Can I switch from a Start-up visa to an Innovator Founder visa?

13 Oct 2023, 46 mins ago

Are you currently on a Start-Up visa and wondering about the possibility of switching to the Innovator Founder route? In this blog, we will guide you through the basics of switching, so that you can continue your entrepreneurial path in the UK.

Rationale for switching visas

The Start-Up route is considered a ‘temporary’ UK immigration category, meaning that it is not a path that directly leads to settlement in the UK. The Innovator Founder route does, however, provide a path to settlement.

Time on a Start-Up visa, followed by time under the Innovator Founder route, is therefore, the usual path that most young entrepreneurs in the UK will take to settlement.

Switching scenarios

The number of authorised endorsing bodies significantly decreased following the closure of the Innovator route in April 2023, and its subsequent replacement with the current Innovator Founder route.

Under the current rules, however, where you are switching from a Start-Up to an Innovator Founder visa on the basis of the same UK business concept, you do not necessarily need to seek endorsement from one of the ‘new’ authorised bodies and can instead rely on endorsement from the same ‘legacy’ body that supported your Start-Up application.

When to apply

If you are switching from a Start-Up to an Innovator Founder visa, you must apply before the expiry of your existing Start-Up leave. The sooner that you apply and transition onto the Innovator Founder route, the sooner that your ‘clock’ to settlement will start to run.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa applications. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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