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.