The United Kingdom offers several routes to Permanent Residency (PR) for individuals who wish to establish and run a business in the country. One of the most popular routes is the Innovator Visa, which leads to settlement (PR) after a specified period. Here’s how you can transform your business journey into a direct route to PR in the UK.
Eligibility Check and Business Idea:
Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the Innovator Visa, which generally requires a viable business idea and a minimum investment funding. It is important to create a comprehensive business plan outlining your innovative business idea. It should be scalable and have the potential to make a significant economic impact in the UK.
Secure Endorsement and apply for the visa:
Seek endorsement from a relevant UK endorsing body. These organisations assess your business idea and its viability. They will issue an endorsement letter if your business plan meets their criteria. You must submit your visa application to the Home Office within three months of the endorsement issue date. This application will include your endorsement letter, proof of investment, and other supporting documents.
If your application is successful, you will receive a visa allowing you to stay in the UK for a specified period, usually for three years.
Start and Run Your Business:
Establish and operate your business as outlined in your business plan. Be sure to maintain compliance with UK laws and regulations. You will be periodically assessed by the endorsing body to ensure that you are making progress with your business venture. You must demonstrate significant progress and innovation to secure your settlement.
Apply for Settlement (Permanent Residency):
After residing in the UK on the Innovator Visa for three years, you may be eligible to apply for settlement. You must show an approved body that you have grown your business during the three years. If you meet the criteria, such as investing the required minimum capital in your business, making the relevant revenue etc., the body will give you an endorsement letter to show your eligibility for settlement. The specific investment amount may vary, so you must check the current financial requirements before applying to the body.
After holding indefinite leave to remain for at least 12 months, you may apply for British citizenship if you meet the eligibility criteria. You may be eligible to apply for citizenship sooner than 12 months if you are married to a British citizen. This is an optional step, but it grants you full rights and privileges of a UK citizen.
Please note that UK immigration rules and requirements are constantly changing and it is essential to stay updated with the most recent regulations and guidance provided by the UKVI. Additionally, the UK may have other visa options for entrepreneurs and investors, so it is wise to explore all the available routes to settlement that match your specific circumstances and goals.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. 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 Twitter, Facebook, 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.