What is the new Innovator Founder Visa?
The UK introduced the new Innovator Founder visa route on April 13, 2023. Its goal is to help entrepreneurs start a successful, innovative, and scalable firm in the country. Furthermore, the new route, which replaces the “Innovator” and “Start Up” pathways, offers great flexibility. It aligns with the government’s larger “UK Innovation Strategy”. Additionally, this visa aims to offer streamlined qualifying criteria in an effort to draw entrepreneurial talent to the UK.
The Government intends the Innovator Founder visa for people who want to start a business in the UK . However, the emphasis is on using an original, marketable, and scalable business idea that they came up. Alternatively it can be one which they significantly helped to develop. The applicant must play a significant part in the day-to-day management and growth of the company they establish in the UK.
How do candidates apply?
Candidates can either apply as the business’s lone founder or as a member of an entrepreneurial team. Notably however, in all circumstances, the applicant must have been a key member of the founding team. Or, they should have made a significant contribution to the initial business strategy. No one may apply to join a company that is already open for business.
One important prerequisite is that the endorsing organisation must approve the applicant’s application. Above all, the Home Office must recognise the endorsing organisation. In turn it will evaluate the firm in terms of its creativity, viability, and scalability. The endorsing body will consider a number of factors as part of its evaluation. This includes whether the applicant has a genuine, original business plan that addresses market needs. Besides, they should possess or acquire the necessary management skills, and show evidence of the potential for job creation and growth into both national and international markets.
What about the applicant’s dependents?
Any children under the age of 18 and the applicant’s spouse/civil partner or unmarried partner may apply to enter the UK as their dependents.
What problems does the Innovator Founder Visa solve?
Some of the problems with the Innovator visa seem to be resolved by the Innovator Founder visa. For instance, the fewer mandatory check-ins with endorsing organisations and the flexibility for secondary employment. These may make the visa more alluring to business owners who want to establish their operations in the UK while putting less administrative work on their plates. These modifications could make the visa more appealing to entrepreneurs, along with the elimination of the £50,000 investment requirement.
The endorsement procedure was, nevertheless, one of the main obstacles to acquiring an innovator visa. More candidates and investment may come to the UK if the endorsement requirements were clearer and simpler. The success of the Innovator Founder route will also likely be significantly influenced by other factors, such as the high bar for innovation and the similarly high bar for meeting the requirements for indefinite leave to remain.
For more information please contact Leena Chouhan, Head of Immigration at Taylor Hampton Solicitors on 0207 427 5972.