Entrepreneurship and innovation are highly prized in the UK as taxable, and investment income is brought to the country by them. Recently, and also with the consequences of Brexit lurking, significant changes have been made to the UK’s business visas. One of such is the creation of the Innovator visa to replace Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.
Requirements for the Innovator Visa
The employment of highly skilled international workers is very important in order to help sustain the growth of the business. As such, different visas are available, permitting these skilled workers to contribute to the country.
The visa is rightly innovative as the name implies. Business ideas were previously assessed by an officer of the UKVI – UK Visas and Immigration, to ascertain how authentic the application was and how concrete the business idea was—this was not ideal.
However, this new visa guarantees the credibility of the business idea by requiring that it be endorsed by the appropriate authorities. Alongside the endorsement, the following are required
At least 18 years of age
English language proficiency
At least £50,000 seed funding
Proof of enough savings for the whole stay in the country.
Once these requirements are met, the application can be done online, before proceeding to the visa biometric center you need to give your biometric information so as to qualify you for the biometric residence permit to prove that you are eligible to stay in the UK.
What about those currently on Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?
Those currently on the old visa in the UK have a period of grace to extend the visa. Also, applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or switching to the new innovator visa is possible if the holder has been in the country for five years. Even though new applications for the old visa are not accepted, those already on it are not affected.
Types of Businesses considered suitable for the innovator visa
Endorsement of the business idea must be made by one of the 24 endorsing bodies before application for the visa is made. These bodies are placed with the task of ensuring that business ideas presented are original, credible, very innovative, and has a high level of potential success. This will ensure that the country benefits from various innovative businesses.
What is my fate if I cannot raise the required seed funds?
It is required that the applicant must have at least £50,000 seed funding, but there is no need to quit. The Start-up visa, an alternative visa, has been made to cater for new entrepreneurs and those without enough seed funding. Two years is given to start up a business, and if successful, one can switch to the innovator visa.
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