Start up and Innovator Visas

Start up and Innovator Visas

The Start Up and Innovator Visas

 

Starting a new business can be very stressful. Leaving your job to start a business in another country is a big step to take. Here at Goodwyn Herrera Solicitors, we assist you through each step of the process, take care of your start up visa application and help you secure an endorsement letter.

 

Background

The Start Up and Innovator visas replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa in March 2019. The new visas mean that any business idea must be endorsed by an approved organisation as listed by the Home Office.

All of the Home Office approved Start Up Endorsing Bodies can be found on the Home Office’s website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/endorsing-bodies-start-up/start-up.

The Innovator Visa endorsing bodies can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/endorsing-bodies-innovator/innovator-endorsing-bodies.

The purpose of the new process was to help attract the best business ideas and ambitious people wanting to set up businesses within the UK with the hope of growing the UK economy.

 

Endorsement Letter

Here at Goodwyn Herrera Solicitors, our Specialist Business Consultants will work with you to review your professional background and eligibility for the endorsement letter.

We will discuss your business plan to ensure you are eligible enough to be successful when applying. This is the time where you can ask questions and explore alternative options which may be more suitable for your particular case.

Stage 1 – Business Proposal

The first stage in obtaining a Start-Up or Innovator visa is to ensure the business proposal is a new idea that meets the Home Office’s requirements:

  • Innovation: You must have an authentic and original business plan that meets the needs of the UK’s new or existing market, or creates a competitive advantage.
  • Viability: You must have the ability to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and experience that is required to successfully run the proposed business.
  • Scalability: You must be able to provide evidence that the business has structure and the potential for growth, including job creation.
  • Investment: While there is no specific requirement for a start-up business to have secured investment, they will consider a company without investment to be less viable. There is a requirement for an innovator visa application to have access to £50,000 for investment.

Our Business Consultants at Goodwyn Herrera Solicitors will work with you to ensure a business plan that will be acceptable to the endorsement body.

Stage 2 – Endorsement Letter

The endorsing body will review your business proposal and decide whether it is suitable and fulfils the tests set out in the Immigration Rules. The endorsing body will also ensure that you do not have an existing business in the UK.

Here at Goodwyn Herrera Solicitors, we will analyse your business plan and match you with a suitable endorsement body.  We will get the endorsement letter for you.

Once approved, it is the endorsement body will maintain contact with you.

Stage 3 – Credibility

You will then be invited to attend a credibility interview to ensure that your business is genuine. At this stage, you would need to prove to that Home Office that you:

  • Are both capable and serious about running the proposed business. The endorsing body will take into account your work history, education and immigration history and any declarations made to other government departments (such as HMRC) regarding previous roles.
  • Do not intend to breach immigration law.
  • Intend to make sure that investment money shown will be used as described in your application for endorsement letter.

 

FAQs

1. Can my family join me in my application for Start Up or Innovator Business Visa in the UK?

Dependent family members can apply with you on a Start-Up and Innovator Visa. You will have to show that you can support them financially, and pay an additional home office application fee for each dependent. Our solicitors at Goodwyn Herrera Solicitors can help you with this.

 

2. If my Business is unsuccessful, will I be able to switch to any another visa in the UK?

You can switch from Start-Up or Innovator visa to a Student or Skilled Worker Visa.

Once the Start-Up Visa has been completed, you can also switch to an Innovator Visa to extend your stay for a further 3 years.

 

3. Will I be able to work once the Start Up or Innovator visa is granted?

On a Start-Up Visa, you will be allowed to work in another job as well as work for your own business. Some types of employment are restricted for those on a Start-Up visa. For example, you will be unable to work as a doctor or dentist in training or work as a professional sportsperson.

On the Innovator Visa, you can set up a business or several businesses. You can also work for your own business. However you are not permitted to undertake any employment in the UK under this visa.

 

4. How long can we stay once the Start Up or Innovator visa is granted?

Your visa will be granted for 2 years on the Start Up Visa, and 3 years on the Innovator Visa.

 

5. What happens when the Start Up or Innovator Visa expires?

Once you have been successfully granted the Start-Up visa, you will be able to remain in the UK for two years. At the end of the two years, you will be expected to switch to the Innovator visa if you wish to remain in the UK to manage your business.

For the Innovator Visa, you will be expected to apply to extend the visa before the end of the 3 years, after which you can apply for the right to stay in the United Kingdom permanently, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain.

 

6. How long will the Home Office take to reach a decision?

As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents at a Home Office Visa Centre in your country of residence. You may need to allow extra time if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need an appointment when we start your application.

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within:

  • 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
  • 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

If you need to go to an appointment, you may be able to pay for a faster decision. Contact us for more information.

 

7. How much will the Start-Up Visa Application cost?

The Home Office fee is currently £363 for each applicant and an additional £363 for each dependant, if you are applying from outside the UK. The fee is £493 for each applicant and £493 for each dependant if applying from within the UK.

The Home Office also requires you to pay the UK Immigration Healthcare Surcharge as part of the application, which is around £624 per year for the applicant and each dependent.

Most solicitors, including Goodwyn Herrera Solicitors who can get the endorsement letter, charge between £4500 to £6500 for securing the endorsement letter and preparing the application.

 

8. How much will the Innovator Visa Application cost?

The Home Office fee is currently £1021  for each applicant and an additional £1021 for each dependant, if you are applying from outside the UK. The fee is £1277 for each applicant and £1277 for each dependant if applying from within the UK.

The Home Office also requires you to pay the UK Immigration Healthcare Surcharge as part of the application, which is around £624 per year for the applicant and each dependent.

Most solicitors, including Goodwyn Herrera Solicitors who can get the endorsement letter, charge between £4500 to £7500 for securing the endorsement letter and preparing the application.

 

Get in touch with us now to discuss the immigration business visa and ways to bring your business to the UK.

Get in touch with us

At Goodwyn Herrera we are experienced in providing employment law advice to businesses. Our clear and practical advice is designed with your business success and commercial objectives in mind. If you would like to speak to an expert employment solicitor, call us on 020 8187 6495 or email us at enquiries@gwhsolicitors.co.ukto make a free no-obligation enquiry.