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August 4, 2020

Innovator visa: Requirements of Endorsement Body

Innovator Visa category is for more experienced businesspeople seeking to establish a business in the UK.  One of main requirements of obtaining the visa is getting endorsement letter from particular authorised endorsement body based in the UK.

Applicants must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body. With some exceptions, applicants will have funding to invest in their business. This category may lead to settlement after 3 years in the UK.

Applicant is applying as ‘Same business’ or ‘new business’

The Immigration Rules distinguish between applicants who are applying under the ‘new business’ criteria and those applying under the ‘same business’ criteria. Applicants who are coming to the UK for the first time will need to apply under the ‘new business’ requirement.

If the applicant is making an application to extend their leave to remain in the UK (under Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa or Start-up Visa) and they are in order to pursue the same business that was assessed as part of that previous application, they can choose to make an application under the ‘new business’ or the ‘same business’ criteria.

The key distinction is that the ‘new business’ criteria requires an investment and a different type of endorsement, which we refer to below.

Business Proposal ‘new business’

In order to be granted a visa under the ‘new business’, the applicant’s business must meet the following requirements:


The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.


The applicant has the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.


There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

Investment Funds required in ‘new business’

There are two options, first is when the endorsing body is providing the investment funds, applicants who are applying under the ‘new business’ criteria must demonstrate that they have access to at least £50,000 for investment in the business. They can also demonstrate that they have already invested the funds in the business. Second, applicant is arranging funds from their personal income or savings.


If two individuals are applying for Innovator visas to join the same business, they cannot share the investment funds. The applicant must provide specified evidence to demonstrate that they meet this requirement.

Endorsement of the Business Idea

Applicants must obtain an endorsement letter from an approved endorsement body to submit with their application.

For a ‘new business’, the endorsing body will review the applicant’s business proposal and decide if it meets the above requirements of innovation, viability and scalability. If so, it will provide specified information to the Home Office in the endorsement letter about the applicant and their business. The letter must be dated within three months of the date of the immigration application.

Requirements of Endorsement Body for Innovator Visa

We are operating with few endorsement bodies and assisting our clients for successful case preparation and business plan drafting; from our experience we would like to outline that endorsement body is looking for start-up and business idea and outlining main points below:

  • Company Overview
  • Market Overview
  • Competition
  • Unique Selling Point
  • Sales & Marketing Strategy
  • Growth Strategy
  • Traction
  • Intellectual Property Information
  • Management Team Information
  • Financial Projections
  • Employment Plan
  • Regulation & Licensing
  • Balance Sheet and P&L
  • Financial Performance
  • Valuation & Exit Strategy

Its not all list of topics highlighted and asked by endorsement body from the applicant, however it’s important to understand that business idea and strategy of the execution of any proposed business must be strong enough to apply for endorsement.


You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at or call +44 207 993 63 46.