UK Innovator Founder Visa from Pakistan

Pakistani citizens who want to establish an innovative business in the UK can obtain a UK Innovator Founder visa. Your business must be different from what is already obtainable in the market.

If you need more clarifications about the UK Innovator Founder visa, its eligibility requirements, how to apply or other services we offer, Total Law can help. Call us today on 0333 305 9375 or message us online.

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    UK Innovator Visa Overview

    The UK Innovator Founder visa is designed for Pakistani and other non-UK entrepreneurs to enter the UK and establish an innovative business. Before you are allowed to set up this business, it must be approved by an endorsing body.

    The business you intend to establish in the UK with the Innovator Founder visa needs to be different from what is already available in the market. As of April 13, 2023, entrepreneurs holding this visa are no longer mandated to have a minimum investment threshold of up to £50,000.

    However, you must still prove to the endorsing body that you have enough finances to fund the business as it matures. That being said, you must also prove to the endorsing body that your business is scalable and viable.

    The company idea has to have come from you, or you should have contributed heavily to it and partake significantly in the daily operations of running the business. You must have a business plan that has been approved by the endorsing organisation to support your planned venture.

    The Innovator Founder visa typically has a 3-year validity period, after the expiration of the visa, you can qualify to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. You will be permitted to bring your dependents into the UK via this visa, and they too can obtain ILR when they remain in the country for 5 years and meet other requirements.

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    Eligibility Criteria for Innovator Visa UK

    Overview

    Pakistani entrepreneurs who intend to establish an innovative business in the UK are required to fulfil some eligibility requirements. They include:

    • You must be 18 years old or above.
    • You should have no criminal record.
    • You should meet the English language requirements.
    • You must have a minimum savings of up to £1,270 for 28 days in a row in your account.
    • You should be applying for the Innovator Founder visa within 3 months of receiving the endorsement letter.
    • Your business must be original and different from what already exists in the market (Innovative).
    • You cannot partner with a company that is already in operation.
    • Your business must be viable and have growth prospects.
    • Your business must be scalable. To prove this, you must present proof of plans that involve expanding into domestic and foreign markets and creating jobs.

    Required Documents

    You are required to provide certain documents to apply for the Innovator Founder visa. They include:

    • English language test result.
    • A valid Pakistani international passport or travel document to show your identity. It must have a blank page wherein your visa sticker will be affixed.
    • Bank statements or other proof of sufficient funds.
    • Biometric details for your Biometric Residence Permit.
    • Tuberculosis test results.

    Include the following for your business:

    • Letter of endorsement.
    • Evidence of investment and maintenance funds.
    • A well-detailed business plan.

    Engage the services of a certified translator to translate documents in a foreign language (if any) into English. Ensure that your documents are notarised after the translation.

    If You’re Not Eligible for an Innovator Founder Visa

    Should you not meet the eligibility criteria for the UK Innovator Founder visa, you can opt for the Self-Sponsorship route. The Self-Sponsorship route is a combination of both a Skilled Worker visa and a Worker Sponsor Licence application.

    The applicant can establish a UK company, seek a sponsor licence, and then receive a Certificate of Sponsorship to support their Skilled Worker visa with the help of a regulated legal advisor. You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after residing in the UK for up to 5 years.

    By eliminating the need for an endorsing body’s letter of endorsement, self-sponsorship saves a great deal of time and work and eliminates the possibility that the visa may be revoked due to a withdrawn endorsement.

    Furthermore, it is considerably simpler because an applicant’s Self-Sponsorship company need not match the inventive, sustainable, and scalable standards; it can be any type of business.

    While there are high standards for the Self-Sponsorship route, they are often less difficult than those for the Innovator Founder route.

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      How to Apply for an Innovator Founder Visa

      Applicants for a UK Innovator visa from Pakistan need to follow a step-by-step guide to obtain the visa. Below is the guide:

      Step 1. Meet the Eligibility Requirements

      Before you apply for the Innovator Founder visa UK, you must first meet the eligibility criteria. When you are sure you meet the eligibility criteria, you must then create a well-detailed business plan.

      At this stage, you may encounter difficulty in kickstarting your application and even crafting a well-detailed business plan. Do not worry, Total Law can help. Our professional immigration lawyers at Total Law will assist in assessing your situation to know whether you meet all the eligibility criteria to the required standard.

      Our immigration lawyers will also help to assess the concept of your business to ensure that it is truly innovative, viable, scalable and qualified to be presented before Home Office-approved endorsing bodies. Moreso, we can help you craft a comprehensive business plan that meets the expected standard. Contact us today by calling us on 0333 305 9375 or messaging us online.

      Step 2. Apply for an Endorsement

      At this stage, you will submit your well-detailed business plan to a relevant endorsing body. The endorsing body will assess your business concept thoroughly to know whether it is innovative, viable, and scalable.

      Besides that, they will check whether you are qualified to be issued the endorsement under the Innovator Founder visa. They will also check whether you have funded your business through unexplained or illicit wealth.

      Step 3. Receive the Endorsement Letter 

      The endorsing body will issue you an endorsement letter in about 2 weeks to 1 month, if the business you intend to establish meets the criteria.

      Step 4. Submit Your Visa Application

      Upon receiving your business’ endorsement letter, and gathering the required documents, you must then apply online for a UK Innovator Founder visa via a designated form and forward it to the Home Office. This may take up to 2 weeks to complete. You must also prove your identity after submitting your Innovator Founder visa application online.

      You will be informed of the verification method that best suits your case as you can either have your biometric information (fingerprints and photographs) taken at a visa application centre or via the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app to scan your identity documents.

