(Former “Entrepreneur visa”)

UK Innovator Visa

visas completed

success rate

The main applicant can obtain permanent residence in the third year

GBP 50,000 investment amount

Compared with other Visa programs, if the applicants fulfill the requirement of the Innovator Visa, they can apply for permanent residence in 3 years, which is two years faster than other visa categories.

Introduction to the Innovator Visa

The Innovator visa is for applicants who are interested in starting an innovative business in the UK. Applicants can apply individually or in a team of two. Each applicant has to invest at least £50,000, and can fast-track to apply permanent residence after three years.


  • Main applicant is 18 years old or above;
  • Spouse and children under 18 can apply together

Conditions of Innovator visa application

Financial requirements

Applicants need to hold a cash deposit of at least £50,000 (equivalent to approx. HKD$ 500,000) and prove that funds can be transferred to the UK freely.

Applicants can choose to apply as an individual or a team. If the application is made as a team, each main applicant needs to hold at least £50,000, which is a total of £100,000 for two applicants.

In addition, each main applicant needs to hold £945 for living expenses, and each family member needs to have £630 for living expenses. The deposit period is 90 days.

Business plan

Applicants need to have an innovative, viable, and scalable business plan, with an Endorsement letter obtained through an Endorsing body to support the application. 

There are over 40 authorized institutions of the UK Home Office, which are divided into three categories: Local UK banks, venture capital companies, and technology research and development companies. Some institutions have their preferred designated areas and  industries.

English requirement

If the applicant holds a UK degree or above (ie. Degree/Master/PHD, please note that Diploma or Associate Degree is not recognised), they only need to submit their UK degree certificate to meet the English requirement.

If the applicant holds a degree issued by a university based outside the UK, they will need to provide certificates and transcripts, along with university letters to prove that the degree is taught in English, then apply to UK NARIC to confirm that the degree is equivalent to a UK degree or above .

If applicant does not have the above academic qualifications, they will need to meet the CEFR level B2,  they can apply for IELTS for UKVI (General Training) exam and score 5.5 points in each of the four exam papers for listening, speaking, reading and writing. The certificate is valid for two years.

Permanent residence requirements

The main applicant will be granted a three-year visa after the first application. The endorsing body will closely monitor the applicant’s business progress during the three-year period, and will conduct assessments in the 6th, 12th and 24th month to confirm whether the applicant’s progress in the business. 

If the applicant meets any two of the following seven requirements within three years, they can apply for permanent residence:

  1. Invest at least £50,000 in the business
  2. The number of customers has tripled in the last three years and is higher than the average number of customers of local companies in the UK
  3. Engaged in significant research and development projects and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK
  4. Total annual revenue for the last fiscal year reached £1 million 
  5. The total annual revenue in the last financial year reached £500,000 of which at least £100,000 was for export overseas business
  6. Create at least 10 jobs for British Citizens or permanent residents
  7. Create at least 5 jobs for British Citizens or permanent residents with an annual salary of at least £25,000.

Residence requirements

  • For applying permanent residence, the applicant and spouse must not have left the UK for more than 180 days for any 12 months during the 5 year period. 
  • For applying British citizenship, each applicant must not leave the UK for more than 450 days during the last five years before applying for Citizenship, and no more than 90 days away from the UK in the last 12 months. 

Application Highlight


The key to the first visa application

Although the UK Home Office does not have any industry restrictions, the key to the entire visa application program is whether the applicant can obtain the Endorsement letter through an endorsing body, and fulfill its specific requirements.

The key to permanent residence application

If the applicants fail to meet two of the seven requirements within three years, they may consider applying visa extension and obtain a three-year visa until the applicants can meet the relevant requirements before applying for permanent residency.

Visa application process

Provide free phone preliminary consultation, assess the applicant’s background and answer related questions
Arrange a face-to-face consultation to discuss the  business plans and provide relevant immigration information
Document preparation – business plan, legal documents, training for Immigration interview and select the most suitable endorsing body based on the applicant’s industry background
Once the preparation is completed, we can submit the application form and documents  to the UK Immigration Department. Normal approval time is 15 working days, priority application is 5 working days
The initial visa is valid for 3 years. Applicants must land in the UK within 90 days after visa approval

Application fee

  • Visa fee: £1,021 per applicant
  • NHS: £624 per year for each adult applicant; £470 per year for child applicant 

Frequently Asked Question

Please see the below website for endorsing bodies: 

It usually takes 3-6 months for preparation, from having the business idea to ​​put together a business proposal, from submitting the proposal to the appropriate Endorsement body to issuing the Endorsement letter, and then applying for the visa.

We can assist with your Innovator visa application and our service include:

  • Full guidance and support throughout the application
  • Case analysis and planning to identify legal basis of application
  • Preparing a business plan to demonstrate that you fully understand your business and industry in the UK
  • Provide you with a list of documents required for your application
  • Drafting personal statement and relevant legal declations to explain your background and circumstances 
  • Preparation for interview – Preparing, rehearsing and equipping you for a successful interview;
  • Completion of application forms and upload of documents
  • Liaising with the UK Visa and Immigration Department on your behalf
  • Referral service for property rental and purchase, education consultancy for independent schools, UK tax and accountancy advice, shipping and relocation, pet immigration services.