while they contribute to the country’s vibrant and innovative business landscape.

Learn more about: How Long the Innovator Founder Visa is Valid


The Innovator Founder Visa offers an opportunity for international entrepreneurs to bring their ground-breaking ideas to the UK. By meeting the stringent criteria for a new business venture, as well as the English language and financial requirements, applicants can secure a visa that allows them to establish or expand their innovative enterprises in the UK.

To maximise their chances of success and ace your Innovator Founder Visa application, you should meticulously prepare your business plan and supporting documents, demonstrating your commitment to innovation, viability, and scalability. With careful planning and thorough preparation, ambitious entrepreneurs can seize this opportunity to contribute to the UK’s thriving business landscape and make their mark on the global stage.

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below. We usually reply within a few hours.

    Share This Post


    Neither Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors ltd, nor their employees, agents, consultants or assignees, accept any liability based on the contents of written articles which are meant for guidance only and not as legal advice. We advise all readers to take professional advice before acting. If you would like to consult with a professional lawyer or solicitor to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. This site uses reCAPTCHA and is protected by the Google privacy policy and terms of service.