Innovator Visa UK

If you are a Bangladeshi citizen looking to set up an innovative business in the UK, then the Innovative Founder Visa may be the ideal pathway for you.

For more information about this unique visa and how to apply, reach out to our team at Total Law. Give us a call at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or use our online chat.

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    Overview of UK Innovator Visa

    The Innovator Visa UK is suitable for overseas entrepreneurs to establish an innovative business in the UK. There are a number of criteria that need to be met in order to be approved for the visa, including endorsement from an approved body.

    It is also key that the business you wish to set up needs to be a new and different enterprise and should not be a common business or service. Recent changes to the Innovator Visa eligibility also mean there is no longer a minimum investment threshold for potential applicants.

    You will need to demonstrate you can finance the business and that your plans are viable and realistic to establish a successful operation in the UK. As the visa holder, you must also be able to provide evidence of your planned day-to-day involvement in the innovative company.

    One of the most attractive elements of the Innovator Founder Visa is that holders can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after three years or alternatively apply to renew the Innovator Visa for a further three years.

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    Eligibility & Requirements Of The UK Founder Innovator Visa


    When applying for the visa it is essential to meet all the requirements otherwise your application will be rejected. When applying from Bangladesh you will must fulfil the following criteria:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have a clean criminal record
    • Be able to meet certain English language proficiency requirements
    • Have access to at least £1,270 for 28 days in the 31 days prior to applying for the visa
    • Have a business that is viable and has the potential to be successful. It must be a new operation and not part of an existing UK company.
    • Your enterprise must be scalable and be able to expand into new international markets as well as create jobs.

    You must submit your application within 3 months of being endorsed.

    Knowledge of English Requirements

    In most cases, Bangladeshi citizens will need to evidence they meet the English language proficiency requirement by providing one of the following:

    • A passed English language test to show they can speak, read, write, and understand the English language to the B2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
    • Evidence of a degree which was taught mostly in the English language.

    Documents Needed for the Innovator Visa 

    When applying for the Innovator Visa you must ensure you can correctly show you meet the requirements of the visa and this is done by submitting paperwork. It is important to provide all the requested documents otherwise it could lead to delays in processing and even possible rejection.

    Bangladeshi citizens should provide the following as part of their Innovator Visa application:

    • Valid passport or travel document. There must be at least one blank page for the visa stamp
    • Biometric data such as fingerprints and photograph
    • An English language test certificate
    • Proof of financial support, such as a bank or savings statement
    • A negative Tuberculosis (TB) test result
    • Letter of endorsement from an approved body
    • A comprehensive business plan, which includes information on the innovative nature of the business as well as evidence of funding

    It is important to ensure all submitted documents are in English or Welsh, if they are not, you should ensure you provide the UK Home Office with certified translated copies.

    Our expert lawyers can guide you through the process of obtaining a UK innovator visa. Contact Us

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      When Does An Innovator Founder Visa Expire?

      In most cases, a UK Innovator Visa is issued for three years when you apply from Bangladesh or switch to another visa while in the UK.

      You are required to show that you are continuing to make progress with your business in a meeting with your endorsement body after the first and second years. If your endorsement is withdrawn then your visa could be revoked and you would need to leave the UK or apply again for endorsement.

      It is possible to apply to extend the Innovator Visa after three years. You will need to continue to meet the criteria of the visa and you can also renew if you wish to set up another innovative company in the UK.

      Under the Innovator Visa rules, it is also possible to apply for settlement in the UK after the first three years expire.

      Restrictions of the Innovator Visa

      The issuing of an Innovator Visa allows you to carry out a number of activities while in the UK such as:

      • Setting up and operating a new business.
      • Undertake skilled work outside the business and not related to the business
      • Be linked to your company business as a self-employed business partnership member or director.
      • Travel overseas and re-enter the UK without restrictions.
      • Bring immediate dependents
      • After three years in the UK, apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain

      The Innovator Visa does not allow you to:

      • Be employed in the professional sports sector
      • Access public funds such as a state pension or benefits

      How to Apply for an Innovator Visa


      When applying for an Innovator Visa you should make sure to follow the process carefully to avoid any mistakes and possible rejection of your application.

      The most crucial step is to ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements before applying for the visa. One of the most vital parts of your application is to include a detailed and comprehensive UK Innovator Visa business plan.

      At Total Law we can help provide support in creating your plan and ensure it meets all the requirements needed to result in an approved Innovator Visa.

      Apply for an Endorsement

      You are required to submit your comprehensive business plan to a relevant endorsing body. This body will then assess your business plans to determine if they meet the key factors of being innovative, viable and scalable.

      The endorsing body will also carry out checks to assess whether you, as the applicant, are suitably qualified to be given the endorsement. This will include looking at your skills, qualifications and your history of company ownership.

