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Residence and Citizenship by Investment
United Kingdom

The UK has long been a significant world power, both economically and politically. London is the financial capital of the world, offering an international business environment. The UK is also renowned for having some of the best educational institutions in the world and an open, international culture.

United Kingdom

Residence by Investment

The Innovator Founder Visa is aimed at those who can demonstrate relevant experience in business and requires individuals to set up a new, scaling business in the UK. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate sufficient investment funds to start and grow their business and have a business plan that has been endorsed and approved by the Home Office.

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investment

Investment

Innovative, scaling business

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Processing time

One–eight weeks from submission of the application to approval

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Key benefit

The right to live, work, and study anywhere in the United Kingdom

UK Innovator Founder Visa — An Overview

The Innovator Funder Visa is aimed at those who can demonstrate relevant experience in business and sufficient investment funds to set up and grow a new business in the UK.

Before one applies, one needs to have one’s business or business idea assessed by a Home Office–approved endorsing body. They will assess the viability of the business or business idea and, if approved, provide an endorsement letter to submit with the application.

Successful innovators are granted leave for three years at a time and can bring their family members to the UK. After three years, innovators can apply to extend their stay for a further three years or to settle permanently in the UK under indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Each of these three stages (initial application, extension, settlement) requires endorsement from an endorsing body.

Benefits of the UK Innovator Founder Program

  • Residence permits acquired within three weeks
  • Permanent residence possible after three years
  • International business environment
  • Attractive tax regime for individuals who are resident but not domiciled
  • Direct international flight connections to most major global cities
  • World-renowned schools and universities

Requirements of the UK Innovator Founder Program

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a new and viable business idea with a potential for growth, supported by an endorsement letter from an approved endorsing body
  • Demonstrate sufficient investment funds to set up and grow their business
  • Be the sole or an instrumental member of the business's founding team
  • Have the ability to speak English according to CEFR intermediate Level B2

The new business must meet the following three criteria:

  1. Innovation: An original, genuine business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage
  2. Viability: A realistic and achievable business plan, based on the available resources. Applicants must have, or be actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to successfully run their business
  3. Scalability: Evidence of structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets

Procedures and time frame of the UK Innovator Founder Program

The completed application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence. The time frame from the submission of the application is dependent on the embassy receiving the application, and approval may take between one and eight weeks.

Upon expiry of the initial three-year period, the main applicant must apply for an ‘extension of stay’ from within the UK. The authorities will issue the applicant with a three-year extension if all relevant criteria are met. Upon being granted settlement and spending a minimum of five years in the UK (the applicant must have held ILR in the last 12 months of that period), it is possible to apply for British citizenship.

Business owners may seek secondary employment in the country, provided it falls under skilled labor.

Detailed information on the Innovator Founder Visa is available on the Home Office website. This information is not intended to be immigration advice.

United Kingdom

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