Are you an aspiring entrepreneur with innovative business ideas? Do you dream of launching a successful startup in the United Kingdom (UK)? If so, the UK Innovator Founder Visa may be the perfect opportunity for you to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality and provide you and your family with a fast-track route to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

Launched by the UK Government on the 13th April 20231, the UK Innovator Founder Visa is a unique immigration route designed for entrepreneurs who have innovative business ideas and are ready to establish their startups in the UK. This visa category aims to attract exceptional entrepreneurial talent from around the world and promote innovation and economic growth in the UK.

If you are interested in applying for the UK Innovator Founder Visa, here is an overview of the process and requirements to help you get started.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the UK Innovator Founder Visa, you must meet certain criteria, including:

  1. Innovation: You must have a genuine, original, and innovative business idea that has the potential for growth and success in the UK market.
  2. Experience: You must have relevant business experience and demonstrate the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to execute your business idea successfully. You must be able to show that you have the necessary funds to invest in your business and support yourself and any dependents without needing public funds.
  3. English Language Proficiency: You must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English to a sufficient level, which is usually equivalent to a minimum of CEFR level B2.
  4. Endorsement: You must be endorsed by an approved endorsing body that believes your business idea is innovative, viable, and scalable.

Application Process

The application process for the UK Innovator Founder Visa involves several steps, including:

  1. Endorsement: The first step is to secure an endorsement from an approved endorsing body. You must submit a detailed business plan, financial projections, and other supporting documents to demonstrate the innovative nature, viability and scaleability of your business idea. If your business idea is endorsed, you will receive an endorsement letter, which is a mandatory requirement for your visa application.
  2. Visa Application: Once you have received an endorsement, you can proceed with your visa application. You will need to complete an online application form, pay the application fee, and provide supporting documents, such as your endorsement letter, evidence of your funds, and English language proficiency. You may also need to attend an interview or provide additional documents, as requested by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
  3. Health and Character Requirements: You must also meet the health and character requirements for the visa, which includes undergoing a tuberculosis (TB) test and providing a police clearance certificate from your country of residence. If you have a criminal record or pose a threat to national security, your visa application may be refused.
  4. Decision and Biometric Enrolment: Once your visa application is processed, you will receive a decision from the UKVI. If your visa is granted, you will be issued a biometric residence permit (BRP) which contains your personal details and immigration conditions. You must collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

Benefits of visa approval

Once the visa is approved you will be granted a visa for three years and will be able to move to the UK and establish the business. If the business is successful, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK in three years and citizenship after having been in the UK for five years.

Should you decide to come on board with us at HLG we will go through each step of the process on your behalf whilst keeping you updated each step of the way and should you have any queries regarding the UK Innovator Founder Visa, we are on hand to answer these in a timely manner.


1. New UK Innovator Founder Visa -

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.