The risk of an Innovator Founder visa rejection is on the rise. This is not a surprise as the new visa, in contrast to the former Innovator visa, now permits applicants to engage in paid employment. As such, this has led to increased interest and demand for the Innovator Founder visa. 

Disclaimer: none of the content in this article or my services constitutes immigration advice or services.

In addition to increased demand, the current Innovator Founder visa can only be endorsed by 4 Endorsing Bodies, a far smaller number than the previous visa.

As a business consultant working with international entrepreneurs, I have come across Innovator Founder visa rejection cases that relate to the endorsement stage. Moreover, I have also actively monitored the Innovator Founder visa’s rejections.

These are 3 common reasons why your Innovator Founder visa endorsement application may be rejected. 

1. Your idea is not innovative 

 As you may be aware, there are 3 key factors that Endorsing Bodies assess when considering endorsement applications, which are:

  • Innovation 
  • Viability
  • Scalability

Let’s talk about the innovation aspect first. Technically speaking, your idea/business should:

  • Be defensible in terms of Intellectual Property (IP), or;
  • Be the “first” of its kind, not an extension of another product/service
  • Have high market barriers, for instance IP as stated above 

2. Your business is not viable 

Notice that I did not use the word “idea” in the heading above? 

The “viability” aspect refers to “you”, the founder/founding team. The core requirement is whether you have the skills and competencies to start and scale the business or not.

Thus, factors such as your professional experience or qualifications will be relevant. 

3. Your idea is not scalable

Put simply: what is the vision for your business? How far will it go? How much money will it make?

You may have a unique concept and have the personal skills to launch the business, but how big will the business get?

If your business cannot scale nationally or internationally, it may be one of the reasons for a rejection of your Innovator Founder visa endorsement.

4. You bought a bad Innovator Founder visa business plan 

I write business plans for my clients (up to a limit, as they take a lot of time and I write each plan myself).

Therefore, I am aware that many founders will seek the help of external parties for their business plan.

Sadly, the market is now full of business plan writers who simply either use ChatGPT, or hire people with no experience in business to write a low-quality plan. 

This is why I have introduced a service to coach and mentor founder to writer their own business plan. I understand that for some, it may be necessary to have somebody else communicate their business. 

However, writing your own business plan will give you more confidence in presenting it, and it will also improve several skills such as writing and design. And do not worry, I will help you with ALL of that. 

These are some common reasons behind an Innovator Founder Visa rejection at the endorsement stage. Remember, do not trust every company or person to be in charge of your business ideas and endorsement application, unless you can verify their credentials. Even then, you should make sure that you are aware of every aspect and stage of the business plan whilst it is written. 

Need help with the Innovator Founder visa endorsement? Check out my services, designed specifically for founders like you.

About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.