Settlement as an InnovatorObtaining settlement as an Innovator

As an innovator, it may be possible that you meet the requirements to gain settlement, or ILR, in the UK. This would mean that you would achieve settled status and permanent residency in the UK where you can continue working on developing your business.

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The requirements for settlement as an Innovator

  1. Firstly, there are some general requirements that must be satisfied in order for you to be considered for ILR. These are:
  • your previous leave being given due to you acquiring the Innovator visa
  • satisfying the English Language requirements (this is to B1 CEFR level). You can find out if you satisfy the English Language requirements here
  • satisfying the requirements of understanding Life in the UK. This is usually by undertaking the Life in the UK test. More information on sitting this test can be found here
  • not breaching any UK immigration laws
  • having continuous residence. For the Innovator visa, this is three years continuous residence with absences from the UK lasting no more than 180 days during 12 consecutive months
  1. Getting an endorsement: In order to settle, you must apply again for an endorsement. The endorsers will want to see your business having developed and progressed in order to apply for ILR. You must have:
    • registered your business with Companies House whereby you must be listed as a member or director of that business.
    • been active and trading
    • shown that your business is sustainable during the following the next 12 months. This is seen with expected income and assets balanced with current expenses
    • shown you have taken an active not passive role in your business’ development

Furthermore, a minimum of two of the following must be met in order to show your business’ achievements and thus, get an endorsement:

  • The minimum of £50,000 having been invested which must be furthering the development of your business plan in your initial endorsement (this being when your first applied for the Innovator visa)
  • Your business has created the equivalent of ten fulltime jobs for resident workers of the UK
  • Your business has created the equivalent of five fulltime jobs for resident workers of the UK whereby there is a salary of at least £25,000 per annum for each worker (this excludes expenses but includes gross pay)
  • A minimum annual gross revenue of £1 million in the last year has been generated. This can be evidenced by the business’ accounts
  • Within the last three years, it needs to be shown that the business’ customers have doubled at the least and that your business is attracting more customers than any business in the UK offering similar services or products
  • £500,000 annual gross revenue has been generated by the business (evidenced by its accounts) where at least £100,000 has been generated from exporting outside the UK
  • The business has undertaken important research and development and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK

Settlement as an Innovator for job creators

Creating jobs is not compulsory (as it used to be under the old Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa) if at least two of the above criteria is met. However, if this is not the case, you must have created jobs in order to settle.

A ‘job’ is not defined as the number of employees, rather, it is defined as the job position being filled (for example, if three people have worked at different times for the same job position for at least 12 months, it counts as a one ‘job’). The requirements for job creators to settle (coupled with the general requirements for ILR listed above) are:

  1. The jobs must each have lasted at least 12 months with compliance to relevant UK legislation such as the National Minimum Wage Regulations in force at the time as well as compliance under the Working Time Regulations 1998; and
  2. The jobs must each have payment for at least 30 hours-a-week. (Two part-time jobs can be made into a single fulltime job contributing to the 30 hours-a-week requirement as long as the jobs have been in existence over the last 12 months. Note: if a single job goes over the 30 hour-a-week requirement, it cannot be listed as another fulltime job)

Please note, if you have applied as an Innovative Team, the criteria above for creating jobs do not apply the same way as a sole applicant. For example, if three of you are applying for endorsement in order to settle as part of a team, you cannot rely on the ten fulltime jobs requirement, instead, there must be 30 fulltime jobs

What next?

If you satisfy the above criteria, you must then send your application including a letter of endorsement to the Home Office.

How can NA Law help you obtain settlement as an Innovator?

With years of experience in high net worth immigration, NA Law can assist you with the entire process, including ensuring you meet the general requirements as an individual as well as determining how your company has or will meet the specific business requirements.

Contact us for an initial consultation to assess your eligibility. In addition, the following pages may be useful:

Immigration Articles

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