UK Innovator Visa Program

United Kingdom Overview

The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the most connected countries in the world and a highly desirable destination for private clients. At its centre is the capital city of London, a business and cultural phenomenon that attracts people of virtually every nation in the world. The UK’s financial and commercial reach is unparalleled and when factoring in the attractive tax regime for residents and non-domiciled persons has contributed to the country’s reputation as a safe investment environment.

Although it has left the European Union after more than four decades of membership, there is no reason to believe that the UK’s influence in the world will wane. Certainly the nations entrepreneurial spirit and high standards of education and governance are set to stay as the nation looks towards a broad-based set of international relationships.

The UK has long been an important link between Europe and the Americas with multiple daily flights to New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. It is also well connected to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. With a time zone between the US and Asia, it is ideally situated for international business.

UK Innovator Visa Program

The UK Innovator Visa Program requires an applicant to have a business idea that has been endorsed by an Endorsing body, which is an organization that has been approved by the Home Office to assess ventures. The business idea must be innovative and scalable.

The applicant must be 18 or over and be from outside the EEA and Switzerland and must meet the English language requirement. A spouse / partner and children under the age of 18 may also be included in the application.

Once approved the initial entry clearance visa is issued for three years. The applicant’s children will be entitled to the same public education benefits as British children during this time. The endorsement letter issued by the Endorsing Body is required at all relevant application stages, namely (a) the initial application, (b) any visa extension application and /or (c) the indefinite leave to remain application (permanent residency).

Eligibility Requirements

To be approved for permanent residency the applicant must work entirely on developing their business and may not take employment outside their business.

The applicant needs to demonstrate that they have spent all of their working time in the UK and importantly, the applicant needs to show that the business has satisfied at least two out of the following seven criteria.

  1. At least GBP £50,000 has been invested into the business and has been actively spent furthering the business plan outlined in the applicant’s previous endorsement.
  2. The number of the business customers has at least doubled within the most recent three years and is currently higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable products or services.
  3. The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property (IP) protection in the UK.
  4. The business has generated a minimum annual revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts.
  5. The business has generated a minimum annual revenue of GBP £500,000 in the last full year covered by its accounts with at least GBP £100,000 from exporting overseas.
  6. The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers which have existed for at least 12 months.
  7. The business has created the equivalent of at least five full-time jobs for resident workers which have existed for at least 12 months and have an average salary of at least GBP £25,000 a year (gross pay, excluding any expenses).

Summary of Key Advantages

  • Visa free travel throughout the UK Common Travel Area
  • Application is processed in as little as two weeks
  • London is one of the world’s most prominent financial, commercial and cultural hubs
  • Direct international flight connections to nearly all major cities across the globe
  • Very high standard of education provided by world renowned boarding schools and universities

If you are interested in the UK Innovator Visa Program please contact IIG for further information

Please click here to complete on-line assessment.