3. The key point
I would go so far as to say that maintenance funds are the first thing you should check before applying for an innovator visa. Most of my clients will have, e.g. £200k or more to invest in their business in the UK, but those funds may be in a business account. You may not realise that these funds, although in the scheme of things relatively small, need to be in your personal account and need to have been maintained for 3 months straight, with no dips.
What if you don’t have the maintenance funds, or you have a dip, or you can’t get the evidence?
Hold off on getting the endorsement letter until you do.
What does the law and guidance say on maintenance for innovator visa applications?
Paragraphs 88-92 of Appendix W of the Immigration Rules states:
Family member of an Appendix W Worker
88. You must have £630 to support yourself.
89. This requirement can be met by:
• having savings of £630 which must have been held for at least three months prior to the date of application; or
• a Start-up or Innovator whose endorsement letter confirms the applicant has enough funds for themselves and their dependants do not need to demonstrate maintenance separately
90. For example, the Appendix W Worker is making an application at the same time as their spouse and two children. They must show that they have £630 for their spouse and a further £630 for each child, in addition to £945 required for their own support. In total the family will require evidence that they hold £2835 in available funds (£630 x 3 = £1890 + £945).
91. If you apply at the same time as the Appendix W Worker, you are only required to provide evidence that you meet the maintenance requirement when the Appendix W Worker is also required to meet the maintenance requirement.
92. If you apply separately from the Appendix W Worker, you will need to have the necessary funds to meet the maintenance requirement or have a written confirmation in the endorsement letter, unless the main applicant already had leave in an Appendix W category and when applying for their most recent period of Appendix W leave was not required to show evidence of satisfying maintenance requirements.