F.A.Q UK Visa


What are the investment ways we can go and settle in UK ?

As an investor, there has three ways to come and settle in UK

  • Investor visa

Investor visa is a kind of investment visa which allow rich people to invest and come and live in UK.

Key points for investor visa:

Suitable for the rich who has ready of 2,000,000 GBP to invest.

Invest 2,000,000 GBP to UK in various kinds of investments.

Can bring family members.

Need to open individual bank account in UK.

2,000,000 GBP fund has to be supported with sources of funds records how the funds were received over 2 years time (at least).

Need non criminal certificate.

Need TB check.


  • Innovator visa

Innovator visa is a kind of investment visa which allow experience businessmen to invest and run a business and come and live in UK.

Key points for innovator visa:

Suitable for various types of businessmen with many years of business experience

Invest 50,000 GBP to your business in UK.

Your business idea or plan has to be endorsed by one of the approved body listed by UK government.

Can bring family members.

Need to pass English test.

Need TB test.


  • Start-up visa

Start-up visa is a kind of investment visa which allow those who want to invest and run a business and come and live in UK.

Key points for innovator visa:

Suitable for various fields from overseas people, who want to invest and run a business and come and live in UK.

No specific amount of Investment is needed.

Your business idea or plan has to be endorsed by one of the approved body listed by UK government or by UK universities.

Can bring family members.

Need to pass English test.

Need TB test.


How you can help us with Investor visa ?

We will advise clients how to obtain non-criminal certificate, and get TB check. From this type, clients should have be ready 2,000,000 GBP to invest. Further practical advice is how to open a bank account for client, as it is very difficult to open bank account for overseas, and how to collect evidence to proof 2,000,000 GBP sources of funds.

Why Stephen M.S.Lai & Co CPA Ltd office can help ?

Answer: Stephen M.S.Lai was worked in bank audit and compliance department before, during his firm practice assisted Commercial Police Force for audit and evidence collection of commercial crime investigation. Stephen M.S.Lai has practiced over decades, and has established bank networks over the worlds. Stephen M.S.Lai can advise and help clients to open bank accounts without difficulties, and further advise of how to collect evidence to proof 2,000,000 GBP sources of funds.


Why does Home Office announce UK innovator visa application and cancel Entrepreneur visa ?
Due to the political issues involving Brexit, EU countries have promoted "Entrepreneur visa" schemes to attract talents to go to their countries. They all understand that only talents can bring countries bright again in future. It is why UK Home Office has joint the race to attract talents by:

Reducing the funds from 200,000 to 50,000

Cancel  the requirements to create 2 jobs for UK employees


What is an endorsing body in regarding to innovator visa or start-up visa ?
These are the third party organizations which are located in UK and help local businessmen to grow for decades. Many successful entrepreneurs get assistance from them and at final become successful entrepreneurs and contribute to the UK economy. UK Home Office do understand that in meeting such changing global environments, in order to success to business, independent advising organizations have to join in hands to monitor local innovators or entrepreneurs or those just finished from high college having innovative or amazing or creative business idea(s) to start their business. UK government do understand that to monitor those innovators or starters up or initial entrepreneurs to grow, it brings UK a further leading step in innovations, creativity or further success in UK economy. It is why an endorsing organization becomes as a part of application process, that they can not only monitor the progress of your innovators or entrepreneurs or start-up to success to their business, but can provide further advice for your business.


How you can help us with Innovator visa ?

We will advise clients how to obtain English test, and get TB check. From this type, clients should have be ready 50,000 GBP to invest. Further practical advice is

a. How to collect evidence to proof 50,000 GBP sources of funds.

b. How to collect and present applicant CV including is education background and work and business experience.

c. Significant and final consideration is how to present a business idea or plan to make it endorsed by the approved body.

According to the guidelines issued by Home Office, the endorsement will be made by the approved body if three criteria have been considered and passed:

  • Innovation – The business idea or plan has to be innovative, it means your products or services can be found from existing ones but have to be distinct or improved from original ones in the UK markets, or your products or services are new ones which cannot be found absolutely in existing UK markets now. That products or services are in existing demands or will have new demands.
  • Viability – The applicant has such skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to run the business. It means applicant can only run a business which has to be relevant to his education, and work experience.
  • Scalability – It has three elements. The first one is that there must have an evidence of structured planning to support the business idea or business plan. Structured planning is a process of finding, gathering, structuring and using, presenting and communicating the data and information necessary for design and planning the business activities. It is a front-end process. Evidence of structured planning means a business idea or plan has to be supported by supporting documents in each stage of finding, gathering, structuring and using, presenting and communicating the data and information that at final create your business plan ready to presented to the approved body. The second element is that the evidence of structured planning of potential for job creation. It means the business plan has to be projected for 6 years in total which can create local jobs for UK economy.
  • The third element is that the evidence of structured planning of growth into national and international markets. Home Office understands that in future road of UK, after Brexit, she has to international markets, in additional to EU markets. Therefore, the products or services innovator provides have to be under national level as well as international level.

