PERSONAL IMMIGRATION LAW
INNOVATORS & INVESTORS
Replacing the old Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is the Innovator Visa which allows applicants from outside of the United Kingdom to enter / remain in this country if they want to set up a business in the United Kingdom.
The current eligibility requirements are:
- You must be at least 18 years old;
- You must have at least £50,000 in investments funds unless your business is already established and was endorsed for an earlier visa or you have changed your business, and this has been agreed with an endorsing body;
- In terms of getting an endorsement for your business idea, you cannot join or investment in a business that is already trading, your business idea must be original and innovative (i.e. it is different from anything else on the market) and your business must be viable with the potential for growth;
- You must genuinely intend to undertake and be capable of undertaking such work or business activity as stated in your application;
- You must meet the English language requirement which is CEFR Level B2 equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking;
- In terms the maintenance requirement, you must have £945 of available funds for yourself and £630 for each dependant.
The new innovator visa is issued for period of three years after which it can lead to settlement / indefinite leave to remain. This category permits individuals with family members including partners and children under 18 to have those family members accompany / join them in the United Kingdom.
In more detail, the innovator visa is designed for new businesses or, if the business does already exist, one that has not yet started trading. There are no restrictions on the sector in which your business can operate so long as it satisfies the criteria above.
The broad categories above are, as is always the case with the Immigration Rules, subject to exceptions depending on the exact circumstances of your business. SMA will be happy to advise you in relation to your application and put forward a competitive package to assist you.
SMA solicitors are poised to help clients seeking leave enter as investors under the Tier 1 category. The route requires you, as an investor, to show that you have access to £2,000,000 to be invested into the United Kingdom. In addition, the following criteria applies:
- You must be aged 18 or over;
- You must be able to prove that the money belongs to you, your spouse, unmarried or same-sex partner;
- You must have opened an accountant at a UK-regulated bank to use for your funds;
- Your funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions;
- You must have either held the funds for two years or be able to show how you obtained them;
- The money must be disposable / free to spend in the United Kingdom but it can be overseas at the time of the application.
This route of the Immigration Rules provides the ability to settled in the United Kingdom with indefinite leave to remain in as little as 2 years if the investment is upped to £10 million, 3 years for £5 million and 5 years for £2 million.
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