It may be necessary to apply for the Innovator Founder visa if you are an international entrepreneur intending to launch a business in the UK. In April 2023, this route became available to allow non-UK citizens to come to the UK to set up their business. It replaces the Innovator and Start-up routes and has become the main visa category for foreign business owners wishing to establish operations in the UK.
The innovator founder route enables candidates to travel to the UK to execute their business proposals.
If you hold an Innovator Founder visa, you are allowed to work for the company you have founded, as well as take on supplementary employment, provided that the employment is in a role that requires a skill level of at least RQF Level 3, or the equivalent of the UK A Levels.
Additionally, you will be permitted to pursue a term of study while running your firm.
Innovator founders are initially permitted to reside and work in the UK for a maximum of three years. After that time, if you meet the necessary criteria, you can apply for settlement, often known as Indefinite Leave to Remain.
You may also bring your close family members with you to the UK on dependant visas. Your partner and any dependent children can be included in your visa application. Your family members are entitled to work as dependants, including self-employment and volunteer work, but not work as athletes or coaches. They can pursue any type of education.
The Innovator Founder visa allows you to:
Create a business or several businesses; engage in “skilled work” for those businesses, such as serving as a director or being self-employed as a partner in a business; or engage in “skilled work” outside of those businesses, such as employment on the Skilled Worker Eligible Occupations List or employment requiring at least a RQF Level 3 qualification.
If you have resided in the UK for three years and meet all other eligibility requirements, you can apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as “Indefinite Leave to Remain”).
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.