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How to get endorsement for the innovator visa


This blog gives an overview of the innovator visa, the requirements of the innovator visa and how to get endorsement for the innovator visa, as well as the common issues which applicants may face through the application process.

Requirements of the innovator visa

The innovator visa is a way for experienced business people to establish their business within the UK. It is a replacement of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa which was phased out in 2019. Applying for this visa is currently only a requirement if you are from outside of the EEA, however from January 2021 it will be needed by anyone looking to move to the UK to launch a new business.

Applicants for the innovator visa will need to meet the eligibility requirements in order for their application to be successful. These requirements include having enough financial savings to support yourself whilst living in the UK, having a proven knowledge of the English language, and the endorsement of your business by an approved body.

How to successfully get endorsed for the innovator visa

There are a number of approved bodies who can endorse you for the innovator visa. These bodies are appointed by the government, and aim to ensure that individuals applying for the visa have a detailed understanding of their business plan, as well as the necessary assets and knowledge to successfully run their business within the UK. You will need to receive a letter of endorsement before you can make your application for an innovator visa, so it is important to make sure that you meet the endorsing bodies’ requirements.

Endorsing bodies will look into key areas of your business before offering their endorsement. Firstly, they will require proof that your business plan has potential for growth, is marketable and that there is not already too much competition within the UK market. Essentially, they will want reassurance that your business is robust and not likely to collapse in the early stages.

Successful applicants for the innovator visa will have a fully-realised business plan with room for growth – one which has the promise of being able to create further business, shows expected profits and may create jobs within the UK. Being able to outline this plan with proof of intended growth and consideration of potential roadblocks will help applicants in achieving success with endorsement for their visa application.

Endorsing bodies also want to know whether applicants have sufficient funds to set up their business within the UK. It doesn’t matter where these funds come from, but you should be able to prove that you have at least £50,000 to invest into your business from a legitimate source. Endorsers will ask you to provide physical proof of this in your application process for the innovator visa, so it is an important roadblock to consider before beginning the application process.

Common reasons to be denied endorsement for the innovator visa

If an endorsing body does not see the merits of your business or you’re unable to prove its credibility, they may refuse to endorse you for your visa application. There are a wide range of issues which may stop you from being viewed as ‘credible’, so it is important that business owners who are considering this visa are prepared and understand the requirements.

Why choose Westkin for your innovator visa?

Our lawyers have worked on a number of innovator visa applications and will prepare your business plan for you to submit to an endorsing body. We will assist you with tailoring your business plan according to the feedback which we receive from endorsing bodies and will apply to the endorsing bodies for you. Our lawyers have worked with a number of endorsing bodies and, knowing the requirements of each and the sectors that they specialise in, are able to advise on which would be right for you and your business.

Gaining an endorsement for your innovator visa can be a difficult and confusing process. If you feel uncertain about your application and need our assistance, please call our offices at 020 7118 4546 or email at:


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