Startup or Innovator visa??

 STARTUP 2 year VISA OR Innovator 3 year visa aimed at finding potential Foreign Entrepreneurs to set up Innovative businesses in the UNITED KINGDOM

The “Startup” or the more advanced level “Innovator

 visa” are aimed at potential future foreign immigrants who have their own idea for a business that they wish to set up in the UK. 

The business that they submit to the Home Office should show a plan to set up a UK company that must be “innovative”, “viable” & “scalable”. 

Both visas require an ENDORSER to approve the business plan and agree to mentor you upon your arrival. DRSI Global Law will weed through the relevant endorsers from the hundreds of options available and match you with a suitable endorser. The Endorsers are usually professional mentorship associations and companies with a scheduled plan to help set up your business, teach you, introduce you, mentor you and escalate your company’s success in the UK. 

Innovative” meaning –  the applicant must have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage; and

Viable” meaning -the applicant’s business plan must be realistic and achievable based on the applicant’s available resources; and

Scalable” meaning – the applicant must have, or be actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business; and

Job growth”  – there must be evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

START UP VISA – 2 year visa

 The applicant must be awarded a total of 70 points from the table below.

ENGLISH TESTThe applicant must show English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of at least level B2.

FINANCIAL TESTIf an applicant is applying for entry clearance or has been in the UK for less than 12 months at the date of application, they must have funds of at least £1,270 and they must show that they have held the required level of funds for a 28 day period.

CONDITIONS for main applicant and children – 

The grant will be subject to all the following conditions:

(a) no access to public funds; and

(b) work (including self-employment and voluntary work) permitted except for employment as a professional sportsperson, including as a sports coach; and

(c) study is permitted, subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS; and

We recognise and understand the requirements that need to be put in place and will make sure that the proposed business venture has the greatest chance of success in gaining the initial visa. 

After 2 years – your business should be in a healthy stage to show the necessary criteria to escalate to the next level – the INNOVATOR VISA…..

The INNOVATOR VISA – 3 year visa

It is important to help build the business toward a successful Indefinite Leave to Remain ( ILR ) application at the end of Year 3. 

There are several milestones that should be targeted and achieved.

Your endorser will build a relationship with his clients in order to help him achieve success.

The company should target 2 milestones within 3 years:

  • The business has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK 
  • Business has generated annual gross revenue of £500k with at least £100k from export sales
  • The innovator has invested capital of at least £50,000 into the UK business.
  • Business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for resident workers which have an average salary of at least £25k a year
  • The number of 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 the comparable main products or services
  • Business has generated annual gross revenue of £1m
  • Business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers. 

As discussed it is a requirement that an endorsement is approved by an Endorsement company. 

Different endorsement organisations specialise in different areas and a client should find the correct endorser with their requirements. 

For Example: 

Pall Mall Members Club ( PMMC ) requires clients to register as a Pall Mall member before they can begin the assessment process. Fees range from  £8,900 per year ( X 3).

INVESTUK – fee range from around £35,000 to £50,000 to match your business ideas with current UK companies and escalate you case faster.

Starting up the PROCESS 

  1. Preparing the Business Plan: Drill down assessment of Business plan with feedback and required changes communicated to the client, this process will be completed within four weeks of agreement being signed. 
  2. Endorsement agreed and letter issued
  3. Visa application submitted with Endorsing Letter and Innovator visa granted.
  4. Business is launched with accompanying mentoring services.
  5. ILR achieved and Pall Mall awarded 1% equity in the business. 

Mentoring services list: ( non-exhaustive )

  1. Monthly 1-2-1 mentoring sessions covering topic of the day 
  1. Growth strategy consultations 
  1. Registration of UK business 
  1. Introduction to professional connections 
  1. Sector specific networking 
  1. Quarterly review of progress including management accounts 
  1. Comprehensive review of intellectual property options 
  1. FX options 
  1. Directorship protection consultation 
  1. R&D tax credits 
  1. Capital raise support through private and institutional investors 
  1. Executive and team coaching 
  1. Human resources overview 
  1. Communication and presentation skills 
  1. General advice and support 

There are tens of endorsement organisations and

 DRSI GLOBAL LAW will match your vision with the correct 

endorsement organisation.

TIME FRAME – 3-6 months

  1. Startup visa – 2 years
  2. Innovator visa -3 years
  3. Indefinite Leave to Remain – after 5 years
  4. British Citizenship after 6 years

Please feel free to contact [email protected]


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