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Tier 1 Innovator Visa

This residency option is open to individuals who wish to set up and run an innovative business in the UK. 


The applicant will need to show that they have the required investment funds to apply for this visa, which will need to be held for a minimum period of three months. In addition, the applicant will need to meet the English Language requirement. This is met in one of three ways: i) by completing an English Language test at B2 level (i.e. IELTS) or ii) holding a degree taught in English at Bachelor's level or higher or iii) being a national of a majority speaking English country (i.e. the majority of the commonwealth countries would fall under this bracket). 


The applicant will also need to show the investment will be made into an innovative business, in that it must be an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market and is viable with potential for growth. The business or business idea will need to be endorsed by an approved body, also known as an endorsing body. The business has to be a start-up company and the applicant cannot join a business that is already trading. The minimum investment amount permitted is £50,000. 


Individuals may think of their own business idea, or alternatively, they may invest in existing business opportunities may or will already have been endorsed by a required endorsement body in the UK. We work with a number of organisations who would be able to assist applicants with introductions to potential investment opportunities. 


The applicant will be able to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residence) after 3 years residence in the UK, provided that the annual turnover of the company that they have invested in is at least £1million in the final year of the 3 years. Alternatively, the Applicant would qualify for ILR if the company employees at least 10 people on the UK national minimum wage OR 5 people on a basic gross salary of £25k per annum.  


The applicant will be able to apply for British citizenship after completing 5 years residence in the UK. Applicants may be joined by their family members (spouse and children under the age of 18), who like the applicants will be able to enjoy full residency rights in the UK (e.g. access to free healthcare, education, unrestricted employment for spouses etc). 

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