Citizenship by Investment | UK

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UK Innovator Visa Overview and Eligibility

The UK Innovator Program is a UK program category usually for experienced business people to set up an innovative business. The investment requirement is £50,000 and you need to be endorsed by an endorsing body.
 
You're eligible for this program if: 
  • You are not a national of the European Economic Area EEA and Switzerland.
  • You want to set up or run a business in the UK*. To set up or run a business in Britain your business or business idea must be endorsed by an approved body.
* If you want to set up a business in the UK, you must have access to £50,000 (reduced from the £200,000 usually needed for a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa) in investment funds. If you already have a business established in Britain and you have been endorsed for an existing UK visa, no minimum investment funds are required.

 

The UK Innovator Program replaces the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa category, which closed on 29 March, 2019. UK immigration rules published on 7 March, 2019 describe the Innovator Program as:
'A route for more experienced businesspeople looking to establish a business in the UK. Applicants will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body. With some exceptions, applicants will have funding to invest in their business. This category may lead to settlement in the UK.'
Innovator Program Requirements 
UK immigration rules specify the following requirements to be eligible for the Innovator Visa:
  • Innovation – Proof of a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
  • Viability – Applicants must be able to demonstrate the necessary skills, knowledge and experience, plus market awareness, to run a business competently.
  • Scalability – Evidence of structured planning and the potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.
  • Your stay in the UK
  • You can stay for three years if you enter the UK on an Innovator Program.
  • After five years, you could be eligible to apply for UK settlement.
  • The earliest you can apply for an Innovator Program is 3 months before you travel. It can take a minimum of three weeks to receive a decision on your application.
  • To support your application, you must provide a business plan and supporting documents for endorsement. A business sponsor from the following approved bodies will endorse your business plan and Innovator
  • Those endorsing your Innovator Program application must be 'reasonably satisfied that you will spend much of your working time in Britain developing business ventures,' in accordance with UK immigration rules.
  • UK Immigration Health Surcharge 
  • When you apply for an Innovator Program you will have to pay a UK Immigration Health Surcharge. You have to pay £400 a year payable in advance for the duration of the UK Program.