Visa Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category of the Points Based System is for those investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom.The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category of the Point Based System is for those who are graduates of a UK higher education institution (HEI) and would like to start a business.

An individual can apply under this route by two possible ways. First one is to receive the endorsement by the UK Trade and Investment as part of the elite global graduate entrepreneur programme (Sirius) or a UK higher education institution (HEI) if it’s an authorised endorsing body. The successful candidate will need to score a total of 95 points on the Points Based System and meet all the necessary requirements under the Immigration Rules. This type of visa does not have a minimum threshold for the funds you would need to start a business.

We can help you make a successful application.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

This type of visa is for those who:

To be eligible for this type of visa to remain in the UK you must be able to show:

Proving maintenance may not be necessary if you have an endorsement from UKTI and they agree to cover it.

Under this route you cannot apply with:

An application for a Graduate Entrepreneur visa can be made either from outside the UK or from within the UK if you have, or have had, permission to stay as a Tier 4 Student, Tier 2 General Skilled worker (if the granted leave was to work as a postdoctoral researcher for the same institution which is endorsing your application as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur) or you are interested to extend your stay.

It is also possible to bring your family members with you.

There is a total of 2000 places that are allocated on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur scheme each year and those applications have to be submitted within 3 months from the date of endorsement

If the application is successful, you will be given 12 months of leave. Before it expires you may extend it as long as you are still endorsed by your university or college and that you have made satisfactory progress in developing your business.

Also, Graduate Entrepreneurs are permitted to extend their leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur if they have access to £50 000. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur category will eventually lead you to settlement in the UK (if you meet the necessary requirements).

Genuine Entrepreneur Test

For extensions and initial applications you will also need to demonstrate to the Home Office that you are prepared to fulfil or have fulfilled your obligations. In others words, you are genuinely either prepared to start a company or have started one and are currently running it. Furthermore, you will also need to show that you have invested the relevant funds in your business and you genuinely intend to continue in that business and not undertake any other employment.

The Home Office will consider:

Settlement in the UK as a Tier 1 Graduate

For a Graduate Entrepreneur to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you will have to:

Acceleration may be possible. In this case it would be possible to apply for settlement after 3 years if:

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa - Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to apply with someone else?

No, under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa you cannot apply with anyone else as a partner or a join business. However, it may be possible to use the funds of third parties and/or family members if you have permission to do so.

Do I need to show my source of funds?

Yes, if the relevant money has been given to you in the 90 days period before you make the application, you will need to provide proof where the money has come from.

Is it possible for a third party to provide me with the necessary funds?

Yes, it is possible to depend on money that was made available to you by one or more family members, friends and etc. However, the relevant third party will need to provide their contact details and written confirmation that you can use the money for the benefit of your business.

I have finished my university can I open a business now?

If you have at least a bachelor's degree from a UK university you will need to receive an endorsement letter. This letter can come from the university or college you studied in (if it has the authority to endorse students) or you can receive an endorsement from the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Once you receive the letter you can begin preparations for a Graduate Entrepreneur so can start your business.

Are there any restrictions on my visa?

You are permitted to operate your business only and you will not be able to seek other employment, you do not have access to public funds, under this visa you cannot settle (you will need to switch).

How long can I stay in the UK?

With a successful initial application you will be granted a visa for the duration of 12 months. You can apply for this visa from inside & outside the UK (as long as you have finished a UK NORIC approved university and have a letter of endorsement). You will be allowed to extend your visa for an additional 12 months after that you will have to switch to Tier 1 Entrepreneur.

I have been granted my visa what should I do now?

You should register with the relevant authorities to show that you are either self-employed or a director of a company. You will have to invest your money in the your business (you should avoid investing money in a business related to property). For your extension you will need to show that your business is still active.

Is it possible to leave the UK during the visa period?

Yes, you can leave the UK for a maximum period of 180 days per year. However, if your long term goal is to achieve British citizenship you should aim to not leave the country from more than 90 days per year.

Is it possible to bring my family with me?

Yes, you can bring your family with you. This includes your spouse, partner or children under the age of 18.

Am I allowed to settle in the UK and obtain a British Passport?

After your extension for an additional 12 months you will have to switch into a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Once you obtain it you can settle after 5 years of residence or 3 if you satisfy the acceleration requirement. After settlement you will need to live for an additional 12 months and not leave the country for more than 90 days per year.

Can I switch into this visa?

Yes, you switch into this visa if you hold a valid endorsement letter.

What are you getting?

EXTENSIONS after your initial stay in the UK for an additional 12 months

SWITCHING the opportunity to switch into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa after 2 years


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