UK Innovator Visa and Start Up Visa

The UK government closed the Tier 1 UK Entrepreneur Investor Visa in March 2019 and replaced it with the UK Innovator Visa and Start Up Visa. These visas are designed for genuine entrepreneurs who are willing and able to build innovative businesses that are endorsed by a registered endorsing body in the UK.

This is a key distinction from the previous entrepreneur visa. The applicant must now have a genuine and original business plan. It must meet new or existing market needs creating a competitive advantage. Applicants must have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business and there must be evidence of structured planning. This will include the potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

Contact our advisors for further details.

£50,000++

Business

Full family

3+ Year Residency

Citizenship. Minimum 5+ Years

Investor Visa – Start Up Category

The Startup category is designed for high potential, early stage entrepreneurs.

  • No funds are required
  • Applicants can reside in the UK with their families for two years
  • During this period applicants will work solely on developing their business
  • After two years applicants can switch to the Innovator category

Investor Visa – Innovator Category

The UK Innovator category is designed for more experienced business people.

  • Minimum investment of £50,000
  • Applicants can reside in the UK with their families for three years
  • During this period applicants will work solely on developing their business
  • After three years, applicants can apply to extend their stay for a further 3 years or to settle permanently in the UK

UK Innovator Visa Failure Rates

Failure rates are high for the UK Innovator Visa and reached 35% in Quarter 1 of 2022. Admittedly some nations have faced higher rejection rates than others such as Pakistan and Iran while others including South Africa, Canada, USA and Hong Kong have seen far greater success. Despite this around 300 Main Applicant visas are approved each year so success with the right approach is clearly possible. Applicants are required to have full hands on business experience and a genuinely innnovative business idea with a plan that stands up to scrutiny. La Vida can help with minimising the risks associated with such a venture by matching applicants with appropriate businesses and advising accordingly.

UK Citizenship by Investment

There is no direct route to citizenship through investment in the UK. Residency through investment is possible and citizenship may be applied for after five years of residency.

Contact our advisors for further details.

Citizenship and residency programmes

A selection of alternative countries for residency and citizenship investment programmes to consider