A new immigration route – the innovator visa – Has been opened by the Home office to substitute Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route. However, the closure of the route should not be a cause for alarm for those individuals who are using the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, as they are still eligible for extension and application for leave to remain indefinitely.
The start-up visa route, alongside the innovator visa, are parts of the new immigration routes which are set to replace the Points Based Immigration System (PBS) in the UK in the future.
How the Visa works
The difference between the previous PBS routes for start-ups and entrepreneurs is the endorsement of applicants’ business(es) or business idea(s) by the approved endorsing bodies.
These bodies perform their operations outside the Home office, and they include; Med City, Royal Bank of Scotland Entrepreneur Accelerator, Zinc, Deep Science Ventures, Invest Northern Ireland, Capital Enterprise, Tech X, the Bakery, Royal Society Edinburgh, Tech Nation amongst others.
However, according to the media, due to unavailability of major necessities, most of the bodies are unable to endorse the applicants, but a speedy change is hopeful.
Applicants are therefore advised to get assistance concerning the endorsement of their business (es) or business idea(s) from Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants.
Also, a non-EEA applicant must have an investment fund of at least of £50,000. However, there is no need for the funds if the business was already endorser for a UK visa earlier and also if it was already established.
For an applicant who is successful, thus visa brings a lot of advantages with it.
- It has a 3 years guarantee and also an extra 3 years extension
- After 5 years, the visa holder is eligible to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the country
- Also, the ability of the holder’s relatives to live and work in the country is also included.
- The visa holder can establish his/her business(es) in the country and be self-employed or as a director.
How to switch to this visa
Switching from other immigration routes to this visa route is possible for non-EU nationals who are currently living in the UK.
The following visa routes are permitted to switch to the innovator visa route by the Home office: Tier 1(Entrepreneur), any of Tier 2 visa routes, Start-up visa and the Tier 1(Graduate Entrepreneur).
Also, holders of the standard visitor visas are also on the permission list provided they came to the UK to acquire funds and a letter from an endorsing body supports it.
However, an applicant is only allowed to apply for the visa from outside the country in cases.
This new immigration route is exciting news for Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants, and it is believed that more opportunities will spring forth for the applicants once the process is straightened.
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