The Innovator Founder visa is a new points-based visa route which will replace the Innovator visa and Start-up visa and can lead to settlement after three years. In contrast to the Innovator visa, the Innovator Founder visa has removed the requirement for applicants to have at least £50,000 available to invest in the business. Financially, you only need to demonstrate you have enough funding and prove where the funding is from.
To apply under this route, your business idea needs to have an endorsement letter and approval from a new endorsing body approved by the Home Office. There are legacy endorsing bodies for those who were previously on the Scale-up or Innovator routes. In addition to the endorsement, the Home Office may also assess whether the business is genuine on the balance of probabilities.
The Start-up visa route only exists for those with a valid endorsement letter from an authorised body prior to 13 April 2023 to apply for a start-up visa. This route ended for new applicants on 13 July 2023 and new applicants should instead consider the new Innovator Founder Visa.
This visa is designed for eligible jobs with an approved employer. You must have a job offer before applying from specific skilled jobs listed on the UK government website, and only with employers sponsored by the Home Office to employ overseas workers. After the first 6 months of employment, you can then remain in the UK without sponsorship which is what makes this route different from the normal Skilled Worker visa.
The Frontier Worker Permit is available to EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens to continue to come to the UK for work while living elsewhere. This is only available if you: started working in the UK before 31 December 2020, and live outside the UK; you worked in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working here; and you can prove you worked in the UK at least once in the last 12 months. The permit can last for 2 years if you're a retained worker (someone who hasn't worked in the last 12 months but would be working if not for specific reasons) or 5 years for others. You cannot bring family members as dependents on this permit and this permit doesn't lead to settlement in the UK.