Innovator Founder Visa – All You Need to Know

The United Kingdom is a hub for innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas. One pathway for entrepreneurs is the Innovator Founder visa, aimed at drawing individuals with original business concepts.  With increasing interest in this visa, Breytenbachs brings some guidance on FAQs.

What is the Innovator Founder visa, and who is it for?

The UK Government established the Innovator Founder visa in April 2023. It replaced the Innovator route and Start-up visa, becoming the main visa option for foreign entrepreneurs starting businesses in the UK.

The Innovator Founder visa is tailored for individuals aspiring to establish and manage innovative businesses within the UK. Unlike traditional ventures, these businesses must offer something distinct from existing market offerings. To qualify, applicants must secure an endorsement from an approved endorsing body, ensuring their business idea’s viability, scalability, and originality.

What’s the process for applying for the Innovator Founder Visa?

Applying for the Innovator Founder Visa involves endorsement and visa application.

To start, you must obtain an endorsement from an authorised endorsing body designated by the Home Office. This endorsement is necessary before you can proceed with your visa application to the Home Office. Breyenbachs can assist you in the endorsement process.

How long can one stay in the UK with an Innovator Founder visa?

Successful applicants are granted an initial stay of 3 years in the UK. The visa can be extended for an additional 3 years. Extensions are contingent upon demonstrating tangible progress in business development and meeting the endorsement requirements. After residing in the UK for 3 years, individuals may become eligible to apply for settlement, paving the way for British citizenship.

Can I join an existing business in the UK?

Unfortunately, you cannot join an existing business in the UK under the Innovator Founder visa. This visa is specifically designed for individuals who want to establish and run innovative businesses that are different from the rest of the market.

Can family members accompany the visa holder?

Yes, eligible family members, including spouses, civil partners, and children, can join or remain in the UK as dependents. However, they must meet specific criteria and apply separately for their visas. The visa duration for dependents aligns with that of the primary visa holder.

How long does it take to receive a decision on the visa application?

Typically, applicants receive a decision within 3 weeks if applying from outside the UK and within 8 weeks if applying within the UK.

Expedited processing options may be available for an additional Home Office fee. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for more information.

Can individuals switch to an Innovator Founder visa from another visa category?

Yes, individuals currently in the UK under a different visa category may be eligible to switch to an Innovator Founder visa, provided they meet the necessary eligibility criteria. However, certain visa categories are excluded from this option.

Are there any restrictions on what visa holders can do in the UK?

While Innovator Founder visa holders enjoy significant freedom to establish and operate businesses, certain limitations exist. For instance, they cannot engage in professional sports or apply for certain public benefits.

How Breytenbachs can help you

At Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants, we pride ourselves on our team of highly qualified experts who specialise in assisting clients with the application and endorsement process for the Innovator Founder visa. Our dedicated team possesses extensive knowledge and experience in navigating the intricacies of immigration law, ensuring that each client receives personalised guidance and support throughout their visa journey.

Whether you’re a  entrepreneur with a groundbreaking business idea or an established innovator seeking to expand your ventures to the UK, our team is committed to providing comprehensive assistance to help you achieve your immigration goals. Contact us today!

Please contact us today for further information or applications.

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