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Obtaining a UK Innovator Visa during COVID-19 Pandemic

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Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated by the world of fashion. Once I got a chance, I enrolled in a British university on a fashion course. The longer I studied, the more I understood that I wanted to stay in the country after graduation and develop my talent here. For that, I needed a new visa that would allow me to run a business in the UK. I was very lucky to contact Imperial & Legal for help.

Arbela, 26 years old
Graduate from Argentina
Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Arbela is from Argentina. She is already in the United Kingdom where she came to study at the university. Now she is a graduate on a UK Student visa that is going to expire soon. She wishes to stay in the UK and therefore seeks professional help from Imperial & Legal.

After reviewing Arbela’s case, Imperial & Legal’s advisors suggest she should apply for a UK Innovator visa. It seems like an ideal choice for her since she has considerable expertise in the fashion industry and wrote a thesis on the topic. Despite all visa centres being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we obtain a UK Innovator visa for Arbela, and she stays in the UK.

Our Client

Arbela is a 26-year-old Argentinian. Since she was a little girl, she has dreamt of becoming a fashion designer, and all her friends have always admired her good taste and creativity. She is ambitious and motivated, so the decision to relocate to the UK came naturally to her. The UK offers far more opportunities for artistic people like her than her home country.

While studying, she worked with British clothes retailers designing creative and unusual window displays and mannequins. Being interested in the history of fashion, she also made several online presentations on the topic. She sees how she can apply her talent in the UK successfully and wants to pursue her designer career here. 

The Challenge

To prepare documents and get a UK Innovator visa for the client despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Solution

Once Arbela mentions to our experts her education, work experience and business ambitions, they recommended applying for a UK Innovator visa. It is a great choice since the client plans to run her own business to promote her innovative ideas. It is what a UK Innovator visa is designed for. Three years after getting the visa, Arbela will be able to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if she meets all the requirements. Even if the first business idea does not work out and generate enough profit, she will be able to extend the visa and set up a new business.

Imperial & Legal’s experts develop a business model that brings together the worlds of fashion and modern technologies. To evaluate the innovativeness and viability of the idea, they conduct market research together with the client. Our expert also compiles an action plan for the first six months so that Arbela could start realising her project straight away.

Imperial & Legal’s advisors organise a few mock interviews with Arbela to give her confidence before the real interview with the Home Office representatives. 

Arbela needs a new visa amidst the COVID-19 pandemic when the Home Office is frantically updating the immigration rules and the visa centres are temporarily closed. At the time, it is unclear how to proceed with a visa application. 

Our legal advisors find out that it is possible to apply for a new visa within the UK in compliance with the temporary immigration rules in place, so they immediately start preparing the necessary documents for the client. Imperial & Legal’s advisors help Arbela make a business plan, fill in the application and collect all the required documents.

Imperial & Legal advisors track the application status with visa centres and the Home Office and support the client through the whole process.

Arbela gets a UK Innovator visa in three months

20 April
Contact is made with Imperial & Legal
+3 weeks
A business plan is developed
+2 weeks
Documents are prepared and agreed on
+1 day
An application is sent to the endorsing body
+3 weeks
An endorsement letter is received from the endorsing body
+1 day
Documents for a UK Innovator visa are submitted
+1 week
Biometrics are submitted
18 July
Arbela gets her UK Innovator visa


Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Imperial & Legal help Arbela switch to a new visa. She is among the first applicants to get a UK Innovator visa once visa centres resume their operation.

If you wish to run a business in the UK but do not have a business idea yet, our experienced advisors will help you formulate it and apply for a UK Innovator visa. Imperial & Legal will assist both with the application itself but also with launching a business in the UK.

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