      Step 5. Pay Your Application Fee

      After submitting your application and proving your identity, you are required to pay your application fees to have your application processed by the Home Office.

      Step 6. Obtain a Decision on Your Visa

      You will be allowed to establish your business in the UK for 3 years if your Innovator Founder visa application is successful.

      How Long You Can Stay in the UK With an Innovator Founder Visa

      Overview

      When you obtain the UK Innovator Founder visa, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 3 years whether you are applying from Pakistan or seeking to switch to the visa from within the UK. After 12 and 24 months of obtaining the visa, you are expected to meet with your endorsing body to show the progress you have made with your business so far.

      If your endorsement gets revoked by your endorsing body, your visa may be terminated. For this reason, you must re-apply for a new endorsement to remain longer in the UK before the expiration of your current visa.

      If You Want to Stay Longer in the UK

      Upon the expiration of your Innovator Founder visa, you can apply to extend your stay in the UK for an additional 3 years. You can extend your stay severally.

      For you to extend your stay, you must meet some UK Innovator visa requirements, and currently running your business in the UK, or even want to establish a new business. If you renew your visa, it won’t automatically extend for your spouse or child.

      Their visa will remain valid until its specified expiration date if they choose not to extend it. They may apply at any point before their existing visa expires, or concurrently with you.

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        How Long It Takes to Get Innovator Founder Visa UK

        After applying online for your Innovator Founder visa, having proven your identity and submitted all the required documents, you should expect a decision on your application in about 3 weeks. If you are applying to extend your stay from within the UK, you should expect a decision in 8 weeks.

        Fees for Innovator Founder Visa UK

        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 Pakistan (first-time application), you are required to pay £1,191 and pay £19.20 for your biometric information collection. But if you are applying from within the UK to renew or switch to the Innovator Founder visa, you will pay £1,486.

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

        • Endorsement fee.
        • Legal fees.
        • Consular fees.
        • Translation fees (to translate your documents to English, for documents in another language).
        • 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. For more information regarding the fees you must pay in the course of obtaining your UK Innovator Founder visa and the latest updates, please reach out to one of our immigration lawyers at Total Law. Our immigration lawyers are always ready to help you, call us on 0333 305 9375 or contact us online.

        Requirements for an Innovator Founder Visa UK

        To obtain an Innovator Founder visa in the UK, Pakistani citizens must meet several requirements. More elaborately, the UK Innovator Founder visa requirements include:

        Innovator Founder Visa Financial Requirement

        Pakistani citizens must meet the financial requirement for obtaining a UK Innovator Founder visa by having a minimum of £1,270 for a consecutive 28 days in their bank account.

        The money must be deposited into a cash account and not into an investing account. Obtaining the bank statement is a prerequisite for applying for an Innovator Founder visa. Dated no later than 31 days before the date of your application.

        Knowledge of English Requirements

        Pakistani citizens applying for an Innovator Founder visa are required to meet the English language proficiency requirement. You must:

        • Prove that you can speak, read, write, and understand the English language to the B2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. To prove this, present an English language test.
        • You are from an English-speaking country.
        • You possess a degree which was taught in the English language.

        Healthcare Surcharge

        When applying for your UK Innovator Founder visa online, you are required to pay the healthcare surcharge to access the UK’s National Health Service. The healthcare surcharge fee you must pay is £624 per year, and you are required to pay it via your credit or debit card. If your dependents are also coming to the UK with you, each of them must also pay the healthcare surcharge fee.

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          What You Can and Cannot Do

          When you obtain the Innovator visa UK from Pakistan, you will be permitted to:

          • Establish one or more businesses.
          • Do skilled work outside your business, such as jobs that need a minimum of level 3 qualification.
          • Work for your business in the capacity of a self-employed business partnership member or director.
          • Travel overseas and return to the UK without restrictions.
          • Sponsor your family members (spouse/partner and children) to come and join you in the UK, if they qualify.
          • Apply to remain in the UK indefinitely, provided you have met other requirements.

          You are not permitted to:

          • Do professional sports work, such as a sports coach.
          • Seek the state pension or public funds.

          Note that upon a successful application, you will be issued a complete list of the things you are permitted to do on your UK Innovator Founder visa.

          Indefinite Leave to Remain as an Innovator Founder

          The Innovator Founder visa offers a route to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. You will not be subject to immigration control when you obtain ILR in the UK and after an extra year, you can apply for British citizenship, if you qualify.

          You may qualify to settle in the UK permanently on your Innovator Founder visa provided your innovative business is successful and you meet other requirements. When you run your business for 3 years in the UK, you may then apply for an Innovator Founder visa settlement in the country.

          How Can Total Law Help?

          The Innovator Founder visa application process requires several documents and eligibility requirements. Pakistani citizens applying for this visa must be aware of how crucial it is to meet several requirements and provide all documents to have a successful application.

          Your application must be professionally presented, technically correct and must include all the necessary documents such as a well-detailed business plan. This is why you need to engage the services of our immigration lawyers at Total Law. Our lawyers already know how UK Immigration-related matters work.

          Our immigration lawyers can help assess your business concept, and give you the best tips to obtain an endorsement to kickstart your visa application process. Let us help you establish your business in the UK by being by your side throughout all the UK Innovator Founder visa application stages. For more information about Innovator visa UK from Pakistan, or other services we offer, reach out to us on 0333 305 9375 or message us online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    You are no longer required to have a minimum investment (£50,000) for an Innovator Founder visa. However, you must show that you have at least £1,270 to cover your expenses.

                    Yes, you can establish more than one business with your Innovator Founder visa in the UK.