Those looking to pursue immigration to the United Kingdom through a UK business visa will likely consider the UK Innovator visa, which has a number of benefits for eligible applicants. If you are looking to apply for an Innovator visa to the UK, you may be wondering, “Can you include family members in the Innovator visa?”. Today’s blog will therefore address this topic of Innovator visa dependents, and all the relevant questions and concerns you might have regarding family members of Innovator visa holders, while also providing a quick overview of the Innovator visa. 

Innovator Visa

  • An innovator visa is type of UK Business visa available to eligible applicants who seek to immigrate to the country for the purpose of establishing a new, unique enterprise in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales. 
  • Innovator visa holders must be endorsed by an official UK body, fulfill certain requirements (including those related to English language), submit certain documents and materials, pass a background check, and prove their eligibility in other ways in order to fulfill the terms and conditions of the Innovator visa. 
  • Those approved for the Innovator visa are granted the opportunity to remain in the country for a maximum of three years, with the possibility to extend. 

 Can you include family members in the Innovator Visa?

  • The short answer to this question is yes, you can. 
  • One of the benefits for Innovator visa holders is that they can bring eligible family members to the country with them. 
  • If your dependent is approved, he or she will be granted a visa whose validity period correspond to the length of your own (i.e. when your visa expires, theirs will to). 
  • However, only certain categories of family members are considered eligible for UK immigration. 
  • In order to enter the UK as a family member of an Innovator visa holder, you must be classified as an “Innovator visa dependent”. 
  • In general, eligible dependents of Innovator visa holders include spouses and children (of the Innovator visa holder). 
  • What this means is that if you have an Innovator visa, you will likely not be able to bring extended family members with you as dependents on your visa. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and other extended relatives will not be eligible to join you in the country as dependents on your UK visa. 

Eligible family members with UK Innovator Visa

  • As mentioned above, generally speaking, eligible family members of the Innovator visa holder include spouses and children. 
  • Specifically, they include the following categories of children and spouses: 
    • Wives, husbands, civil partners, and unmarried partners (so long as you can prove long-term cohabitation for a minimum of two years).
    • Children who are age 16+ who are unmarried and reside at the home of the Innovator visa holder (an exception is made for children boarding at high school, college, or university), who are also financially dependent on the visa holder. 
  • If you are applying for your child to become a dependent on your Innovator visa, and the child you are applying for resides at your home in the UK, you must present at least two of the documents listed below, in order to establish proof of address: 
    • Driver’s license
    • Bank account information (such as a statement) 
    • Bills for a credit card 
    • Valid letter from UK higher education university (if child is enrolled) 
    • NHS registration 
  • In order to be further eligible as a dependent on an Innovator visa, you will need to show evidence that you have in your bank account (or in the account of the family member who is applying to become a dependent) funds reflecting the following amounts:
    • £285 (the amount for a spouse/partner)
    • £315 (the amount for a single child)
    • £200 (the amount for every child after the first) 
  • For example, if you are applying to bring your spouse (£285) and three children (£315 for the first, £200 per each additional child) to the UK as dependents on your innovator visa, you will need a total of £1000. 
  • Please note that this amount does not reflect the money you, the visa holder, will need to have as an Innovator visa applicant (£1,270), or other amounts relating to visa fees and healthcare surcharges.  
  • Please note that the above funds must be present in the Innovator visa holder’s bank account (or that of the visa holder’s family member who is applying to become the dependent) for a minimum of 28 days in a row prior to applying for a visa.  
  • If you have been in the country for a minimum of one year when you apply for you or your dependents visa (and you will remain in the country during your application period), you may be able to avoid presenting evidence of your financials to this effect. However, if you or your dependents are abroad when they apply, they will likely be required to present specific financial materials, such as bank statements, on their application as proof of their ability to cover their costs of living throughout their time in the country. 

How to apply for an Innovator Visa as a dependent

  • If you have a spouse and children who you would like to accompany you to the UK as dependents, you cannot simply bring them with you; they must apply and be approved for dependent visas in order to enter the country. 
  • The application process for dependents of Innovator visa holders is almost entirely online. Applicants can contact us to help them applying, where they can follow the prompts, input their biographical information, and provide required documents. 
  • When they apply, dependents will need to have access to the Innovator visa holder’s Unique Application Number (UAN) or Global Web Form (GWF). 
  • Would-be dependents must each lodge an individual application, pay the specific visa fees, pass a security check, and have their biometric information (fingerprints and photos) collected as part of the application process. 
  • If you are applying as the dependent spouse/partner of an Innovator visa holder, or as the dependent child of an Innovator visa holder, click here and contact us to start your application process.

Switching or extending to an Innovator Visa as a dependent

  • If you are already in the UK, and you are there lawfully, you presumably are in the country on another visa (in which case you can apply to switch into the Innovator visa category) or apply for an Innovator visa extension. 
  • Many Innovator visa holders decide to apply for visas for their dependents while they are applying to extend their Innovator visa that they themselves are currently in the UK with. 
  • Similarly, your family members can also apply to extend/switch into the Innovator visa category as your dependents, by contacting us here, and we will help them to apply to switch or extend as a spouse or as a child.
  • Finally, please keep in mind that children who are born to Innovator visa holders while they are already in the country will have to officially apply to become your dependents in order for them to successfully enter and exit the UK. 

Processing times

  • Spouses and children who apply as dependents of an Innovator visa holder can expect to receive decision in around 21 days (3 weeks). 
  • Please note that it is occasionally possible to pay a fee to expediate processing times for dependent visa applications. 
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