Documents in Support of the Innovator Founder Visa Application

This series of articles is dedicated to explaining the newly born Innovator Founder Visa route.

From the first article, you’ll find out about:

  • The rationale behind creating the Innovator Founder Visa
  • The difference between the old and the new route
  • The suitability and the eligibility requirements

The second article will cover:

  • The eligibility requirements

From the third article, you’ll find out:

  • The settlement rules
  • The duration of the grant
  • Conditions imposed on the Innovator Founder Visa holder’s stay in the UK

The fourth article will provide you with a list of:

  • Documents the Innovator Founder Visa applicants will need to submit with the application.

Article No5 will explain

  • how the endorsing bodies consider the Innovator Found applications

This is the fourth article in this series.


Evidence of Your Identity, Nationality and Age

Documents in Support of the Innovator Founder Visa Application
Documents in Support of the Innovator Founder Visa Application

Your passport will be sufficient proof of your identity, nationality and age.


Tuberculosis Test Certificate

If your country of residence is on this list you’ll need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test done and present a valid medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner approved by the Secretary of State.

This rule will also apply to you if you lived in one of the listed countries in the last 6 months before the date of the application.


The Financial Requirement

If you were in the UK for less than 12 months or making your application from outside the UK, you’ll need to provide evidence confirming that you meet the financial requirement. In other words, you’ll need to submit bank statements showing you’ve had at least £1,270 in savings in your account for 28 consecutive days before applying.

If you are applying with your partner and children, you’ll need an additional £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child and £200 for each subsequent child.


The English Language Requirements

If you are not from the majority English-speaking country, listed at paragraph EL4.1 here, you need to prove that you meet the English language requirement. In other words, that you can read, write, speak and understand English to a level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

You can do so in one of the following ways:

  1. by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider;
  2. by having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18; or
  3. by having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English – if you studied abroad, you’ll need to apply for confirmation through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD


Innovative, Viable and Scalable Business Requirements for an Innovator Founder

One of the elements of the eligibility requirements of the Innovator Founder UK Immigration route requires you to prove that your business idea is innovative, viable and scalable. You should do this by submitting a detailed and original business plan to the Endorsing body.

The innovative part of your business plan needs to clearly explain how you will meet new or existing market needs and stand out from your competitors.

For your idea to be viable, you’ll need to show you have a realistic chance of making the business a success. You can do so by showing that you have the necessary experience, the required market knowledge and business skills to make this happen.

The scalability part will be covered when you prove that jobs will be created as a result of your business operating in the UK and overseas markets.


Innovator Founder Application: General Requirements for an Endorsement

The key to a successful Innovator Founder Visa application is presenting an endorsement letter from an approved endorsing body in the UK. This letter should be issued within no more than 3 months from the date of the application.


Innovator Founder – the Same Business Requirements

If you are applying from the UK and an Endorsing body has already previously assessed your application, you’ll need to meet the same business requirements.

To qualify for further leave to remain as an Innovator Founder UK Immigration route to continue pursuing the same business as in your initial application, you will need to prove that:

  1. The Companies House has registered your business (Company’s House Certificate of Incorporation);
  2. You are listed as a director or the key member of the business (Company’s House records and/or a contract of employment);
  3. Your business is active, trading and sustainable (business bank statements since your company has been incorporated in the UK);
  4. You have made significant progress against your business plan (a detailed letter in support of the application analysing each aspect of your initial business plan that you have submitted with your initial application);
  5. You are active in the day-to-day management and development of your business (your contract of employment and a detailed letter in support of your application);
  6. Endorsing body confirmation that you have attended at least 2 Contact point meetings with your endorsing body (or similar checkpoints with a legacy endorsing body) at regular intervals during your period of permission and confirm that you will have at least two contact point meetings with the endorsing body at regular intervals during your period of permission. Usually, an Endorsing body will confirm this for you.


Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain

Documents in Support of the Innovator Founder Visa Application
Documents in Support of the Innovator Founder Visa Application

If you are thinking of applying for settlement under the Innovator Founder Visa route, you will need to have:

  1. held leave as an Innovator/Innovator Founder migrant for at least 3 years
  2. shown significant achievements, judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement; and
  3. registered the endorsed business with Companies House, and you are listed as a director or member of that business
  4. your endorsed business should still be active and trading; and
  5. the business will need to continue to appear to be sustainable for at least the following 12 months, based on its assets and expected income, weighed against its current and planned expenses; and
  6. you have demonstrated an active key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business;

Also, you’ll need to meet the Innovator Founder success criteria.


The Same Business Success Criteria

There are six success criteria. You’ll need to meet at least two to prove your business’s success. You cannot rely on the same criteria twice.

No Success Criterion


How to Meet this Criterion Which Documents to Submit

£50,000 investment


The applicant has invested at least £50,000 into their business and actively spent furthering it. Bank statements, invoices, and a letter in support of the application explaining how this amount was invested.

Customer base increase


The number of your business’s customers has at least doubled within the most recent three years. Also, that it is currently higher than the number of customers for other UK

businesses offering comparable main products or services.

A professionally drafted statement confirming your business’s customer development trend since its creating.

The statement should include:

1.     Customer Churn Rate

2.     Monthly Recurring Revenue

3.     Net Promoter Score

4.     Customer Lifetime Value

5.     Customer Retention Cost

6.     Customer Engagement.

This article what these terms mean.



Research and Development


The business has engaged in

1.        significant research and development activity and

2.        has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK.

To rely on this criterion, you’ll need to meet both options. In other words, that significant research has led to the intellectual property protection application.

Copies of patent, trade mark or design documents.

You can request these documents here.

The UKVI does not accept the following documents:

•        Filing for a trademark on branding

•        Registering for IP protection for a shoe design where development is purely artistic (no significant research and development activity associated)


Gross Revenue Increase


The business has generated a minimum annual gross revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts. Bank statements covering at least 2 years. The last full year before settlement application demonstrating the rise in gross revenue and the previous year acting as the baseline).

Also, the applicant needs to provide the account statement drafted by a UK regulated accountant.


Gross Revenue with overseas export


The business is generating 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.


Accounts provided by a UK regulated accountant showing £500,000 in gross revenue.

This should be supported by additional information in the form of invoices, shipping manifests, etc., that demonstrate overseas exports.


Job Creation

The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for settled workers.


The business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for settled workers, each of which has a mean salary of at least £25,000 a year (gross pay,

excluding any allowances).

Contracts of employment, payslips and PAYE records confirming that:

1. each job existed for at least 12 months, and the salary was at the minimum required level.

2. at least 30 hours of paid work per week, but two or more part-time jobs held by different employees that, when combined, add up to 30 hours per week will represent the equivalent of a single full-time job, as long as each of the jobs has existed for at least 12 months; and

3. copies of passports and other relevant documents of the employees confirming their settled status.


Documents in Support of the Innovator Founder Visa Application