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Aspects of the UK Innovator Visa

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  2. Aspects of the UK Innovator Visa

Today, I am going to discuss some aspects of the UK Innovator Visa that I often get asked about. One question that people frequently ask me is which business or area their business idea should relate to.

A lot of people think the idea needs to be something high-tech or technical, but that's not correct. It can be anything and can be the most obvious improvement of an existing idea. To give you an example, suppose you take this car and you find a new way of fuelling the motorcar. So instead of petrol, it runs on electricity or some form of electricity to propel it forward. In other words, your idea, your invention if it works can simply be the improvement of an existing idea. You do not have to reinvent the wheel.

And it does not need to be scientific, it could be artistic. One of the first ideas for which we got an innovator visa for a client was an online platform to promote African art. So that's just an illustration of how you do not need to focus entirely on pure technical advances.

Another question we get asked is, can I bring my family with me? And the answer is, yes. Your wife or your husband, and children under the age of 18, can come with you as well. So the whole family can come to the UK. One of the interesting things we always like to look at is the spouse, be it the husband or the wife, what are their qualifications? What is their experience? Are there any particular visas that might suit them that would add credibility and weight to the visa you're applying for?

Another question asked is about employees? Would I need to employ people? And the answer is, if you wish to gain permanent residency in a three-year period? Yes, you would. And there are certain requirements for that, which would be a topic for another day. Certainly, the terms on which you would employ people the amount you would pay them. These are all things that need advice from someone with knowledge of employment law. And we do not simply advise on immigration, we cover the full range of advice to businesses generally.

Another question we get asked is how much time does it take to get your Innovator visa? The answer is that most endorsement bodies will give you a decision now within, let's say, a month of your submitting the documents they require. But then you've got to get the Home Office to approve it as well. You would expect to hear from them within four to six weeks but it can also take an unknown period of time. Now because of extraneous issues, such as the problems in Ukraine, the delivery times are being extended. So you would need to consider how long the overall process may take.

And finally, we consider another key point, how much money would you actually need in order to be convincing and credible, which is a key test in your application? Well, a frequent mistake made by people is about finding the £50,000. It doesn't need to be your own money. It can be anybody's money. That is sufficient.

Well, the bad news is that if your business plan shows that your company cannot function successfully with such a small amount of money, and certainly in the UK it's an incredibly low amount, then your business plan will fail on grounds of viability. So £50,000 may be sufficient in most cases but if it isn’t, the endorsing body will want to see evidence that you have access to additional funds. That is necessary so that your business plan appears credible.

So these are a few issues which we often get asked about. I hope this has been helpful. If you think we can help you in other ways, do contact us by all means. You will find our details on our website.

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