Innovator Founder Visa


 Innovator Founder Visa

Understanding the Innovator Founder Visa

Innovator Founder Visa route is for a person seeking to establish a business in the UK based on an innovative, viable and scalable business idea they have generated, or to which they have significantly contributed.

What are the requirements for an Innovator Founder Visa?

  1. Must be 18 years old or above

  2. Must have been issued with an endorsement letter by an endorsing body.

  3. Your endorsement letter must be issued no more than 3 months before the date of your application.

  4. Must have a key role in the day to day management and development of the business.

  5. You must be able to show that your business idea is: new - you cannot join a business that is already trading; innovative - you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market; viable - with potential for growth; scalable - you must give evidence of planning that includes creating jobs and growing into national and international markets

  6. You need to have at least two Contact point meetings with the endorsing body at regular intervals

  7. meet the English language requirement CEFR B2 level (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking)

  8. If you are applying from outside the UK, you’ll need financial proof to show you can support yourself in the UK, with at least £1,270 in your bank account for the last 28 days period.

How much does it cost to apply for an Innovator Founder Visa?

The fees include the Application Fee and Healthcare surcharge fee.

If you’re switching to this visa within the UK, you also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

The fees for your dependants are the same.

Application Fee:

Who you’re applying for

Apply (outside the UK)

Extend or switch (in the UK)




Applicant's partner and children

£1,191 each person

£1,486 each person

Healthcare surcharge: £624 per year

Processing time

After submitting your online application, normally you’ll get a decision within 3 weeks if you’re outside the UK, and 8 weeks if you’re inside the UK.

Endorsement for an Innovator Founder visa

  1. You must have your business idea supported by a UK endorsing body that has evaluated it for new, innovative, viable and scalable.

  2. Your endorsement letter must be issued no more than 3 months before the date of your application.

  3. Any business activities in the UK listed in your application must be something you truly want to do and are capable of doing.

An approved endorsing body must be satisfied that your business plan satisfies all of the following requirements in order for it to be endorsed:

  1. Innovation: You have a real, unique company idea that addresses new or existing market demands and/or gives you a competitive edge.

  2. Viability: Has the potential for growth

  3. Scalability: Your business plan has the ability to create jobs and expand into new areas across the country.

  4. The endorsing body will also want to know that you'll be spending most of your working time in the UK on your new company projects.

Home Office approved Endorsing bodies for Innovator Founder Visa

Home Office has published a list of endorsing bodies that can issue endorsements letters:

The Legacy Innovator Endorsing Bodies no longer accept new Start-up/Innovator applications but are authorised to continue maintaining and monitoring their existing endorsed migrants. Click here to find a list of Legacy Innovator Endorsing Bodies.

Contact Point Meeting under Innovator Founder Visa

You’re required to have at least two contact point meetings with your endorsing body at regular intervals under the Innovator Founder Visa. A contact point meeting refers to a mandatory meeting between the visa holder and their endorsing body. The purpose of these meetings is to provide guidance, support and advice to the visa holder and to ensure that they are progressing in their business as planned. Failure to attend these meetings can result in the cancellation of the visa.

Take additional work under Innovator Founder Visa

You can do work outside your business, as long as it’s ‘skilled work’, the second job must be either on the skilled worker eligible occupation list or a job that is at RQF 3 level or above. However, you can not work as a professional sportsperson.

How long can I stay under an Innovator Founder Visa for the UK?

If your Innovator Founder Visa application is sucessful, you will be granted permission of stay for a maximum of 3 years.

Does the Innovator Founder Visa lead to UK settlement?

Yes, the Innovator Founder route is a route to settlement. Time spent under the Innovator Founder Visa route will count for UK Settlement, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain. 

What is the main difference between an Innovator Founder Visa and an Innovator Visa?

There are two main differences between Innovator Founder Visa and the Innovator Visa.

Previously, the Innovator Visa route required a £50,000 investment found and does not allow you to do any work outside of your business or employed by another business.

The new Innovator Founder Visa has removed the of £50,000 investment funds requirement. It will also allow you to take additional work apart from your business, giving you the flexibility to earn extra income. However, the additional job must be at least RQF level 3.

Innovator Founder Visa: how can WorkPermitCloud help

At WorkPermitCloud, we have a dedicated team to assist with you in your visa applications. We also offer professional immigration advice regulated by Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). We have a dedicated team to assist you with the visa application process. Our professional immigration advisers can assist you throughout your journey to maximise the probability of success on your visa application. We make sure your immigration and visa applications are processed correctly and your journey is seamless.

Book our professional Immigration service at

We can help you:

  1. Dedicated support from an immigration advisor

  2. Accurately identify the type of visa application

  3. Documentation support and necessary amendments

  4. Completing visa application form(s)

  5. Review your application bundle ready for submission to the Home Office

  6. Submit your visa application to the Home Office

  7. Act as your agent for all correspondence with the Home Office, up to and including receipt of the decision on your visa application

  8. Provide professional advice throughout the process of preparing your visa application, by letter, email, telephone or in-person as required

  9. Provide professional advice for the next steps once you have received a decision on your visa application

  10. Home Office fees forecast