What is the Innovator Founder Visa?

The Innovator Founder Visa is an option for entrepreneurs seeking to establish an innovative, viable, and scalable business presence in the United Kingdom. To be eligible for Innovator Founder Visa Route, applicants must obtain an endorsement from the endorsing bodies designated by the Home Office. Upon receiving the Innovator Founder Visa, successful applicants are granted a 3-year leave to operate their business within the UK.

What are the main criteria for obtaining the endorsement for Innovator Founder Visa?

The assessment of Innovator Founder applications revolves around three core criteria: Innovation, Viability, and Scalability. These criteria are defined as follows:

1- Innovation: Applicants must demonstrate a genuine and original Business Plan that addresses new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage. A clear and compelling unique selling proposition (USP) distinguishes the business from potential competitors.

2- Viability: The Business Plan must be realistic and achievable, taking into account the available resources. Applicants should possess or actively develop the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness required for running the business successfully.
3- Scalability: Evidence of a well-structured plan outlining a credible growth trajectory is vital. Furthermore, the potential for job creation and expansion into national markets must be demonstrated.

How Can I Obtain an Endorsement for Innovator Visa?

Throughout the application process, it is imperative to seek endorsement from an endorsing body recognised by the UK authorities. Ensuring compliance with the outlined criteria and providing comprehensive documentation will enhance the chances of a successful application. Each stage, namely the initial application, extension, and settlement, requires endorsement from an approved endorsing body. Our immigration and business consultants can help you prepare for an endorsement application.

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Let’s look at the highlights

Knowledge of English

You must prove that you can read, write, speak and understand English at B2 CEFR Level.


You will need to show £1,270 savings in your bank account available for consecutive 28 days before the application.

Visa Duration

Successful applicants receive a 3-year visa and can extend it as many times as they wish.


You can extend your Innovator Founder Visa at the end of the 3-year period, or if you are eligible, you can apply for ILR. The applicant must provide an endorsement letter from the endorsing body at every application stage.

ILR Rights

If eligible, the applicant can apply for indefinite leave to remain upon completing 3 years of stay.


The applicants can bring their spouse and children. They are not required to take an English Language test. However, maintenance is required for each family member at different levels.

Waiting times and Costs

Waiting times vary depending on the application location. The cost of application includes the visa application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. Costs must be calculated, including dependents and considering the up-to-date standard published rates. Application-related payments are payable upon submitting the online application form.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are 3 general endorsing bodies for businesses. These include Envestors Limited, UK Endorsing Services, and Innovator International. Fourth endorsing body The Global Entrepreneurs Programme (GEP) provide visa endorsements in the tech field for the founders that have already been invited to participate in their scaling and internalisation programmes.

You can bring your spouse, unmarried partner and children, proving your genuine and subsisting relationship.

Yes, You can extend as many times as you want. You will need an endorsement letter from the endorsing body for a successful application.

Yes. You will be expected to register a certain level of growth that can be proven in multiple ways to your endorsing body. In addition to the endorsement letter, you are expected to meet other eligibility and suitability requirements of the relevant immigration rules. These requirements include but are not limited to passing the Life in the UK Test and your continuous residence in the UK.

You can contact us for your specific needs for business consultancy, immigration consultancy, cost calculations and mapping out a strategy for you and your dependant family members. Please fill out the Contact Form. We will get back to you with more information.

Yes, please book a session with us to speak to one of our business and immigration consultants. We can answer your case-specific questions and guide you in the right direction.

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