In this article, we’ll discuss the different options for you and your family’s business to immigrate to the UK…

The UK can be a great place to set up a business, with its entrepreneur-friendly climate and liberal economy, thousands of people choose to immigrate every year from all over.

If you’re thinking of moving to the UK, it’s important to research different visa options which are applicable for family and businesses such as an innovator, start-up, or family visa.

To help you better understand the different routes for you and your family’s business, below we’ll run through some of the main options to choose from…  

The Innovator Visa

The Innovator Visa route is designed for experienced business people looking to set up or run a business in the UK. This visa lasts up to 3 years, with the ability to either extend their stay or permanently settle if they meet the criteria.

To be eligible for this type of visa, your business or business idea has to of been endorsed by an approved body. This is known as an endorsing body. There are also a number of eligibility requirements that we’ve listed below.

  • The business idea must be innovative and something that’s different from anything else on the market
  • The idea must also be viable and have the potential for growth
  • You must have access to £50,000 in investment funds, and this applies per applicant (even where a team has formed to invest in the same business idea)
  • Even though £50,000 is the minimum required for the visa category, some endorsing bodies may expect founders to have further funds. This is determined by the scalability of the business
  • You must be able to speak, read, write and understand English
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the UK
  • You also need to prove you have had at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply for an Innovator Visa
  • You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

It’s worth noting that migrants in the Innovator category are limited to working only for their own business(es). This means they cannot take up employment in other businesses while their own is being developed. However, the Innovator route can be a direct stepping stone for migrants wishing to settle in the UK after a period of 3 years.

The cost of an Innovator Visa application currently stands at £1,036 per person. If you wish to extend your visa, the cost is £1,292.

Start-Up Visa

Unlike the Innovator Visa, the Start-Up Visa is designed for people with less business experience but who still want to establish business experience in the UK.

However, similar to the Innovator Visa, the Start-Up Visa requires applicants to have an innovative and viable business idea which is not currently on the market. The idea must also be endorsed by an authorised body, and you cannot work in another job, as well as working for your business.

Unlike the Innovator Visa, you cannot apply to extend this visa and this route does not directly lead to permanent settlement. This visa also has a shorter duration of 2 years, compared to the Innovator Visa which has 3. However, there are plenty of options to switch your visa while in the UK.

If you’re applying for this visa from outside the UK, the cost stands at £378 per person. You must pay the visa fee for each person that applies at the same time as you or applies later to join you in the UK. If your application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Start-up visa.

Can My Family Come with Me?

For both visas, your partner and children can apply to join as your ‘dependants’ if they meet a certain set of criteria. If their application is approved, their visa will end on the same date as yours.

You’ll need to prove your relationships with your kids and partner as well as, meet certain financial requirements to prove they can support themselves. Each family member will need to complete a separate application and pay the visa fee. They must apply for this before they travel to the UK. For more information on dependants, visit the GOV.UK website.

Ready to Set Up a Family Business in the UK?

The UK can be a great place to set up a family business, with its free-market economy and highly skilled workforce, it’s a popular place for many. That being said, it’s important you research your different visa options to ensure you find the right one that suits your needs and wishes.

For more information on the different visa options and requirements, head to the GOV.UK website. On top of this, it may be worth contacting an immigration solicitor who can offer you legal advice concerning immigration law.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult an immigration lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on immigration law. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

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