Innovator Visa ILR

Applicants for ILR (indefinite leave to remain) in the innovator visa category must have continually resided in the UK for at least 3 years immediately prior to application. In determining if an applicant meets this requirement for continuous residency, you must be satisfied that the applicant has not had combined absences from the UK in excess of 180 days in any consecutive 12-month period as set out in Appendix Continuous residence in the Immigration Rules.

Endorsement letter requirement

Where an applicant is making an application for settlement, they must provide an endorsement letter which must confirm all the following:

  • the name of endorsing body
  • the endorsement reference number
  • the date of issue (which must be no more than 3 months before the date of application)
  • the applicant’s name, date of birth, nationality and passport number
  • a short description of the applicant’s business venture and the products or services it provides (or will provide) to its customers
  • the name and contact details of an individual at the endorsing body who can verify the contents of the letter to the Home Office
  • the applicant has shown significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in their previous endorsement
  • the applicant’s business is registered with Companies House and the applicant is listed as a director or member of that business
  • the business is active and trading
  • the business appears to be sustainable for at least the following 12 months based on its assets and expected income, weighted against its current and planned expenses

Settlement success criteria

Endorsing bodies must also confirm in their endorsement letter that an applicant has achieved at least 2 of the following:

  • at least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering the business plan
  • the number of the business’s customers has at least doubled within the most recent 3 years and is currently higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable main products or services
  • the business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK
  • the business has generated a minimum annual revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts
  • the business is generating a minimum annual revenue of £500,000 in the last full year covered by its accounts, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas
  • the business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for settled workers
  • the business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for settled workers Each job must have an average salary of at least £25,000 a year (gross pay, excluding any expenses)

An applicant cannot meet the above requirements by relying on the same criterion twice (for example, an applicant who has invested £100,000 (2 x £50,000) in their business venture will be considered to have met one criterion, not two).

Innovator teams

Applicants do not need to be the sole founders of their businesses. Whilst multiple innovators in the same company can receive endorsements each applicant must have been endorsed for achievements in their own right. Where there are multiple innovators endorsed on the basis of the same company, the settlement criteria relied upon must have been multiplied by the number of innovators associated with the business.

Contact our Innovator Visa Settlement Team

For expert advice and assistance with an application for settlement as an Innovator, contact our business immigration advisers in London on 0203 909 8399 or via our inquiry form .

For further help or information Get In Touch

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