Why Stephen M.S.Lai & Co CPA Ltd office can help ?

Answer: Stephen M.S.Lai started up a professional business with a very small scale of  entrepreneur and grow up in international professional levels, having a representative office in China, and professional office in Hong Kong, and professional office in UK. Now Stephen Lai also starts up another business in UK, and markets access over whole EU countries, and USA, Australia, and other Northern American markets.

Why Home Office cancel Entrepreneur Visa, and adopt Innovator Visa ? In the past, business plan was a part of the Entrepreneur visa application process and was approved by case maker of Home Office staff. Immigration lawyers and immigration consultants took leading roles in advising before applications. Because of this, many entrepreneurs were in very poor quality. Many criticisms were made against how case makers knew our business? Many potential businessmen were turned down. But many and many poor qualities of entrepreneur came and settled into UK, and contributed nothing to the UK society, but accumulated financial burdens to UK tax payers.

All immigration lawyers and consultants didn’t know their clients business in fact.

Now can immigration lawyers or consultants help you in this stage of process ? Immigration lawyers or consultants have sufficient knowledge of immigration rules or laws for your case. In Entrepreneur Visa era, they were helpful, as they could provide consultations before application. Now you need to provide “Genuine and Original business Plan” mentioned in Home Office guidelines, it means real business EXPERIENCE advice put into document(s) ready endorsed by PRIVATE VENTURE BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS OF APPROVED BODIES.


Stephen M.S.Lai & Co CPA Ltd office:

  • We understand applicant CV first including education, skills and experience. We start to understand applicant business idea and plan in the very beginning stage, follow by to exercise market analysis and research and competitive analysis by creation of evidence of records and proofs whether applicant business idea meets INNOVATION point, and do some adjustments or amendments if necessary.
  • In order to meet VIABILITY point, applicant CV has to match with INNOVATION point.
  • After that Scalability point will be carried out if we have agreed with client “Clear” plan instructions.

“Clear” plan instructions means we will make a suggestion towards Scalability point meeting three elements either by:

  • Use applicant business idea or plan in full.
  • Amend applicant business idea or plan in parts.
  • Replace applicant business idea or plan in full.
  • If necessary, we may also advise applicant to join UK franchise business. We have coordinated with a lot of Franchise business owners in various industries and in different regions in UK that they are willing to offer franchise to our innovator clients. Franchise industries include Accounting and Finance industries, Automotive industries, B2B, Business Consulting industries, Care industries, Children industries, Cleaning industries, Coffee industries, I.T industries, Courier industries, Education industries, Event and Wedding industries, Fitness industries, Food industries, Gardening industries, Green industries, Health and Beauty industries, Home Care industries, Home Improvement industries, Home Services industries, Internet Business industries, Magazine industries, Merchandising industries, Mortgage industries, Pest Control industries, Pet industries, Photography industries, Print and Design industries, Professional Services industries, Property & Estate Agency industries, Recruitment Services industries, Retail industries, Safety & Security industries, Sport industries, Travel & Leisure industries, and Vending industries. It is suitable for applicants in special field of knowledge and experience. For example, if you come from accounting field, we can recommend you to run “accounting” business, and spend only GBP2,500 as Franchise Fee, they will give you all accounting practice in UK.

Depending upon applicant CV, we will also advise applicants to invest to our “CLIENTS” Seeding Companies. We have coordinated with a lot of seeding companies in various size and industries which are listed and found from UK Chamber of Commerce Directory ready for innovators to join them. It is suitable for applicants with less education or experience or in special field of knowledge and experience. For example, if you come from I.T field with less I.T education level and experience, we can recommend you to invest in “I.T” business seeding company. The seeding company is real and true active company in which you can find them listed in UK Chamber of Commerce Directory. You can easily find from UK Companies House that they have accumulated over years of history concrete business records, including VAT, Corporation Tax, Financial accounts, etc.


How you can help us with Start-up visa ?

We will advise clients how to obtain English test, and get TB check.  From this type, clients should have be ready sufficient funds to invest. Further practical advice is how to present a business idea or plan to make it endorsed by the approved body if you are graduate from universities outside UK or by the listed UK universities. It becomes easier if you are graduate from listed UK universities as many of them confirm that they are willing to endorse to their current students.

