Innovator visa

Innovator visa is for individuals who:
  • want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK – and the idea would be innovative enough to be different from anything else on the market;
  • have at least £50,000 in investment funds to start a new business;
  • the business or business idea has been endorsed by an endorsing body;
  • the applicant must have the ability to speak and write English (to a level of B2);
  • in addition to the investment funds, the applicant needs to demonstrate the ability to support oneself, by showing that the applicant had at least £1,270 in a bank account (except investment funds) for 28 consecutive days.
The applicant does not need any investment funds if either:
  • the business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa;
  • there was a change of business and this was previously agreed with the endorsing body.

Sharing investment funds

Two or more applicants can form a team to apply for an Innovator visa, but they cannot share the same investment funds. Each person in the team must have £50,000 for each Innovator applicant. A holder of an Innovator visa can:
  • set up a business or several businesses;
  • work for their own business - this includes being employed as a director, or self-employed as a member of a business partnership;
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as “indefinite leave to remain”), provided eligibility criteria is met.
A holder of an Innovator visa cannot:
  • do any work outside the business the applicant has set up, for example, be an employee of another business;
  • work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach;
  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the state pension.
An Innovator visa can be extended if the following apply:
  • the applicant meets the eligibility requirements;
  • the applicant is still running a business in the UK or wants to set up a new one. The applicant must have £50,000 in investment funds if the applicant wants to set up a new business, unless either: (a) the business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa; (b) the business has changed and this was already agreed with the endorsing body.
  • A business or a business idea must be assessed by an endorsing body when applying to extend the Innovator visa.

Start-up visa

The applicant can apply for a Start-up visa if:
  • - The applicant wants to set up an innovative business in the UK - it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market and the business idea is a new idea (the applicant cannot joint a business that is already trading), it is innovative and it is viable;
  • - The applicant has been endorsed by an authorised body that is either: (a) a UK higher education institution; (b) a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs;
  • - The applicant must also demonstrate sufficient knowledge of English language;
  • - The applicant must have at least £1,270 in a personal bank account for 28 consecutive days prior to making the application, or if switching to this visa if the applicant has been in the UK for less than a year.
The holder of the Start-up visa can stay in the UK for a period of 2 years and this visa cannot be extended. However, the holder of a Start-up visa can switch to an Innovator visa provided that a new business is set up while on a Start-up visa, an endorsing body has assessed and agreed it, the business is active, trading and sustainable and the applicant has day-to-day involvement in this business.

Skilled Worker Visa

In December 2020 Skilled Worker visa was introduced to replace Tier 2 (General) work visa. This visa is available to all foreign nationals (excluding Irish citizens) who wish to come to the UK to undertake eligible job with an approved employer. Unless citizens or relatives of citizens of EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have applied for EU Settlement Scheme prior to 20 June 2021 (or had reasons to apply after this date), they would need a work visa to continue to work in the UK. To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, the employee needs to:
  • - work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office;
  • - have a certificate of sponsorship from such employer, confirming that the position has been offered in the UK;
  • - the job offered must be on the list of eligible occupations;
  • - be paid a minimum salary (which would vary depending on the job offered) and will be the higher of the following 3 options:
    1. (a) £25,600 per year
    2. (b) £10.10 per hour
    3. (c) the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing
The applicant also must demonstrate knowledge of English language. Depending on the job type and other individual circumstances the applicant may be required to provide the following:
  • evidence that the applicant has sufficient personal savings to support oneself (and any dependants) in the UK;
  • proof of negative tuberculosis test results (if the applicant is from a listed country);
  • a criminal record certificate (if the applicant is applying to work in certain professions)
Skilled Worker visa can be issued for a term of 5 years, after which it may be renewed or the applicant may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain the UK (if certain conditions are met). Employee can apply to extend the visa as many times as they would like, provided that the eligibility requirements are met for this type of visa. Skilled Worker visa is tied to a particular employer and, if switching jobs, the employee would have to locate a new sponsor which will be able to sponsor this employee for a new Skilled Worker visa.

Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)

A Senior or Specialist Worker visa allows a migrant to come to or stay in the UK to perform specific job at a UK branch of the migrant’s employer. This visa has replaced the Intra-company Transfer visa, previously the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa. In order to qualify this Senior or Specialist Worker visa, the applicant must:
  • be an existing employee of an organisation that’s been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor (where the applicant is earning less than £73,900 per year then the applicant must have worked for their employer outside the UK for at least 12 months; where the applicant is earning £73,000 per year or more, there is no minimum time requirement);
  • have a “certificate of sponsorship” from the employer;
  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations;
  • be paid at least £42,400 per year.
The applicant can stay in the UK with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa for whichever is shorter of:
  • the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days; or
  • 5 years
The applicant can then apply to extend this visa but to the maximum total stay. The maximum total stay allowed for a Senior and Specialist Worker visa is:
  • 5 years in any 6 year period if paid less than £73,900 a year;
  • 9 years in any 10 year period if paid £73,900 a year or more.
  • The holder of a Senior or Specialist Worker visa cannot:
  • apply for most benefits, public funds, or state pension;
  • change jobs unless a new certificate of sponsorship is obtained and eligibility criteria is met;
  • have a second job - unless the migrant was previously on an Intra-company Transfer visa or a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long term Staff visa;
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as “indefinite leave to remain”).

We also provide assistance in obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and citizenship in the following countries:

Ask us a question!

Please enter your contact details here so that we can contact you.