UK Innovator Founder Visa - RIF Trust


innovator founder visa launched


minimum requirement


months processing time

The UK’s financial, commercial, and, moreover, cultural reach is unparalleled. It has an attractive tax regime and also provides a safe investment environment. Above all, the United Kingdom Innovator Founder Visa guarantees entrepreneurs permanent residence within three years.

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As the UK is one of the most well-connected countries in the world, it therefore attracts citizens of virtually every nation to live, trade, and create. So, qualifying for this Residency by Investment and starting an innovative company allows you to tap into the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and access educational opportunities.

Benefits of the UK Innovator Founder Visa

The United Kingdom acts as an essential link between Europe and America, while also being well-connected to Asia.

Granted you meet the specific criteria throughout your residency application and have upheld the requirements, you may be eligible for citizenship after five years.

As an innovator founder, It is possible to apply for dependent visas for your children below the age of 18 and your spouse.

The UK has a wealth of business expertise and support networks to help you grow your business. As an Innovator Founder Visa holder, you can utilize these resources and benefit from the knowledge and experience of UK entrepreneurs.

The UK has a strong and diverse economy that offers many business opportunities. As an Innovator Founder Visa holder, you can take advantage of this marketplace.

Who Can Get UK Residency

  • At least 18 years old
  • No criminal record or prosecution
  • No serious illnesses
  • Maintenance funds requirement
  • English language requirement (equivalent to IELTS level 5.5)

  • Over 18 years old
  • No criminal record or prosecution
  • No serious illnesses

  • Living in the family home

Programme Requirements

In order to meet the requirements for the Innovator Founder visa, you must satisfy the following requirements:


Innovation: You must demonstrate a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.  

Viability: Furthermore, you must demonstrate that your plan is realistic and achievable based on your resources and that you have (or are developing) the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to run the business successfully.

Scalability: Moreover, you must demonstrate the following:

  • Evidence of structured planning demonstrating a credible path to growth 
  • Potential for ongoing high-quality and skilled job creation
  • Scope for growth into national and international markets
  • Projections based on credible research

An approved UK endorsing body will review your business plan and will:

  • Assess that you generated or made a significant contribution to the ideas in that business plan
  • Determine that you are either the founding team’s sole founder or an instrumental member
  • Estimate the innovative, viable, and scalable business requirements
  • Assess that you will have a day-to-day role in carrying out the business plan
  • Confirm that they will have two contact point meetings with you at regular intervals.

This will lead to the issuance of a letter of endorsement, which must be issued not more than three months before the date of your visa application.


Unless an exemption applies, you must show English Language ability equivalent to CEFR level B2.


If you are outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months, you must show having held the following level of funds for a 28-day period: £1,270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child, and, then, £200 for each additional child.


Unless an exemption applies, you must provide a health certificate confirming that you have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis.


In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain as an Innovator Founder, you will need to demonstrate that:
You have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that is satisfied that you have shown significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement, you are registered with Companies House as a Director or Member of your business, your business is active, trading and appears sustainable for at least the following 12 months and you have had an active key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business.

In addition, you satisfy at least two of the following conditions:

  • At least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering your business
  • The business has created the equivalent of at least five full-time jobs for settled workers, which have an average salary of at least £25,000 a year
  • The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers with no average salary requirement
  • The number of customers has at least doubled within the most recent three 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 gross revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts or
  • The business has generated a minimum annual gross revenue of £500,000 in the last full year covered by its accounts, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas

You have spent not more than 180 days outside the UK in any rolling 12-month period during the three years prior to the date of application and you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK.

Speak to a global expert

The RIF Trust team has global experts in over 20 countries. We can advise in 14 languages. Let us help you find the perfect investment migration solution.

The RIF Trust team has global experts in over 20 countries. We can advise in 14 languages. Let us help you find the perfect investment migration solution.

Application Process

  • Months 1-3

    Formulate a Business Plan and Secure Endorsement

    We commence our process, naturally enough, with Form 1. This allows us to carry out the initial RIF Trust due diligence. Following successful screening, we will provide you with a Client Agreement (CA). Only after your review and signature will we proceed with the next stage.

    Here, RIF Trust help you develop a comprehensive business plan. Above all, this outlines your innovative business concept, its potential for growth, and a strategy for success.

    These crucial steps will help you establish a solid foundation and secure the necessary support for the UK Innovator Founder Visa application. In turn, we will liaise with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf.

  • Months 4-6

    Entering the UK

    Once a government-approved body has endorsed you, we will introduce you to our immigration lawyer. They will provide personalized guidance and, also, support to ensure your successful visa application.

    The lawyer will review all necessary documents, plus assist with completing the application, and, furthermore, represent you in any interactions with the UK immigration authorities.

  • Years 1 -3

    Launch and develop your business in the UK

    Once in the UK, you will launch and, next, focus on growing your business.

    What's more, you cannot be away from the UK over 180 days in any consecutive 12-month period.

  • Year 3

    Permanent residence granted

    As long as you have met all relevant criteria and, in addition, maintained your visa status during your stay in the UK, you may be eligible for permanent residence. This allows you to remain in the country indefinitely. Such status offers stability, security, and also access to numerous benefits and opportunities associated with living in the UK.

  • Year 5

    Eligibility for citizenship

    You may apply for UK citizenship if you meet the requirements. These include having spent no more than 450 days outside the UK in the five years prior to your application.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will be eligible for permanent residency by year 3, provided you have maintained your visa status, that is. In addition, you must have fulfilled the other requirements (including meeting two of the seven innovator achievements).

While the government no longer requires proof of funds over £50,000 for the innovator visa, you still need to demonstrate to the endorsing body that your business can achieve sustainability and self-sufficiency.

Innovative, viable, and scalable businesses often require significant investment, and depending on the business type, model, and industry, having at least £200,000 in funding may be necessary to establish a strong foundation for long-term success.

At RIF Trust, our experienced team can help you develop a detailed and realistic financial plan that both meets the endorsing body’s requirements and positions your concept for success.

As a main applicant, you can also apply for dependant visas for your spouse and children below 18.

Speak to one of our global experts and begin your journey today

Our team operates in over 20 countries worldwide, securing second citizenship or residency in desirable locations, and unlocking a brighter future.

  • 2-3 months processing time
  • No minimum investment requirement
  • Opportunity to settle in the UK after three years
  • Citizenship available after five years in the UK