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Innovator Visa Endorsement Guidance in London

In order to gain an innovator visa, you will first need to get an endorsement from an approved endorsing body. Receiving an innovator visa endorsement shows that business leaders have faith in your enterprise and believe it is innovative, viable and scalable.

In this piece we go through the endorsement process and detail the endorsing bodies.

Gaining a UK innovator visa endorsement can be a difficult and complex process, but it is an important step to your application. Often it requires a keen awareness of the demands of the Home Office as well as a variety of endorsing bodies. Our team of immigration lawyers in London have a wealth of experience in assisting individuals with gaining their innovator visa endorsements, from helping you with the business plan, right to the end of your application. Westkin has a proven track record of assisting a wide range of businesses in gaining endorsements; from those working on cutting edge technology to those bringing innovation to the art and theatre sector.

We tailor our service to the specific demands and vision of our clients, as well as working with leading business consultants and liaising with the Home Office. We know how important it is to you to receive endorsement, so we make the process as easy as possible for you, by guiding you through the entire process, and creating your business plan for you.

If you require assistance with your innovator visa endorsement, our team can help. Get in touch today by calling our office on 020 3820 6276 or by reaching out through our website.

Our recent results

A client from the US had an idea of an innovative, scalable and viable business; a Bluetooth chip designed to be embedded into different company assets, like trackers when hired by customers. This will allow the company to track down where their assets are, giving them reassurance. This idea would bridge the gap in different markets especially ones who allow customers and clients to hire and lease their products. The client had already begun informally talking to the endorsers when instructing Westkin. We evaluated the business idea and contacted the appropriate endorsement body. We also provided the client and the endorser guidance on the endorsement process and how to provide the letter. We then gave the endorser advice on how to certify the £50,000 investment. When preparing the client through the process, we went step by step, explaining each stage of the application. This resulted in a successful visa granted by the Home Office.

What is the innovator visa?

The innovator visa opened on 29th March 2019, as a replacement to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme.

In 2015 a review of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route was commissioned in which the government-commissioned Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) raised concerns over Home Office caseworkers who had “limited business experience and knowledge”. The committee felt that such individuals were ill equipped to judge viable business proposals and ultimately to decide whether to grant a visa.

The innovator visa attempts to solve this issue by taking on board the MAC’s recommendations and allowing a group of government-appointed bodies to endorse the viability of the business proposition and the candidate’s business credentials, not Home Office caseworkers.

The Home Office has encouraged endorsing bodies for innovator visas to endorse projects which show three key qualities; innovation, viability and creativity. They have requested bodies making the decisions to ask the following questions:

Innovation: Does the applicant have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage?

Viability: Does the applicant have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to run the business successfully?

Scalability: Does the business have the scope to grow once it has been launched within the UK?

In asking these questions, we tailor your business plan to demands of the Home Office and possible endorsers.

If you’re thinking about applying for the innovator visa, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance when putting through your application and preparing your business plan to submit to an endorsing body. Our team at Westkin are on hand to assist you. Please get in touch to discuss your business with us today.

How to get endorsement for the innovator visa

There are two stages to obtaining an endorsement for the innovator visa. These are the submission of documents and an interview.

The documents required for the innovator visa are:

  • Your business plan, throughout which you should highlight the viability, scalability and innovation of your business.
  • All relevant documents relating to your business.
  • Relevant supporting letters from people in your business area.

Following the submission of the relevant documentation, there may be an interview during which officials will review your business plan and ask questions regarding potential weaknesses in your application.

This can be a daunting process, but our legal experts will work with you through every step of this process providing you with the best recommendations to strengthen your business plan.

Take a look at how we create you a successful business plan. Alternatively, contact us at 020 3820 6276 or reach out through our website to find out how we can assist you with your innovator visa.

Who are the endorsing bodies for innovator visas?

Endorsing bodies are a small group of government-appointed bodies who can approve your business plan for you, allowing you to successfully complete your innovator visa application. Without an endorsement for your business, you will be unable to successfully gain the visa and begin working in the UK. Each endorsing body is different, and each specialises in slightly different business areas. It is imperative that you choose the right endorsing body for your business, and that you know the requirements of that specific endorsing body.

At Westkin, our team have experience in working with a number of the below endorsing bodies, and we know the requirements of each. Our team of immigration lawyers have excellent working relationships with these endorsing bodies, and can use this partnership for your benefit.

The list of approved endorsing bodies for the innovator visa is:

  • The Bakery
  • Seed Camp
  • Invest Northern Ireland
  • Zinc
  • Deep Science Ventures
  • Wayra
  • Ignite
  • Bethnal Green Ventures
  • Codebase
  • Capital Enterprise
  • Cylon
  • Tech X
  • Seed Haus’
  • Med City
  • Scottish Edge
  • Royal Society Edinburgh
  • Tech Nation
  • NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Entrepreneur Accelerator
  • Ulster Bank Entrepreneur Accelerator
  • Set Squared Bristol
  • Set Squared Exeter
  • Set Squared Southampton
  • Set Squared Surrey

Need an endorsement for your business? Our team are ready to help you. We understand that gaining your endorsement can feel like a daunting process, and that you may be eager to get to the next step and begin operating in the UK. We want to bring this closer to reality for you, and gaining your endorsement is the first step.Get in touch to find out how our team can assist you in the creation of your business plan, with gaining your endorsement, and finally, with gaining your innovator visa. Call our office on 020 3820 6276 or get in touch through our website today.


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