Switch to this visa
You might be able to apply to change (‘switch’) to an Innovator visa if you’re already in the UK on a different type of visa.
Your partner or child’s visa will not automatically switch to this visa if you switch yours. If they do not switch their visa, it will be valid until its original end date. They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.
You should apply before your current visa expires.
You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Who cannot apply to switch to this visa
You cannot switch to this visa if you have one of the following:
- a visit visa
- a short-term student visa
- a Parent of a Child Student visa
- a seasonal worker visa
- a domestic worker in a private household visa
- immigration bail
- permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds
How long you can stay
You can stay for 3 years after switching to an Innovator visa.
There’s no limit on the number of times you can extend your visa.
How much it costs
Check the visa application fees.
If you’ve been in the UK for less than 1 year, you’ll also need to prove you have enough money to support yourself.
Proving your identity and supplying supporting documents
As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity. How you do this depends on where you’re from and what type of passport you have.
- have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre - this is to get a biometric residence permit
- use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document - you’ll also create or sign into your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account
You’ll be told what you need to do when you apply.
If you do need an appointment:
- the centre may need to keep your passport and documents while they process your application
- you may have to travel to get to your nearest visa application centre (this could be in another country)
Apply to switch to an Innovator visa
You must apply online.
Once you’ve started your application, you can save your form and complete it later.
You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.
Continue your application
Sign in to your account using the link from your sign-up email.
How long it takes to get a decision
You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks of your application date.
You’ll be contacted if your application will take longer, for example:
- if you’re applying with a family member who needs an appointment but you do not
- if your supporting documents need to be verified
- if you need to attend an interview
- because of your personal circumstances, for example if you have a criminal conviction
You may be able to pay to get a faster decision - you’ll be told if you can when you apply.
After you apply
If you need to change something in your application after you’ve sent it contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
You can ask to cancel your application. You’ll only get your fee refunded if UKVI has not started processing your application.
You’ll get an email or a letter containing the decision on your application. This will explain what you need to do next.
Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.