Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

The United Kingdom’s Tier 1 visa immigration scheme is part of the five tier points based visa system for immigration to the UK. Tier 1 visas are for eligible entrepreneurs, investors, and for the very small number of people who can come under the “Exceptional Talent” visa category.

The new Start-up visa will replace Graduate Entrepreneur exclusively for UK graduates from 5 July 2019. The Start-up category is an expanded version of Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category. Applicants do not need to meet the requirement of having a graduate degree and to secure initial funding. Successful applicants will be granted 2 years’ leave (previously one year) and will be able to progress into the Innovator category to continue developing their businesses in the UK after that time. The key new requirement is that the initial applications must be endorsed by a relevant body (not yet defined in the statement of changes) to confirm that the business ideas are innovative, viable and scalable.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applicants apply on the basis of endorsement letters from Higher Education Institutions (HEI) or the Department for International Trade (DIT) may use this letters until 5 July 2019 and these may continue to be issued until 05 April 2019. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants will be able to switch into the new Start-up route if they have not yet had their maximum two grants of leave under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route. If their Start-up endorsement is from the same endorsing body (HEI or DIT) as in their previous Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) application, their business ideas will not need to meet the new Start-up criteria in relation to innovation and scalability.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Route (Prior to 05 July 2019)

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is designed for foreign university students in the UK who would like to remain in the UK after graduation, and start a UK business. This Visa is an ideal fit for ambitious graduates, but unfortunately the rejection rate is high, and the application is fraught with challenges.

International students wishing to remain in the UK following graduation, and establish a business have to develop a business plan to be implemented after graduation. Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa holders can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa once the initial period under graduate entrepreneur is completed and after five years as an Entrepreneur Visa holder can apply for Permanent residence or after three years if the business qualifies for accelerated settlement.

Requirements For A Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

  • Endorsement by a UK higher education institute or Department for International Trade (DIT), verifying a valid business plan and personal assessment
  • Minimum bachelor’s degree from a UK higher education institution
  • Meet English language requirements (your graduation from an English language programme in the UK will satisfy this requirement)
  • Sufficient funds to support you and your dependents in the UK for your stay.

For more information on Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category or wish to know more on the new start up visa scheme for detailed advice, call one of our expert Immigration lawyers on 0330 058 3929. You can check your eligibility by submitting a case evaluation request here.