Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Innovator Visa

Who is it for?

You must have at least £50,000 in investment funds if you want to set up a new business. You do not need funds if your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

How to get endorsed?

You must be able to show that your business idea is:

  • a new idea - you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading
  • viable, with potential for growth

Read the endorsing bodies list - you should only approach ones that are suitable for your business idea.

Am I eligibile?

Before you apply you need to have your business or business idea assessed by an approved body.

They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is viable.

You must also:

  • meet the English language requirement
  • be at least 18 years old
  • be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the UK

Read the specific requirements for the Innovator visa before you apply.

If you want to set up a new business

You must have at least £50,000 in investment funds to apply for an Innovator visa if you want to set up a new business.

Your funding can come from any source.

You do not need any investment funds if your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

Supporting yourself

You need to have had at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.

You cannot use either of the following to support yourself:

  • money from your investment funds
  • money earned while working in the UK illegally
Sharing investment funds

You can form a team with other Innovator applicants, but you cannot share the same investment funds.

Your team must have £50,000 for each Innovator applicant. For example, if you have 2 Innovator applicants, your team must have £100,000 to invest.

Can I switch to this visa?

You may be able to switch to an Innovator visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK on one of the following visas:

  • Start-up visa
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • any Tier 2 visa
  • Standard Visitor visa - if you came to the UK to get funding and had a supporting letter from an endorsing body

You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you’re here on any other type of visa.