The PBS Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa has been recently closed by the UK government and replaced by the two new categories, Start-Up Visa and Innovator. Migrants that have been granted a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa and are now in the United Kingdom are able to switch to start-up category by being endorsed by an endorsing institution under the Immigration Rules. The Start-up visa is for graduates who demonstrate high entrepreneurial potential and wish to start a business in the UK for the first time.
To be endorsed you must have successfully completed a degree-level qualification from one of the endorsing bodies and you must not have previously established a business in the UK. The only exceptions to this are if you have already been granted leave under the Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) categories, or under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme.
On top of demonstrating high entrepreneurial potential, candidates will be assessed by the same educational institution against the following criteria, as set by the Home Office:
1. Innovation: Does the applicant have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage?;
2. Viability: Does the applicant have, or are they actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business?;
3. Scalability: Is there evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets?
When applying, applicants will be required to produce a letter from their university confirming that the business venture is genuine and credible. To be successful, applicants must be endorsed by the same educational institution they have been granted their leave to enter as Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).
1. you must spend the majority of your working time on developing the business idea in the UK.
2. you must participate in Accelerate Cambridge programmes for the first year.
The current High Education Endorsing Bodies can be found on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/endorsing-bodies-start-up/start-up
What is the duration of the leave?
The Start-up visa will be valid for two years. After this period, applicants can consider switching into the Innovator route. It is currently not possible to extend further under the Start-up visa.
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