Innovator visa to replace the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa in Spring 2019

The current Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is due to be replaced by the new ‘Innovator’ visa in spring 2019. The Home Office announcement of this new visa route was made in early December 2018. It is now 1st March 2019 and the Home Office have not published any further information on specific requirements for the Innovator visa or the exact date the visa will be introduced.

What we know at present about the new Innovator visa:

  • It is due to be introduced in Spring 2019;
  • It will replace the current Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route;
  • It will be for ‘more experienced business people’;
  • It will have emphasis on endorsement by a ‘business sponsor’, who will assess applicants’ business ideas for their ‘innovation’ (new way of doing things), ‘viability’ (the degree of chance that a business will succeed) and ‘scalability’ (the ability of a business to grow larger).

The Home Office normally introduces changes to the immigration rules on 6th April each year. We therefore recommend that those applicants who think that the new criteria of innovation, viability and scalability may be difficult for them to meet (e.g. food business franchisees), should aim to submit Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application by 5th April 2019.

Although it has not been confirmed by the Home Office, we expect that those applicants who obtain the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa under the current route, will be able to continue on the same route until they obtain settlement in the UK. 

The note reflects legal position and is for general information purposes only and does not aim to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. We accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Carter Lemon Camerons immigration team. The specialist team at Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors can assist you with all immigration and business-related matters. Our years of expertise in these areas mean that we can provide tailored solutions for you. For more details, please contact our immigration team at immigration@cartercamerons.com or +44 (0)20 7406 1000.