Innovator Founder Visa UK

Who are the current Endorsing Bodies for the UK Innovator Founder visa?

By Amer Zaman

on June 10, 2023

Read Time: 7 Minutes

On 13th April 2023, the UK Government confirmed the identities of the Endorsing Bodies for the newly launched Innovator Founder visa route. This visa category has been established by the Government in order to lure start-up entrepreneurs and experienced businesspeople to the UK.

The Innovator Founder visa has effectively succeeded the Innovator visa, and there are many great reasons for eligible individuals to consider applying for this visa.

If you are interested in setting up and running an innovative business in the UK, and you are successful in being approved for this visa by the Home Office, you would have the right to stay in the country for three years. This period of validity would apply whether you come to the UK on an Innovator Founder visa, or you switch to this visa from another visa type while already in the UK. However, in order to secure an Innovator Founder visa for the UK, you will need to have your business or business idea endorsed by a Home Office-approved body. So, for those who have been considering applying for this visa, this latest announcement of the exact Endorsing Bodies for the UK Innovator Founder visa category will be highly relevant news.

What is an Innovator Founder visa endorsement?

If you have already been considering applying for the Innovator Founder visa, you might have come across mentions of the need for an applicant’s business or business idea to be endorsed by an Endorsing Body.

An Endorsing Body is an organisation that the Home Office has designated as having the right to assess the suitability of applicants for the Innovator Founder visa.

These organisations are approved for such status by the Home Office, on the basis of the knowhow they have in particular sectors or industries. This enables the Home Office to have confidence that a business or business idea that has been endorsed by one of these approved organisations is a genuinely credible one.

In addition, if you are a candidate for this visa, the Endorsing Body will be responsible for scrutinising your skills, experience, and potential to succeed in the UK.

If the Endorsing Body does indeed endorse your business or business idea, it will issue an endorsement letter, which you will need in order to support your application for the visa.

It should be noted that even in the event of you receiving an Innovator Founder visa endorsement from an approved body, this is not a guarantee that you will be approved for the visa itself. The Home Office will still need to consider your application, and ensure you fulfil all the necessary requirements for this visa.

What Endorsing Bodies have been confirmed for the UK Innovator Founder visa?

At the time of typing, the UK Government has granted the below four bodies the right to endorse applications for the Innovator Founder visa:

  • Envestors Limited

Envestors is an organisation that has been serving as a Home Office-approved Endorsing Body since 2020. It is presently working with some 235 endorsed UK businesses, for which it provides services ranging from mentoring and accounting to legal assistance and other professional services.

Those seeking endorsement from Envestors can expect an application timeframe of about four to six weeks; there is a 95% success rate for applicants.

  • UK Endorsing Services (UKES)

This consortium of six UK businesses brings applicants the benefit of formidable combined experience in the assessment of business proposals, and more than 75 years’ worth of combined expertise in supporting growth businesses. UKES states that it has helped to create more than 20,000 new businesses in the UK, generating over 25,000 new jobs across a variety of sectors.

All of this means that if you do secure endorsement from UKES, you can be sure that your business or business idea is truly robust. This, in turn, will help put you in the strongest possible position to be granted the Innovator Founder visa by the Home Office, so that you can soon commence your exciting new business career in the UK.

  • Innovator International

When you are an entrepreneur from outside the UK who aspires to move to the country on an Innovator Founder visa in order to succeed in business here, you can expect to be well-supported if you are issued with an endorsement letter by Innovator International.

This organisation has an excellent reputation for the invaluable resources it provides to its endorsed businesses, as well as the access that it gives to a thriving community of business owners from around the world.

  • The Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP)

The GEP is a programme of the UK Government, operated by the Department for Business and Trade, and targeting internationally mobile, tech-based entrepreneurs. The programme provides free mentoring and business support to non-UK-based founders, to assist them in the process of establishing and scaling their innovation-rich businesses from a UK global headquarters.

It is only possible for Innovator Founder visa applicants to get endorsed by the GEP if they have already been invited to take part in the programme.

It should be noted that these Endorsing Bodies will vary in the exact criteria they use to select applicants. However, by joining forces with trusted specialists in UK immigration law such as our own professionals here at Cranbrook Legal in central London, you can receive the advice, guidance, and support to help ensure you comply with an Endorsing Body’s requirements.

We can also project-manage the rest of the process of preparing and submitting an application for an Innovator Founder visa. This way, you will be able to be confident of having your business or business idea endorsed by an Endorsing Body, and your application for the visa itself granted by the Home Office, at the first attempt.

To learn more about our complete service for Innovator Founder visa applicants, please use our online contact form to arrange a free consultation with us today; alternatively, feel free to call our team on 0208 215 0053.

What are the other requirements for the Innovator Founder visa for the UK?

As we noted earlier in this article, it is one matter to win endorsement from one of the aforementioned Home Office-authorised organisations, and quite a different matter to get approved for the actual Innovator Founder visa.

So, in order to minimise the scope for setbacks and delays, prospective applicants are advised to thoroughly familiarise themselves with the rest of the requirements for the visa.

You will be able to apply for an Innovator Founder visa if all the below things are true:

  • You wish to set up and run an innovative business in the UK – in the Home Office’s own words, “it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market”
  • Your business or business idea has been endorsed by one of the Endorsing Bodies mentioned above
  • You meet the English-language requirement for this visa
  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You are able to prove that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself during your time in the UK.

A key part of the process of putting together a strong application for the Innovator Founder visa, will be gathering the relevant documentation in support of your candidacy.

As we have already outlined in this article, you will not be able to apply for the visa itself, unless you first have an endorsement letter from one of the aforementioned organisations.

However, there are also certain other documents that you will be expected to include with your visa application. These will include the likes of your valid passport or other document showing your identity and nationality, as well as proof that you have satisfied this visa category’s English-language requirement, and bank statements showing that for 28 consecutive days prior to your visa application, you have had a minimum of £1,270 in savings in your bank account.

How can Cranbrook Legal’s experts strengthen your case for an Innovator Founder visa?

Even if you are confident that your business or business idea is innovative and distinctive enough to win endorsement from one of the Home Office’s approved Endorsing Bodies, and you are sure of meeting all the requirements for the visa itself, you cannot guarantee that you will be successful with your applications for both the endorsement and the visa.

However, there is an award-winning legal firm in the UK that has a 100% record of helping individuals to secure an Innovator Founder visa; that firm is Cranbrook Legal in central London.

Our team of experts in UK immigration law doesn’t merely possess in-depth knowhow and experience in project managing applications for the Innovator Founder visa from start to finish. That’s because we also maintain strong relationships with the Endorsing Bodies for this visa, which further helps maximise our clients’ chances of success when they apply.

What’s more, we offer our project management services for the Innovator Founder visa and endorsement applications for a pre-agreed fixed fee. This might be especially attractive to you if you are anxious to keep control over the costs incurred in your visa application. It could barely be more straightforward a process to learn more about how our application services in relation to the Innovator Founder visa work; simply call us now on 0208 215 0053, or complete and submit our online contact form to request a free consultation.

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