The UK’s new Innovator Visa has been called too limiting after only two applicants (out of a total of four applications) received the visa in the first three months of its launch.

In contrast, the Start-up visa, which was introduced at the same time, received 32 applications in its first three months, out of which 23 were successful.

The Innovator Visa is part of the changes which the UK government has made to its immigration rules in the last year. The new rules came as a result of the UK government trying to show it is open to receiving new talented foreign entrepreneurs ahead of the upcoming Brexit.

The reason behind the low number of applications  – and even lower number of approvals – for the UK Innovator Visa could be because to qualify, the business has to be, as the name suggests, innovative.

According to the UK’s official government page, to be eligible for UK’s Innovator Visa, the applicant has to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Their business or business idea has to be assessed by an approved body
  • The business must be a “new idea” and “cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading”
  • The business must have a “potential for growth”
  • The applicant must have at least £50,000 in investment funds and sufficient funds to cover his/her stay in the UK

The Innovator Visa was introduced on April 1 and replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. According to the Home Office, the new more restrictive rules are in order to prevent them from being “abused”, as the previous entrepreneur visas were.

However, the Home Office has said that these numbers were not out of the ordinary. According to them, previous similar visa schemes had the same results in the beginning but proved to be successful in the long-run.

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