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September 17, 2020

UK Innovator Visa: Detailed Overview of Entry Clearance Visa Application

The UK government launched a new Innovator visa for overseas entrepreneurs at the end of March 2019. The visa is aimed at more experienced, non-EEA, businesspeople or entrepreneurs seeking to establish a business in the UK.

Entry clearance requirements

The applicant must be at least 18 years old, pass the English language ability test, at least at level B2, produce a criminal records certificate, and meet the health requirements for a successful entry clearance application.

Evidence of business criteria

Before applying for entry clearance, the business must be endorsed by a Home Office approved endorsement body. To be endorsed, applicants must present evidence that it is a new, innovative, viable, and scalable business that they want to set up in the UK.

The business may be in any sector, as long as it is innovative, viable, and scalable.

  • To meet the Innovation criteria, the applicant must present an original business plan, showing that the business features new or existing ideas to meet new or existing market needs, and/or that the business plan will create a new competitive advantage in the market.
  • Applicants must show that they have the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge of the market to implement the business plan and run a viable business. The plan must be realistic, based on solid business principles that are achievable within the applicant’s available resources.
  • The applicant should show that there is potential for job creation and growth of the business. There should be evidence of structural planning to adapt to potential increased workload or market demands.

The applicant must have evidence showing that at least £50,000 is available to invest in the business. The £50,000 can be from the applicant, the endorsing body, or any other source. If the money is not already in the UK, evidence must be provided that the money is freely transferable to the UK.

In addition to the £50,000, applicants must produce bank statements showing that they have had at least £945 for 90 consecutive days in the bank account as maintenance funds.

Credibility assessment

In addition to the assessment by the endorsing body, the Home Office will make a credibility assessment of the innovator’s application.

  • It will assess whether all the evidence submitted is credible.
  • The applicant must genuinely intend to undertake the business activity specified in the application and be capable of such an undertaking.
  • The applicant must not intend to work in the UK in breach of any conditions.
  • The money must be genuinely available as described and genuinely intended for use for the described purpose.
  • It will look at the applicant’s educational, work, and immigration history.
  • It may also look at any declarations by the applicant to other government departments and consider any other relevant information when assessing the applicant’s credibility.

The Home Office may request additional information from the applicant or the endorsing body and require the applicant to attend an interview.


 Innovator visas are granted for 3 years, after which it may be extended for a further 3 years, or the innovator can apply to settle in the UK permanently.


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) and IMC.

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.