New Innovator Founder Visa: A Gateway to Global Entrepreneurship


New Innovator Founder Visa

The New Innovator Founder Visa (NIFV) is a transformative policy aimed at attracting and retaining the brightest entrepreneurial minds from around the world. Designed to streamline the immigration process for global innovators, this visa program enables start-up founders to build and scale their businesses in the host country. Generally, the business will not already exist. However, where it does, the new business should not yet have fully started trading.

Innovator Founders can work on their own as a sole founder, or together as part of a founding team, providing they are an instrumental member of the founding team.

The business idea may relate to any sector, provided the idea is sufficiently innovative, viable and scalable and is supported by a business plan.  

If you wish to join an already trading business then the skilled worker visa may be more appropriate.  If you are a senior manager or specialist employee of an overseas business looking to establish a commercial presence in the UK then you may wish to consider the UK expansion worker visa instead.


In this article, we will delve into the specifics of the NIFV, its benefits, eligibility criteria, and application process, providing relevant links for further exploration.

Learn more about the New Innovator Founder Visa: Official website


Section 1: The Purpose and Benefits of the New Innovator Founder Visa

1.1 Attracting Global Talent

The NIFV is designed to attract top talent from around the world, encouraging economic growth, job creation, and fostering a culture of innovation. By offering a simplified and straightforward visa process, the program ensures a diverse pool of applicants, increasing the host country’s global competitiveness.

Find out more: Why attracting global talent is crucial for economic growth


1.2 Encouraging Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The NIFV program supports the development of innovative start-ups, connecting founders with local resources, networks, and opportunities. This environment not only boosts the host country’s start-up ecosystem but also encourages international collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Explore the connection between visas and innovation: How visa programs impact entrepreneurship


Section 2: Eligibility Criteria for the New Innovator Founder Visa

2.1 Innovative Business Idea

Applicants must have a unique, innovative, and scalable business idea that can demonstrably contribute to the host country’s economy. This idea should have the potential to create jobs, generate revenue, and offer a competitive advantage in the market.

Discover more: What qualifies as an innovative business idea?

2.2 Financial Requirements

Prospective applicants must demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves and their business during the initial stages. The exact financial requirements may vary depending on the host country, but typically include a minimum investment threshold and proof of personal financial resources.

Read more: Understanding the financial requirements for the NIFV


2.3 Endorsement from an Approved Organization

To be eligible for the NIFV, applicants must obtain an endorsement from an approved organization, such as a business accelerator, incubator, or venture capital firm. These organizations evaluate the applicant’s business plan and potential for success, ensuring that only the most promising start-ups receive the visa.

Find out how to get endorsed: The role of approved organizations in the NIFV process


Section 3: Application Process for the New Innovator Founder Visa

3.1 Preparing Your Application

Applicants must prepare a comprehensive business plan, detailing the market opportunity, competitive landscape, financial projections, and proposed milestones. This document should also include information about the founding team, highlighting their relevant skills and experience.

Get tips on creating a winning business plan: Crafting a compelling business plan for your NIFV application


3.2 Submitting Your Application

After securing an endorsement, applicants can submit their visa application online. The application process typically requires submitting various documents, such as a passport, proof of funds, and the endorsement letter, along with the application fee. It’s essential to double-check all requirements and ensure the application is complete to avoid delays or rejections.



The new Innovator Founder visa route will open to applications on the 13th April, 2023. There are at least three key positives; 

  1. There is no longer a need to show evidence of initial investment funds
  2. Innovators can do secondary work to support themselves, and 
  3. Those who have applied under the start-up visa route and are now able to secure an Innovator Founder visa can use their time in the UK from day one to qualify for ILR. 

While this new scheme makes a number of changes to the existing innovator route, it remains to be seen if these will further encourage those with an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea to come to the UK.


To gain more information, attend Our eMigr8 Next Open Day coming up on the 5th of April, 2023. 

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