UK Innovator Visa for Entrepreneurs opens for Applications

The Home office has confirmed the official opening of the UK Innovator visa for applications. This follows the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa closure on March 29, 2019.

While outlining a lot of changes to the Immigration rules in the UK, the new UK Innovator visa was announced on March 7, 2019. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is replaced with this Visa route – Innovator Visa. This visa is described as “a path for more experienced businesses in the UK. Candidates will have innovative, practical and scalable business ideas which are supported by an endorsing body. With some concessions, candidates will have the finance to invest in their businesses. This route may lead to settlement in the UK.”

The UK government believes that this visa will enhance the growth of the economy mostly in the tech sector of the country.

A report from Cambridge Network states that most of the applications will be sent in by the tech companies and this is an excellent development as this will help boost the growth of the country’s economy.

UK Innovator Guidance only for Endorsing Bodies

It is not known if the guidance notes will be available for potential applicants, but it will definitely be available for endorsing bodies.

Appendix W of the government’s UK Immigration rules will provide more information on the innovator visa.

One of the requirements for this visa application is the assessment of applicants’ business idea(s) by an endorsing body, approved by the government.

Also, there’s no rule that restricts the Withdrawal of endorsement by an endorsing body, and this will prevent some applicants from gaining the UK’s Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Limited Number of UK Innovator Endorsement Places

According to the guidance notes, each endorsing body will be allocated 25 places. However, the number of allocations may be reduced.

Based on this 25 places allocations, innovator visas to be granted yearly will be 600 due to the available endorsing bodies which are 24 in number, with 25 allocates endorsement letters each.

However, the availability of the visa route in fewer numbers has been stipulated in the endorsing bodies’ guidance notes, but under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme, about a thousand visas were yearly granted.

According to a commentary by experts, it is uncertain if the endorsing bodies actually understand or are prepared for this visa route even though theoretically, the path is open to applicants. Tech Nation, an approved Endorsing body, has stated its refusal to endorse till September 2019. However, while some are considering the idea, some are not familiar with the concept; other endorsing bodies are excited to begin endorsement, maybe in a month time.

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