Navigating the Innovator Founder Visa application process can be a complicated and lengthy. However, with the proper guidance and expertise from a top law firm like Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, you can maximise your chances of success. This compact guide will discuss how Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors can help you ace your Innovator Founder Visa application and secure your future as an entrepreneur in the UK.
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Understanding the Innovator Founder Visa Application Process
The new Innovator Founder Visa route, which has been open to applications since the 13th of April, 2023, offers several key advantages for prospective entrepreneurs. These include the removal of the requirement for £50,000 initial investment funds, the allowance for secondary work to support oneself, and the possibility of qualifying for ILR from day one of the Visa.
The application process consists of meeting several distinct criteria, which include:
- Candidates must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- A valid endorsement letter from an approved UK endorsing body is required, confirming the following aspects:
- The applicant is suitable for endorsement under the Innovator Founder route;
- The endorsing body holds no concerns regarding the sources of funds invested in the candidate’s business;
- There is no suspicion of the applicant or their business being linked to illicit or unexplained wealth;
- The candidate has developed a business plan and has either generated or significantly contributed to the ideas within it;
- The applicant will actively participate in the execution of the business plan on a daily basis;
- The candidate agrees to attend at least two progress meetings with the endorsing body at regular intervals;
- The applicant is either the sole founder or a pivotal member of the founding team; and
- The business proposal demonstrates innovation, viability, and scalability.
3. The endorsement letter should be issued no more than three months prior to the submission date of the Innovator visa application.
4. Applicants must possess English language proficiency at a minimum of CEFR Level B2 (corresponding to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
5. For those applying from outside the UK or residing in the UK for less than 12 months, proof of financial means of at least £1,270 for personal support is necessary, along with £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for the first child, and £200 for each additional child.
6. The applicant should meet all of the points required for an Innovator Founder Visa not be subject to refusal based on general exclusion grounds.
7. If relevant, a valid TB test certificate must be submitted.
If you meet these requirements and have a powerful business concept that you’re confident in, then you might be eligible to apply under the Innovator Founder Visa pathway. To explore your eligibility further and receive expert advice, contact us to speak with our legal team, who will be able to guide you through the entire process.
We Provide Tailored Guidance on Your Business Idea and Concept
Your business idea must be innovative, viable, and scalable to be endorsed by an approved endorsing body. We will help you assess your business idea, providing valuable insights on how to strengthen your concept and maximise your chances of success.
Access to a Strong Network of Endorsing Bodies
As a well-respected central London-based law firm, we have established strong connections with Home Office-approved endorsing bodies. By providing access to these relationships, our firm is well-placed to help you secure the necessary endorsement for your business as long as your idea meets other requirements, increasing the likelihood of a successful application.
Expert Assistance with KYC and Due Diligence Checks
We will guide you through the process of providing complete information about yourself and the origin of your funds to the endorsing body and help you represent this information in the cleanest possible way, ensuring that it is properly organised and understood by the endorsing body.
Professional Application Submission
With stringent requirements in the UK’s Business Immigration Rules, it’s essential to have a professionally presented and technically accurate application. Our business immigration solicitors will help you prepare and submit your Innovator Founder Visa application, ensuring that it’s approved on the first attempt.
Ongoing Support and Mentorship
Once your application has been approved, Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors will continue to provide support and guidance as you establish your business in the UK. We will also remain in contact with you and advise you on your activities in the UK, alongside helping you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after a three-year period which will allow you to live permanently in the UK.
Comprehensive Wealth, Tax Management, and Education Consultation Services
As a full-service law firm, Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors has a number of partners who can help you in providing comprehensive wealth, tax management, and education consultation services for UK schools and universities if needed by you or your dependents.
Expertise in Key Changes to the Previous Innovator Route
The Innovator Founder Visa route has undergone several key changes, such as the removal of the £50,000 minimum investment requirement and the relaxation of employment rules. Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors stay up to date with these changes, ensuring that your application is compliant with the latest immigration rules and guidelines.
We Have A Reputation for Excellence
Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors is ranked as a Top Tier Firm for UK immigration applications by the Legal 500 and has received numerous accolades and positive testimonials from satisfied clients. This reinforces our position as a leading choice for Innovator Founder Visa applications. By allowing Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors to manage your application, you can be confident that you are partnering with a firm that prioritises your success.
By partnering with our immigration team at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, you can maximise your chances of successfully navigating the complex Innovator Founder Visa application process and making sure that your application has a high chance of success on its first attempt. Moreover, with the experience and expertise of our business immigration solicitors on your side, you will get a fully personalised service and access to strong connections with endorsing bodies. Book your initial consultation with us and discover how we are your ideal partners to help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams in the UK.
FAQs About UK Innovator Founder Visas
The Innovator Founder Visa in the UK is a visa category designed for experienced entrepreneurs who wish to establish or grow an innovative, scalable, and viable business in the UK. This Visa allows successful applicants to live and work in the UK while developing their business venture.
To be eligible for an Innovator Founder Visa, applicants must meet several criteria, including:
- Securing endorsement from a UK endorsing body;
- Having a business plan that demonstrates innovation, viability, and scalability;
- Meeting the English language requirement (CEFR Level B2);
- Demonstrating financial means to support themselves and their dependents.
To prepare for your Innovator Founder Visa application, gather all required documentation, including your endorsement letter, business plan, evidence of English language proficiency, and proof of maintenance funds. Consult with an experienced immigration solicitor for guidance and ensure your application is accurate and complete.
An endorsing body is a UK organisation approved by the Home Office to assess and endorse business proposals for Innovator Founder Visa applicants. Endorsing bodies evaluate the innovation, viability, and scalability of a business idea before issuing an endorsement letter, which is required for the visa application.
The processing time for an Innovator Founder Visa can vary, but typically, the Home Office aims to process applications within 3 weeks for applicants outside the UK and 8 weeks for applicants within the UK.
Yes, you can bring your dependents (spouse/partner and children under 18) with you to the UK on an Innovator Founder Visa. They will need to apply for a dependent visa and meet the relevant eligibility criteria.
In some cases, you can switch to an Innovator Founder Visa from another visa category while in the UK, provided you meet the eligibility criteria and have a valid endorsement. Consult with an immigration solicitor to assess your eligibility for switching visa categories.
If your Innovator Founder Visa application is refused, you can request an administrative review of the decision within 14 days (if outside the UK) or 28 days (if within the UK) of receiving the refusal notice. If this does not work, you may be eligible for a judicial review or to submit a new application with the necessary improvements.
Dr Bernard Andonian – the Co-Founder of Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, is an experienced Immigration Solicitor, former Judge, and recipient of a PhD in Law from the University of West London. He has over four decades of experience practising UK Immigration, Human Rights and Civil Litigation Law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.