UK Innovator Visa

Why choose the UK Innovator Visa to open your business in the UK? Image: AdobeStock

Why choose the UK Innovator Visa to open your business in the UK?

The UK Innovator Visa targets entrepreneurs with skills and experience relevant to an investment in the innovative business environment.

UK Innovator Visa

Why choose the UK Innovator Visa to open your business in the UK? Image: AdobeStock

The UK Government is increasingly looking to encourage entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas to come to the UK. They have subsequently developed a very advantageous immigration route for entrepreneurs and innovators, the UK Innovator Visa. 

The UK Government will broaden the scope of the UK Innovator Visa in the British Autumn of 2022. The reasoning behind this is to provide alternatives to investment-related migration. However, the UK Government made it clear that they aim to target entrepreneurs with skills and experience relevant to an investment in the innovative business environment.  

Breytenbachs are excited about the coming changes, as we believe this will also open the route for those looking for investment-related migration routes. 

What are the advantages of the UK Innovator Visa?

1. Created especially for Entrepreneurs and Innovators 

The UK Government created the UK Innovator Immigration Route for genuine entrepreneurs and innovators. Entrepreneurs and Innovators with an innovative business or business idea different from what is available in the UK Market will find that this immigration route will suit their entrepreneurial spirit!

2. Invaluable support from Endorsing Bodies 

Before proceeding with the visa application, a UK endorsing body must assess your business or business idea. Many of the endorsing bodies commit to mentor and support the business during the first three years of operation in the UK. This support is invaluable for even the most experienced entrepreneurs who start a new business in the UK market.

3. Wide Scope of Endorsing Bodies to fit your Business Idea 

There are endorsing bodies to cover all the different business sectors. Prospective applicants are often unsure whether their business or business idea will qualify. However, the scope of the endorsing bodies is very wide. Some endorsing bodies cover only certain sectors. Others cover very specific sectors: legal, cybersecurity, fintech, hygiene, life sciences, foods, materials, retail, science, infrastructure, education, fashion and many more. Breytenbachs have a good relationship with many of the endorsing bodies and will connect applicants to the most relevant one for your business idea.

4. Relatively Low Investment Funds 

If you are setting up a new business, you will have to show that you have investment funds of at least £50,000. This is a relatively low investment funds requirement. However, should you not have access to investment funds, you can opt to apply for the UK Start-up Visa. Although it is a temporary visa, it will also provide you with an immigration route to start a business in the UK. 

5. No Involvement of a UK Employer 

With the UK Innovator Visa, you do not need the involvement of a UK employer. You can focus on getting your new and innovative business up and running without an employer’s involvement. 

6. Freedom to work in and on your own business 

The UK Innovator visa will allow you to set up one or several businesses. You can work for your own business as a director. You can also be in self-employment as a member of a business partnership. 

7. Your dependants can apply to accompany you to the UK

The Home Office classify dependants as anyone of the following persons: your wife, husband, civil partner or unmarried partner; children under the age of 18; and children older than 18 years of age, if they are currently in the UK as your dependants.

Your successful dependants will receive a visa with leave to remain in the UK for the same period you have to leave in the UK. 

8. Early Settlement in the UK 

One of the biggest advantages of the UK Innovator Visa is that it can lead to early settlement in the UK. You may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after only three years on this visa. 

9. No maximum limit on your stay on the UK Innovator Visa 

It is also possible to extend your visa for three more years, should you not qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain after three years. There is no maximum limit a person can spend in this visa category. However, it will be best to apply for ILR as soon as one qualifies.

10. Breytenbachs will be there to help you every step of the way!

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants have a team of highly experienced consultants dealing with visas in the UK Business Immigration Routes. They have the necessary experience and know-how to assist you every step of the way. Your Breytenbachs consultant will also be able to introduce you to the most suitable endorsing body for your unique circumstances. 

Our consultants will guide innovators through the endorsement process, visa application, and eventual application for British citizenship. Contact us today for advice or to proceed with your application.

Contacting Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants 

If you have any queries on the UK Innovator Visa or would like to discuss any UK immigration issues, please email Breytenbachs at or visit our website at

You can also phone your nearest Breytenbachs on the following numbers: Durban – 031 880 2777, Cape Town – 021 879 0969 or Pretoria – 012 460 9959, or our London office at +44 207 442 2160.

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes without any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. 

ALSO READ: Ten Reasons to consider the UK Start-up Visa to set up your business in the UK!