If you’re looking to settle in the UK and are interested in starting up a business or bringing over a unique idea, then you may be interested in either an Innovator Visa or a Start up Visa. While similar in nature, these two visa options appeal to different kinds of people and it’s important to pick the right option to make your visa application much more successful.
So let’s take a look at the differences between the two and identify the target for each one.
What is a Start up Visa?
A Start up Visa is geared towards people that have high potential in the UK with their ideas. This means that you’re not required to have a lot of experience in managing a business, but it certainly helps to know the basics. Start up Visa applications aren’t required to have investment funds available either; as long as you’re ambitious and are interested in growing the UK’s economy, you’ll have a chance of succeeding with a Start up Visa application.
However, you can’t just simply apply for something and talk about your ideas. You need to present a workable business idea and you also need to ensure that you:
- Intend to follow all of the immigration laws with your idea and work in a lawful manner.
- Claim any money that you have and put it towards the business idea.
- Are genuinely interested in turning your idea into a fully-fledged business.
If you satisfy these requirements, then you’ll have a great chance of being accepted for a Start up Visa. However, this is the shorter visa of the two, allowing you to stay in the UK for just two years. You’ll be unable to extend this once it comes to an end, but you’ll be given the option to switch to an Innovator Visa.
What is an Innovator Visa?
An Innovator Visa replaces the older Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa that used to exist. This is essentially aimed at people that already have a lot of business experience and are looking to start a business venture in the United Kingdom.
There are a couple of requirements in order to be eligible for an Innovator Visa:
- You’ll need to have a reasonable business idea.
- You’ll need to have capital available for your idea.
- You’ll need a scalable idea that can grow and create jobs to empower the industry.
- You’ll need a viable idea that is relevant to your skills and experience.
- You’ll need an endorsement from an endorsing body that has written a detailed letter on your business proposal to the Home Office.
- You’ll need £50,000 worth of investment funds.
An Innovator Visa is a lot more demanding since you need to show more proof of your ability to create and manage a business. This is a lengthier visa, giving you up to three years of leave in the UK. You can extend this visa indefinitely as long as you continue to meet the criteria. After five years, you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as well.