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Tier 1 Innovator Visa UK

The Innovator Visa offers an exciting new opportunity for non-EEA nationals to come to the UK to set up their business and bring with them bold new ideas. Whilst this is an excellent opportunity, the process is new and complex.

Westkin Associates is a specialist immigration law working with over 20 expert immigration solicitors and having over 30 years of collective experience. We have worked for a range of clients from individual applicants to large multi-national corporations. If you are interested in applying for the innovator visa, please feel free to contact us at: 020 7118 4546 or via info@westkin.com.

What is an Innovator Visa?

An Innovator visa is a new visa category which allows foreign nationals to establish a business in the UK after being assessed on the business’s viability, scalability and innovation. These three qualities will be central to the review of both your business idea and plan, which will be undertaken by a Home Office approved endorsing body.

Westkin Associates has a proven track record of supporting clients to build their business plan and successfully apply for the Innovator visa. We have worked with a range of clients from start-up companies to multi-national corporations; as well as working with clients from a broad range of fields from technology to the arts.

Once granted, you will have leave for 3 years and will be allowed to bring your family to live with you in the UK. During this period, you will grow and develop your business and show its viability.

This visa may be extended and can lead to permanent settlement.

What are the requirements for an Innovator Visa?

* To be eligible for an Innovator Visa you must meet the following requirements:

* Gain sponsorship from by a Home Office approved endorsing body, see the list below.

* The government has released a list of approved endorsing bodies which can be accessed here.

* Maintenance: You must show that you can financially support yourself and dependents without recourse to public funds.

* Have at least £50,000 in investment funds

* Evidence that you won’t fail the “general grounds for refusal”

* This asks you to address any criminal convictions or breaches of UK immigration law you may have.

* Show that you have English language skills at a level of B2 in the Common European Frame of Ref (CFR).

If required, we can assist you in this by putting you in contact with an appropriate English Language course and exam provider. We have supported our clients with this on a number of occasions and will do so free of charge.

Have A Read Of Some Of Our UK Innovator Visa success stories

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 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. I evaluated the business idea and contacted the appropriate endorsement body. I also provided the client and the endorser guidance on the endorsement process and how to provide the letter. I then gave the endorser advice on how to certify the £50,000 investment. When preparing the client through the process, I went step by step, explaining each stage of the application. This resulted in a successful visa granted by the Home Office.
We were put into contact with two clients applying for a start-up visa, however these clients had already secured the endorsement status from their respective endorsement body. The clients were from Argentina & India with a business idea that would revolutionise how commercial kitchens where used. The idea would provide huge changes to the culinary industry and had a huge untapped market. I was appointed to the case to help these two entrepreneurs secure their visa. I also assisted the clients through every step of the application process, obtaining all the necessary documents and evidence needed. In the end the visa application was successful, combined with their endorsement, this meant that these two entrepreneurs were ready for business within the UK.

How do you get an endorsement?

The endorsement process in made up of two aspects, the submission of documents and an interview. There may be an interview which follows this application.

Many of clients have initial worries about this process as the prospect of a detailed interview can be quite intimidating. However, we work with our clients, not only to provide them the best preparation for all stages of this application, but also to give them the confidence to take the next step for their business.

To find our more about this process click here or contact our team at 020 7118 4546 or email us at info@westkin.com

Creating a business plan

Westkin Associates has a proven track record, working with thousands of clients to create high calibre business plans which have been seen as highly attractive by the Home Office.

Central to our application process is a focus on the Home Office’s criteria of innovation, viability and scalability in the business plan. Click here to learn more.

Timeline from Innovator Visa to a British Passport

1. If you have been granted Innovator Visa by meeting the requirements listed above, you can apply for an extension of your leave. This requires, a “same business” endorsement which will be granted if you can show progress in terms of your business plan and that your business is active and sustainable. 

This will grant you 3 further years to live and work in the UK. You can normally apply for “Indefinite Leave to Remain” at the end of your 5th year stay in the UK. 

2. If you have made great strides in your business, you may be eligible to apply for settled status after 3 years. This assessment will be made by assessing the progress you have made, and the achievements accomplished. 

3. After a year of holding “settled status” you may apply for naturalisation which will entitle you to as well as your own British passport.

Our Fees

Here at Westkin Associates, we pride ourselves on both on our high-quality services as well as our openness, transparency and sense of fairness.
Given the uniqueness of each, we price clients individually based on the work required. This applies equally for all clients, whether a business or an individual.

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