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Innovator visa experience

Only for Start-Up Visas and Innovator Visas

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superpima
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Ukraine

Innovator visa experience

Post by superpima » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:39 pm

This seems to be a very rare visa, so decided to post here.

My current situation - I am a PBS Tier 2 dependant on my wife's work visa, lived in the UK for 2,5 years, have 2 of my own businesses running from the country. Decided to apply for Innovator visa so that not to be dependant on my wife and give her/our family some options.

I have received my endorsement for Innovator visa from Level39 (I have a fintech business) end of November 2019. The endorsement process was reasonably straightforward and took about a month. If you are a genuine start-up used to pitch to investors, there is nothing difficult in the process compared to what an average investor would ask you, with the only notable difference - I had to demonstrate the funds actually invested in new Company.

I went ahead and applied immediately on the 2nd of December in Croydon, selected normal (i.e. non-priority service).
Home Office were quiet for 7 weeks and I got feedback only yesterday, 17th January 2020 with a refusal. Reason for Refuse: I can only SWITCH to Tier 1 if I was a Tier 2 visa holder, but I am a DEPENDANT and they want me to apply all over again from my home country. This is quite annoying since I wasted £1000 for the application and they could have easily introduced a simple check on the visa form. The official website (https://www.gov.uk/innovator-visa/switch-to-this-visa) says that ANY TIER 2 visa holder can switch, but apparently Tier 2 Dependants are treated differently.

Anyways, I am planning to re-apply asap from my home country as long as the endorsement letter is still valid. The fact that I now have a Refusal on my record is not helpful. £1k and 7 weeks lost too. I will be using a priority service now to speed up the response.

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CR001
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Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by CR001 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:46 pm

It means any tier 2 general or tier 2 ICT main visa holder under the immigration rules part 6a. PBS dependents, under immigration rules part 8 and Appendix w, different rules completely, are not able to switch to any other route as a PBS main applicant. This has been the case for many years.

If PBS dependents were able to switch, it would have stated the PBS dependent category as well.
Char (CR001 not Casa)
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superpima
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Ukraine

Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by superpima » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:36 pm

Well, my bad, I should have known better, now I have a 1K-worth of experience :)
I hope my re-application from Ukraine would work out, what do you think?

The 2 things I am worried about are:
1. I have a refusal on my record - will need to explain that. Hopefully, it is not something catastrophic.
2. I've lived in the UK for the past 3 years, how do I mention it in the application. Not sure if it makes sense for them if I put UK address while applying from Ukraine, or should I use my local address instead? Also, the fresh application has no fields to mention my current BRP.

superpima
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Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by superpima » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:39 pm

By the way, we have 2 kids who are dependants on my wife (same as me currently). Suppose my T1 Innovator is successful, should they re-apply too immediately or can they stay as long as my wife holds a valid Tier 2? And if/when they need to switch, can they switch from the UK or re-apply all over again from Ukraine?

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CR001
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Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by CR001 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:50 pm

Dependents do not have to change. Note however that the children cannot get ilr when your wife does if you do not have ilr. PBS dependent children only qualify for ilr when both parents are applying or have ilr.
The refusal should have no effect on your new application.

Are you aware that your ilr clock will reset to zero when you switch and your dependent time is lost for ilr based on 5 years? All assuming it is tier 2 general dependent and not tier 2 ICT you are on.
Char (CR001 not Casa)
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superpima
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Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by superpima » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:05 pm

Yeah, I suppose the reason I am doing the whole T1 Innovator thing is that my wife wants to quit her job, so she would have reset her "timer" for ILR purposes anyway, resetting it for the kids. T1 Innovator theoretically gets me there faster (3 years) vs almost 4 years left out of 5 for my wife, so I would not regret it.

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CR001
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Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by CR001 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:10 pm

She can of course change sponsors within the uk, which does not reset the ilr clock.

Note that ilr in 3 years, if you meet the reqhiremtns and are still endorsed, would only apply to you. Your dependents will need 5 years residence as dependents on you before they can apply for ilr.
Char (CR001 not Casa)
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superpima
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Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by superpima » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:18 pm

Thanks for the tip. While not ideal to loose 2(3) years on the timer for the dependants ILR, it's not a show-stopper for me, I can manage this, as long as I get the T1 Innovator in the first place :) What do you think on my concerns above re. address and refusal record?

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Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by CR001 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:34 pm

Just be honest, that's all. Address is not a deal breaker. How will obvs know you have been living in the UK. If the form asks about refusals, simply state it.
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superpima
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Re: Innovator visa experience

Post by superpima » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:39 am

So just to close the topic on the good note, I have got my visa today, all is good.

In the end, I have submitted a personal letter to the case officer explaining my story, and additionally the history of my BRP, Police registration, council taxes, IHS payments.

From what I gather, the statistics for this visa is very poor - only 12 successful cases in half a year. I think the biggest and obvious reason is the endorsement, where you pretty much have to be in the UK already to get endorsed (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistic ... n-datasets)

Anyways, good luck to all who follow!

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