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Not many South Africans looking to live and work in the UK are aware of the benefits the UK Innovator Visa offers. It is an ideal immigration route for persons who want to set up and run innovative businesses in the UK.

Endorsement for the innovator visa

What makes this immigration route a bit different from other UK immigration routes is that an approved UK body needs to endorse the applicant’s business idea. These bodies operate outside the UK Home Office.

Many people are at first wary of this condition. However, the endorsing bodies often commit to support and mentor the Innovator during his/her time on the visa. It is thus actually also a valuable learning opportunity for the South African Innovator.

The Innovator have to show £50,000 in Investment funds, which roughly equates to about R1 million.

Successful applicants can set up one or several businesses in the UK. The Innovator can work for the business as the director or be self-employed as a business partnership member.

Settlement in the UK

Another unique element of the Innovator Visa is that it leads to Settlement in the UK, earlier than most other immigration routes. The successful Innovator can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after only three years in the UK.

Spouses, partners and children can accompany the Innovator to the UK, and their visas will be valid for the same period.

Source: The South African

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