The innovator visa category is for more experienced businesspeople seeking to establish a business in the UK relying on investment funds of £50,000. Applicants will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body. With some exceptions, applicants will have funding of £50,000 to invest in their business.

It is important that before you apply for switching into Innovator visa, you have applied for and obtained the endorsement letter from the relevant endorsement body.

If your application for switching into innovator is successful, you will be granted leave to remain for a period of 3 years. Upon completion of 3 years residence in the UK as an innovator, you become eligible to apply for ILR. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for ILR, you can apply for extension/renewal of your innovator visa.

Who Can Switch Into Innovator Visa From Inside The UK?

You can switch into Innovator visa from inside the UK if you have permission to stay in the UK under any one of the following visa categories:

  • Start-up Migrant
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant
  • Tier 2 Migrant
  • a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur, as set out in Appendix V to the Immigration Rules

Requirements For Application For Switching Into Innovator Visa From Inside The UK?

The requirements to be satisfied for an application for switching into an innovator visa include the following:

General Requirements:

  • The applicant must be at least 18 years old;
  • The applicant must be lawfully in the UK and must be eligible to switch into the Innovator visa from inside the UK
  • The applicant must genuinely intend to undertake, and be capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in their application;
  • The applicant must not intend to work in the UK in breach of their conditions;
  • Any money which the applicant claims to be available must be genuinely available as described, and the applicant must intend to use it for the purposes described in the application;
  • The applicant must provide an endorsement letter, issued by the endorsing body;
  • The applicant must have funds for investment which should not less than £50,000 to be invested in the UK business.

New business: Innovator Leave To Remain Requirements

An applicant endorsed for a new business may apply for leave to remain as an innovator migrant. An applicant is considered to be endorsed for a new business when either:

  • the applicant is making an initial application for the Innovator route and they have not been previously endorsed in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Start up visa routes for the same business;
  • the applicant is making an extension application where the business now being pursued is different from the one which they were endorsed for in their last grant of leave.

English Language Requirement:

The applicant must have a B2 level of English language ability, as defined in the Council of Europe’s common European framework (CEFR) for language and learning.

Maintenance Funds:

  • The applicant must have at least £945;
  • If a main applicant and their partner or children are applying at the same time, there must be enough maintenance funds in total, as required for all the applications, otherwise all the applications will be refused;
  • The funds must have been held in the account for a consecutive 90 days;
    ending no earlier than 31 days before the date of application;
  • The applicant does not need to provide evidence of maintenance funds if the letter from his/her endorsing body confirms that the applicant has been awarded funding of at least £945 which must be in addition to the £50,000 investment funds required for innovator visa category.

£50,000 Investment Funds

Applicants applying for an Innovator visa with a new business endorsement will need to demonstrate that they have either invested or have available at least £50,000 to invest in their new business.

The table below sets out how an applicant can demonstrate that they meet the funding requirements:

Source Of Funds Evidence Required
Endorsing body or other source where the endorsing body has verified the funds are available Endorsement letter confirms available or prior investment of £50,000
A UK organisation employing at least 10 people

All of the following:

A letter which contains a signed declaration confirming:

  • how they know the applicant
  • the amount of funding they are making available in pounds sterling (£)
  • confirmation that this funding has not been promised to any other person or business for another purpose
  • Name and contact details of an individual at the organisation who can verify the contents of the letter on request to the Home Office
An overseas organisation, a UK organisation which employs less than 10 people or an individual third party

All of the following:

1) A signed declaration which contains:

  • how they know the applicant
  • the amount of funding they are making available in pounds sterling (£)
  • confirmation that this funding has not been promised to any other person or business for another purpose

2) A letter from a legal representative (who is registered to practice legally in the country where the third party or the money is), confirming that the declaration and signature in the signed declaration is genuine.

3) A bank letter, confirming that the funds are held in a regulated financial institution(s). The letter must be dated no earlier than 1 month before the date of application. If the institution is outside the UK, the letter must also confirm that the funds are transferrable to the UK.

Funds held by applicant

Either

Bank statements, showing the funds are held in the UK in an institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The statements must cover a consecutive 3 months, ending no earlier than 1 month before the date of application.