      If successful, a letter confirming your endorsement should be issued within two weeks to one month.

      Submit Your Visa Application

      Once you have been given the endorsement letter and gathered other supporting documentation, you can then apply online for a UK Innovator Founder Visa.

      You will also prove your identity as part of the Innovator Founder visa application process. This can be done via the UK Immigration: ID Check app or at your local Visa Application Center in Bangladesh.

      After submitting your application and proving your identity, you will need to pay all the relevant application costs to have your application processed by the Home Office.

      If your application for the visa is successful, then you will have up to three years in the UK to establish your new business. You should not make plans to travel to the UK until your visa has been approved.

      Our legal team has helped hundreds of cases secure a Innovator Founder Visa. Let us help you too! Contact Us

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        Cost of Applying For Innovator Founder Visa

        The required amount of money you will pay to obtain a UK Innovator Founder visa depends on where you are applying from.

        If you’re applying from Bangladesh (first-time application), you are required to pay £1,191 and pay £19.20 for your biometric information collection. However, if you are applying from within the UK to renew or switch to the Innovator Founder Visa, you will need to pay £1,486.

        You must also have at least £1,270 in your bank account for a consecutive 28 days. Besides that, there are other fees you may pay when applying, including:

        • Endorsement fee
        • Legal fees
        • Consular fees
        • Translation fees (to translate your documents to English or Welsh)
        • Healthcare surcharge.

        Note that each dependent (family member) must pay a separate application fee to join you in the UK on the Innovator Founder visa.

        When applying for an Innovator Founder visa, you will need to pay the healthcare surcharge to access the UK’s National Health Service while in the UK.

        This cost is currently £624 per year and needs to be paid before arriving in the country. It is expected the annual healthcare surcharge will rise substantially in 2024.

        For more information regarding the cost of applying for a  UK Innovator Founder visa and the latest updates, please contact our immigration lawyers at Total Law. The team is ready to help you, call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.

        UK Innovator Visa Processing Time

        Once you have submitted your application for the visa, provided all required documents, verified your identity and paid the associated costs, then you can expect to hear a decision within three weeks if applying from outside the UK.

        If applying from within the UK if you are switching from another visa then it could take up to eight weeks to be told a decision.

        To avoid any lengthy delays it is important to submit a correctly completed form and respond quickly to any requests from the Home Office for further information about your request.

        Rejected for an Innovator Founder Visa

        There are other options available if you have been rejected for an Innovator Visa or you do not meet the criteria for the visa.

        One of the popular alternatives for entrepreneurs applying from Bangladesh is the Self-Sponsorship route.

        While not a visa, it does allow business owners to combine a Skilled Worker Visa and a Worker Sponsor Licence to run a company in the UK.

        This option does not require an endorsement and means the company you plan to establish does not need to meet the eligibility criteria of the Innovator Visa. This can make it a more straightforward visa to apply for.

        However, you will need to factor in the costs associated with obtaining a Sponsor Licence for your business and the ongoing need to comply with Home Office immigration laws.

        The Skilled Worker Visa route does not allow for an Indefinite Leave to Remain status until the holder has been a resident in the UK for five years.

        For more information on how to obtain a Skilled Worker Visa and the process of applying for a Worker Sponsor Licence, reach out to Total Law for advice and support if you opt for this route.

        Bringing Dependants With You on an Innovator Visa

        It is possible to bring family members with you to the UK on an Innovator Visa. Your partner and children will need to apply as dependents and there will be costs associated with their application.

        If their application is approved, their visa will usually end on the same date as your Innovator Visa.

        A qualifying dependant partner or child must be one of the following:

        • your husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried partner
        • your child under 18  including if they were born in the UK during your stay
        • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as your dependant

        You’ll need to provide evidence of the qualifying relationship as part of the application process. If you have questions regarding your dependent’s eligibility then reach out to the team at Total Law for help and advice.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        There is little doubt making an application for the Innovator Founder Visa can appear overwhelming, especially given the need for extensive supporting documents, a comprehensive business plan and an official endorsement.

        However, our experienced team at Total Law are on hand to provide extensive support to help ensure you submit your application with the correct paperwork for a successful outcome.

        Our lawyers have a great Innovator Visa success rate and can provide a bespoke experience so that their advice is tailored to your business concept. Even if you aren’t eligible we can offer support for an alternative route to setting up your company in the UK.

        For more information about applying for an Innovator visa UK from Bangladesh, or the other immigration services we offer, reach out to Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or use our online chat service.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Recent changes means that applications for the Innovator Visa do not need to show they are able to make a minimum investment of £50,000. However, applicants must be able to show they can set up a viable company and have enough money to support themselves in the UK.

                  You must be at least 18 years of age when applying for the UK Innovator Visa.