According to the guidelines issued by Home Office, the endorsement will be made by the approved body if three criteria have been considered and passed:

  • Innovation – The business idea or plan has to be innovative, it means your products or services can be found from existing ones but have to be distinct or improved from original ones in the UK markets, or your products or services are new ones which cannot be found absolutely in existing UK markets now. That products or services are in existing demands or will have new demands.
  • Viability – The applicant has such skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to run the business. It means applicant can only run a business which has to be relevant to his education, and work experience.
  • Scalability – It has three elements. The first one is that there must have an evidence of structured planning to support the business idea or business plan. Structured planning is a process of finding, gathering, structuring and using, presenting and communicating the data and information necessary for design and planning the business activities. It is a front-end process. Evidence of structured planning means a business idea or plan has to be supported by supporting documents in each stage of finding, gathering, structuring and using, presenting and communicating the data and information that at final create your business plan ready to presented to the approved body. The second element is that the evidence of structured planning of potential for job creation. It means the business plan has to be projected for 6 years in total which can create local jobs for UK economy.
  • The third element is that the evidence of structured planning of growth into national and international markets. Home Office understands that in future road of UK, after Brexit, she has to international markets, in additional to EU markets. Therefore, the products or services start-up provides have to be under national level as well as international level.

Why Stephen M.S.Lai & Co CPA Ltd office can help ?

Answer: Stephen M.S.Lai started up a professional business with a very small scale of  entrepreneur and grow up in international professional levels, having a representative office in China, and professional office in Hong Kong, and professional office in UK. Now Stephen Lai also starts up another business in UK, and markets access over whole EU countries, and USA, Australia, and other Northern American markets.

Why Home Office cancel Entrepreneur Visa, and adopt Innovator Visa ? In the past, business plan was a part of the Entrepreneur visa application process and was approved by case maker of Home Office staff. Immigration lawyers and immigration consultants took leading roles in advising before applications. Because of this, many entrepreneurs were in very poor quality. Many criticisms were made against how case makers knew our business? Many potential businessmen were turned down. But many and many poor qualities of entrepreneur came and settled into UK, and contributed nothing to the UK society, but accumulated financial burdens to UK tax payers.

All immigration lawyers and consultants didn’t know their clients business in fact.

Now can immigration lawyers help you or consultants in this stage of process ? Immigration lawyers or consultants have sufficient knowledge of immigration rules or laws for your case. In Entrepreneur Visa era, they were helpful, as they could provide consultations before application. Now you need to provide “Genuine and Original business Plan” mentioned in Home Office guidelines, it means real business EXPERIENCE advice put into document(s) ready endorsed by PRIVATE VENTURE BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS OF APPROVED BODIES.


Stephen M.S.Lai & Co CPA Ltd office:

  • We understand applicant CV first including education, skills and experience. We start to understand applicant business idea and plan in the very beginning stage, follow by to exercise market analysis and research and competitive analysis by creation of evidence of records and proofs whether applicant business idea meets INNOVATION point, and do some adjustments or amendments if necessary.
  • In order to meet VIABILITY point, applicant CV has to match with INNOVATION point.
  • After that Scalability point will be carried out if we have agreed with client “Clear” plan instructions.

“Clear” plan instructions means we will make a suggestion towards Scalability point meeting three elements either by:

  • Use applicant business idea or plan in full.
  • Amend applicant business idea or plan in parts.
  • Replace applicant business idea or plan in full.
  • If necessary, we may also advise applicant to join UK franchise business in case for Start-up applicants as start-up applicants have no sufficient proofs of “experience” in Viability point. We have coordinated with a lot of Franchise business owners in various industries and in different regions in UK that they are willing to offer franchise to our start-up clients. Franchise industries include Accounting and Finance industries, Automotives industries, B2B, Business Consulting industries, Care industries, Children industries, Cleaning industries, Coffee industries, I.T industries, Courier industries, Education industries, Event and Wedding industries, Fitness industries, Food industries, Gardening industries, Green industries, Health and Beauty industries, Home Care industries, Home Improvement industries, Home Services industries, Internet Business industries, Magazine industries, Merchandising industries, Mortgage industries, Pest Control industries, Pet industries, Photography industries, Print and Design industries, Professional Services industries, Property & Estate Agency industries, Recruitment Services industries, Retail industries, Safety & Security industries, Sport industries, Travel & Leisure industries, and Vending industries. It is suitable for applicants in special field of knowledge without experience. For example, if you are graduate from accounting, we can recommend you to run “accounting” business, and spend only GBP2,500 as Franchise Fee, they will give you all accounting practice in UK. Franchise company will sign up a Franchise agreement and commit to provide work experience guidelines to you. That becomes a part of proof of “experience” in Viability point for your application process in Start-up visa category.


Why you can help us ?

Stephen Lai was graduated from: 

FCCA (A fellow practising member of the Association of Chartered Certificate Accountants)
HKICPA (A practising member of Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants)
MBA (Master of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University, UK)
PDA (Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University,UK)
PCA (Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University,UK)
LLB (Undergraduate of Law Degree from Nottingham Trent University, UK)

and have provided professional services to global clients over decades, in various business environments and sectors.  


In case of any queries regarding business visa requirements, feel free to contact us.