Or

A bank letter, confirming that the funds are held in a regulated financial institution(s). The letter must be dated no earlier than 1 month before the date of application. If the institution is outside the UK, the letter must also confirm that the funds are transferrable to the UK.

If these documents do not show that the applicant has held the funds for at least 3 months, the applicant must also provide all the evidence from the source of the funds as set out for an overseas organisation or a UK organisation which employs less than 10 people.

Funds already invested in business

Either of the following documents which must show the amount that has been invested:

Business accounts, showing the name of the accountant and the date they were produced.

Or

Business bank statements.

Where evidence shows that funds are available to the applicant’s business rather than to the applicant themselves or that funds have already been invested in the business the applicant must provide a company’s house document showing their connection to the business. This document is not needed if the endorsement letter confirms the applicant’s connection to the business.

Money Available For Investment Must Be Disposable In The UK

If the money is not held in the UK, all of the funds needed for the investment must be freely transferable to the UK and able to be converted to pounds sterling. Money held in an overseas account but in a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will satisfy this requirement.

Money held overseas in an institution not regulated by the FCA must be transferrable to the UK. The applicant must provide evidence to confirm this, such as a document from the financial institution. Banks are not, however, required to guarantee that this money will be transferred.

Why Sunrise Solicitors For Switching Into Innovator Visa From Inside The UK?

The immigration solicitors at Sunrise Solicitors are experts in dealing with application for switching into Innovator visa from inside the UK. The quality of our service is self-evident from the reviews of our clients about the service provided by our immigration solicitors. You can contact us if you are seeking legal help from immigration solicitors in London or Manchester in relation to your application for switching into Innovator visa and our immigration solicitors will provide you fast, friendly, reliable and professional immigration service.

How We Can Help With Your Application For Switching Into Innovator Visa ?

We can represent you in your application for switching into Innovator visa from inside the UK and do all the work until a decision is made by the Home Office UKVI on your Innovator visa application. Our work will include:

  • assessing the chances of success in your application based on letter from the relevant endorsement body, your qualifications, skills, experience, the availability of funds for the investment, English language skills and the funds for maintenance;
  • advising you on the relevant requirements, laws and procedures applicable to your application for switching into Innovator visa;
  • advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your application for switching into Innovator visa;
  • assessing the documents to be submitted in support of your application and discussing the same with you;
  • advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your application;
  • completing online application form;
  • submitting an online application, paying the UKVI fee for the application and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) on your behalf and booking an appointment with the application centre of the Sopra Steria for you to attend the application centre for the verification of the documents and enrolment of biometrics;
  • preparing a cover letter explaining in detail how all the relevant requirements of the application for switching into Innovator visa are being satisfied, in particular, addressing the potential issue of the genuineness of the applicant as an Innovator;
  • preparing you for an interview with the Home Office, UKVI in relation to your Innovator visa application and discussing possible questions which the Home Office, UKVI may ask during the interview; and
  • doing all the follow-up work on Innovator visa application until a decision is received from the Home Office, UKVI.

Our Fee For Switching Into Innovator Visa From Inside The UK

  • We will charge you a fee from £1,000 + VAT for our professional immigration services in relation to your application for switching into Innovator visa from inside the UK. The agreed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
  • We will charge an additional fee from £300 (no VAT) for each dependant who is applying at the same time along with the main applicant.
  • If you cannot afford to pay our fee in full at the time of instructing us in relation to your matter, you can pay half of the fee at the time of instructing us and rest of the fee can be paid by monthly instalments.
  • The agreed fee will cover all our work until decision by the Home Office, UKVI on the application. However, it is pertinent to note that the agreed fee will not cover any disbursements to be incurred by us on your behalf e.g. translation of documents, Home Office fee etc.

Sunrise Solicitors is the trading name of Sunrise Solicitors Ltd (company registration no. 6405492). Sunrise Solicitors Offices are regulated by SRA under SRA ID 490903 (London Office) and SRA ID 645256 (Manchester Office). Sunrise Solicitors are also members of Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA).

Copyright © 2019 Sunrise Solicitors, All rights reserved