The UK Innovator Visa is the current talk of the town. It offers an excellent option for those who wish to settle in the UK and start a business. The program is one of the cheapest pathways to attain a Residency Permit in the UK. Under this route, the applicants will only need to have £50,000 (INR 50 Lac) as an investment and £1,270 (INR 127,000) as net-worth. However, the most critical element would be your Business Idea and its Endorsement by the UK Endorsing Body. Even if you have all the money, your Business Idea must be unique as per the UK business environment and have the Endorsement to proceed with the innovator Visa.
The below sections will discuss the UK Endorsement Bodies in greater length to prepare for the process.
Who are the Endorsing Bodies?
UK Innovator Visa Endorsing bodies are Investment or Venture Capital Firms in the UK that support new entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals who wish to establish a new business. The endorsement body will assess your Business Idea and strategies for the UK Market on their set parameters. Most of the endorsing bodies support all sectors of business, but some of the bodies are industry-specific. If your new business falls under the Information technology domain, some firms support only IT Businesses looking for innovation. Or, you may choose bodies that accept and endorse all sector businesses.
What is the role of Endorsing Bodies?
For almost all the UK Business Visa, the role of endorsing bodies is very significant. However, it is hard to determine the functioning of these bodies. Each body has its set parameters and guidelines to evaluate a business idea for the UK. Due to industry preference, some bodies may choose specific sector-based business ideas. Once you convince the authority that your business idea will benefit the UK Business Market, they will issue endorsements based on the criteria. They will agree to support your business and help it grow in the UK market.
The endorsement letter is valid for three months, and the applicant must apply for the UK Investment Visa (Innovator Pathway) within this timeframe. The endorsing body will contact the applicant for 24 months at regular intervals to monitor the UK business’s progress.
What are the restrictions and challenges of Endorsement Bodies?
There are certain restrictions on the applications by some of the Endorsement Bodies:
- Some will only endorse business with high-growth business opportunities across the UK
- Some will only endorse the members of their panel/program
- Some bodies will only consider applications with whom they are working within their client base.
- Some bodies will only endorse the business that has a close demonstrable relationship with individual Universities of the UK
- Some bodies will only endorse the applicants who will sign-up for their business support or mentoring programs (chargeable)
- Some bodies will only endorse the businesses that may demonstrate strong market contingency and elements of positive benefit for the society
What are the parameters of Endorsing Bodies to approve a business idea?
For all the UK Innovator Visa applications, the endorsement body must evaluate the business plan on the below-mentioned parameters:
Innovation – The business plan should be unique and authentic in its products/services in the UK. Must ensure that the business plan must meet new or existing market needs with competitive advantage capacity.
Viability – The unique business idea must translate into a practicable business model for revenue generation. The applicant must have relevant skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to successfully run the business.
Scalability – The business model must have the potential to expand and grow by contributing rigorously towards the UK economy, job creation, business turnover, etc., into national and international markets.
Commitment – The applicant must demonstrate genuine commitment to spend most of their time in the UK on developing business ventures to better the UK business environment.
What is the process of Endorsement by the Endorsing Bodies?
Earlier, the UK Home Office was responsible for processing the defunct UK tier 1 entrepreneur visa applications. But the new innovator visa applications first undergo the below-mentioned endorsing body process:
- The primary step is to identify which endorsing body to choose as per the industry specialization and preference.
- Applicant must show the legitimate sources of having investment funds of £50,000 (INR 50 Lac)
- To those applicants switching from UK Startup Visa to UK Innovator Visa, the Home Office may waive off funding requirement upon demonstrating significant business achievements.
- You must submit relevant documents and a detailed business plan that will cover below factors:
- Detailed activities of the company
- Education and industry experience of the applicant
- Amount of Investment and its use
- Market Research on the UK Market
- Future Activities of the company
- Personnel Plan and Detailed Salaries
- The financial position of the company
- The endorsing body will decide on the business plan based on Innovation, Viability, Scalability, and Commitment.
What does an Endorsement Letter contain?
- Name of the endorsing body
- A Unique Endorsement reference number
- Date of issue and date of expiry (Endorsement Letter is valid for three months)
- Applicant’s name, date of birth, passport number, and nationality
- Short Description of the applicant’s business and its products or services for the customers in the UK
- Confirmation on the Business sufficing endorsement criteria
- Contact person details of the company who can verify the contents of the letter
Understand the complete process and relevance of UK Endorsement Bodies in simple steps. If you wish to attain UK Permanent Residency with UK Innovator Visa, you can reach us @ 8595338595 or at [email protected] for free immigration counseling and guidance.