Start up visa and Innovator visa – endorsing bodies not yet announced

The new Start up visa and Innovator visa categories were introduced by the Home Office in its Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules published on 7th March 2019. Both visas were to become available to applicants as of 29th March 2019. In practice we are still waiting for the Home Office to publish its list of approved endorsing bodies. Prior endorsements are mandatory for both Start up and Innovator visa categories and for this reason introduction of both visas will be delayed.

The only organisation that has been confirmed so far as an endorsing body for Start Up and Innovator visas, is the Tech Nation. Tech Nation was launched in 2011 by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, to support the Tech industry in the UK. Tech Nation has been the endorsing body for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa in the field of digital technology for a number of years already. It is therefore not unexpected that it will now also serve as an the endorsing body for the digital technology entrepreneurs in the Start up and Innovator visa categories.

Tech Nation is currently preparing its procedures for the Start up visa and Innovator visa endorsement processes and it has recently announced that it will be ready to accept applications by September 2019.

We will be publishing further details on the Start up and Innovator visa categories as soon as the Home Office announces more information. In the meantime, we recommend that prospective Start Up visa and Innovator visa applicants familiarise themselves with the already published visa requirements, start preparing business plans focused on innovation, viability and scalability and obtain evidence for their English language ability (level B2 CEFR is required for both visas).

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 or +44 (0)20 7406 1000.