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A big UK Immigration change which came into effect on 29 March 2019 was the creation of the new Tier 1 Innovator Visa which replaced the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa.

The Tier 1 Innovator Visa has being created to accommodate more established business people.


In order to apply for this visa option:

  • Applicants must invest £50,000 (reduced from the £200,000 needed for the entrepreneur visa) into their business and will be exempt from this requirement if they are switching over from a Tier 1 UK Start-up Visa.
  • Meet the English language requirement
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the UK
  • Once your visa is granted you must work entirely on developing your business idea and can not work for other employers.
  • After 3 years, you can apply to extend your stay for a further 3 years or to settle permanently in the UK.
  • A statement on the upcoming changes outlines three specific endorsement criteria to be eligible for a UK Innovator Visa, including:
  • Innovation – You as an applicant need to have an original and innovative idea and this must be demonstrated in your business plan.
  • Viability – You as an applicant must be able to show that you have the necessary skill, responsible mindset and knowledge to run a business properly.
  • Scalability – You as an applicant must have evidence to show that you are capable of structured planning and the potential for job creation and growth for the UK national and global market.
  • Benefits – If you are successful you will be granted leave for 3 years at a time and can also bring your family members (spouses/partners and children under 18) to the country.

Documents you must provide

You will need to provide an ‘endorsement letter’ to show that an approved body has assessed your business or business idea.

You also need to provide:

  • An endorsement letter on about your business idea
  • A current passport or other valid travel identification
  • A bank statement showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply
  • You must prove that you meet the English language requirement
  • Show evidence of your investment funds (if you’re setting up a new business)
  • Must have tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where this is needed
  • You also will need a blank page in your passport for your visa.

Why choose Gulbenkian Andonian for your UK Visa needs?

Established in 1985, our firm has the reputation of being the best immigration law firm in London and one of the top immigration law firms in the UK. We are very much up to date with all new UK visa categories including the Start-Up and Innovator Visas and will be able to guide you with confidence through your application process.

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