Innovator visas

Innovator visas were brought in with the aim of attraction people with substantial amounts of money to invest in innovative businesses which could be scaled rapidly. It aims to keep the UK at the forefront of global innovation.

For those who are less experienced the start-up visa might be more appropriate.

  • Skills: You must have your business or business idea endorsed by a recognised endorsing body.
  • Investment amount: At least £50,000 in investment funds unless your business is already established and has been endorsed for a previous visa, you’ve changed your business and already agreed it with your endorsing body. You can form a team with other investors but you cannot share funds. You must have at least £50,000 available per applicant.
  • Funding yourself: Have at least £1,270 in your bank account to support yourself when you arrive. You cannot use your investment funds to support yourself.
  • Language skills: You must prove your ability to speak English by passing a secure English language test, having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, or having a degree level qualification which was taught in English.
  • Length of stay: Three years. You can apply to extend your visa after three years and can do this as many times as you like. After three years, you may be able to apply for permanent settlement.

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For more information about innovator visas, our team of expert immigration lawyers or immigration solicitors can help.

Start-up Visas

Start-up visas were created to encourage innovation in the UK. They are generally aimed at somewhat smaller projects than the innovator projects which foster the start-up scene. To qualify, though, you have to be starting a project which genuinely brings something different to the table.

  • Eligibility: Your idea must be assessed and recognised by an endorsing body which is either a higher education organisation or has a history if supporting entrepreneurs. It must be a new idea which does not exist on the market. You can’t join an existing business which is already trading. You will also have to demonstrate that the idea is viable.
  • Funding yourself: Have at least £1,270 in your bank account to support yourself when you arrive. You cannot use your investment funds to support yourself. You will also have to pay the health surcharge of £624 per person per year.
  • Language skills: You must prove your ability to speak English by passing a secure English language test, having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English?, or having a degree level qualification which was taught in English.
  • Length of stay: Two years if you either apply for a start up visa or switch from another visa. You cannot apply to extend this visa, but you may be able to apply for an innovator visa if your endorsing body agrees, if your business is sustainable and you are involved in its day to day running.

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To find out more feel free to get in touch. Our team of expert immigration lawyers or immigration solicitors can help.

Global Talent Visa

A global talent visa is aimed at people who are leaders in their field or have the potential to be so. It’s an attempt to ensure the UK continues its reputation as an attractive destination for the world’s top talent after Brexit.

  • Eligibility: To be a global leader or potential leader in academia or research, arts and culture, digital technology. You can only apply once you have successfully applied for an endorsement that you satisfy the criteria.
  • Maintenance requirements: You must be able to afford your application fee and have at least £1,270 in savings to support yourself when you arrive. You will also have to pay the health surcharge.
  • Length of stay: You can stay for up to five years at a time. There is no limit to your length of stay but you will need to renew your visa when it approaches expiry. You may be able to secure indefinite leave to remain after three or five years. This will allow you to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like.

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For more information, our team of expert immigration lawyers or immigration solicitors can help.

Entrepreneur Visa (Tier 1)

You can no longer apply for an entrepreneur visa Tier 1. However, if you want to start up a business you may be able to apply for a start-up or innovator visa.

If you already have a tier one entrepreneur visa you can still apply to extend your visa, to have family join you or for indefinite leave to remain. This will entitle you to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you want and apply for benefits if you are eligible.

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For more information about extending your visa under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), our team of expert immigration lawyers or immigration solicitors can help.

Investor Visa (Tier 1)

The UK is one of the most attractive destinations for international investors in the world and it aims to continue to be so. The investor visa offers a way for anyone with large amounts of money to invest in UK businesses a route into the country.

  • Eligibility: You must have at least £2,000,000 of investment funds, held in a regulated financial institution. You will also have to prove that the funds belong to you, a spouse or a same sex partner.
  • Students with financial sponsorship: You may be able to apply if you have the necessary funds and you’re already a student with a relevant visa in the UK. You will need an unconditional agreement in writing from your financial sponsor if your fees were paid for which allows you to stay in the UK if your fees were paid for either by the government or an international sponsorship agency.
  • Maintenance requirements: You must be able to support yourself financially and pay the healthcare surcharge.
  • How long can you stay? You can stay for a minimum of three years and four months. You can also extend the visa for up to two years. You cannot access benefits or work as a sportsperson or coach.
  • Permanent settlement: You can apply for indefinite leave to remain after two years if you invest £10 million, three years if you invest £5 million and five years if you invest £2million.

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For more information about a Tier 1 Investor Visa, our team of expert immigration lawyers or immigration solicitors can help.