Innovator Founder visa

Innovator Founder visa

The Innovator Founder route opened on 13th April 2023, and will replace the Innovator route and Start-up routes. This route is designed for entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the UK, and it is designed to be more welcoming than the previous routes.

Main differences to previous routes

This route removes the £50,000 minimum funds requirement of the previous routes to make it easier for somebody with a genuine proposal for an innovative business and sufficient funds to deliver it. This route also allows for secondary employment if the secondary employment is in skilled roles (at a level not less than RQF level 3).

How long will my Innovator Founder visa last?

Innovator Founder visas are valid for 3 years, after which you can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

The business idea

You must have generated the business idea, or significantly contributed to it and you must play a key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business. Your business idea must be innovative, viable and scalable and you must have a business plan which has been approved by one of following three endorsing bodies:

  • Geminus Innovation
  • Envestors
  • UK Endorsement Services

English language requirement

Innovator Founder Visa applicants must show that they meet the English language requirement at CEFR level B2 in all four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening).


You must have at least £1,270 in your bank for a minimum of 28 days before you apply. If you have been in the UK with a valid visa for 12 months before you apply, you do not need to show any savings.

Can I bring my family to the UK?

Yes. Your partner (if you are unmarried, you must have lived together for 2 years) and your children under 18 can come to the UK with you. If you are already in the UK, your children aged over 18 can remain with you if they are currently in the UK as your dependents.

Your partner and children must have a certain amount of money available to support themselves while they’re in the UK. They will need:

  • £285 for your partner
  • £315 for one child
  • £200 for each additional child

Appeal rights

There is no full right of appeal if an Innovator Founder application is refused, instead you must apply for administrative review. In an administrative review a refusal will not be overturned if the applicant has failed to provide a specified document or made an error with their application. It is therefore crucial to ensure that any application is well prepared, thoroughly checked, and submitted by a qualified and experienced immigration specialist to avoid refusal of the application and loss of fees paid.

Further information and advice

If you have any questions about Innovator Founder visas or if you would like to talk about your case and to discuss how we can help you, please call us on 0121 698 2187 or alternatively email us at

You can also use our free immigration advice service (this is suitable for general enquiries about immigration requirements and not for preparation of an application for leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom).