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Innovator Visa as an alternative to Tier 1 investors

Innovator Visa as an alternative to Tier 1 investors

The Investor Visa was a route for UK citizenship through investment in the British economy. It was suddenly closed for security reasons, without leaving a direct alternative option for cut-off applicants.

The Innovator Visa offers an alternative business-related route. An announcement revealed that provisions for investment will become part of the Innovator scheme in time.


The differences

The Investor Visa required a minimum of £2million of investment into an approved recipient but no involvement in those businesses. The time to citizenship depended on the amount invested, starting at 5 years.

The Innovator Visa is for entrepreneurs to start an innovative, scalable and viable new business in the UK. The minimum investment per founder is only £50,000, but you’ll need to hold a leadership role. If the business creates the value desired, leave to remain is available after 3 years.

As an investor, consider what you would look for in an investment opportunity. This will likely be similar to what your business will need to be eligible for the visa. If your experience doesn’t lie with starting businesses, more than one founder can apply per business. 

You can fill out your Board with other applicants, but UK based alternatives are available for local expertise. These can be tailored to suit budget, workload and required skillset with a Part-time Executive Director


How to apply

Applicants must first find an Endorsing Body. This licensed, UK business will check you and your business plan against the Innovator Visa’s conditions. 

If you meet these conditions, they will provide the endorsement to support your application, which is done online. They will also hold 6 monthly and annual meetings to review your business’s development. 

If you meet the Home Office’s requirements, you may extend the Visa or apply for indefinite leave to remain after the 3 years are up. Read our partner Boardroom Advisors’ endorsement process to see how you could start this route.

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