What is a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa?

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa allows graduates with genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills to stay in the UK to develop their business under the supervision and guidance of their current university. This visa is suitable for those applicants who are not able to apply for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa due to not having the requisite work experience.

Switching to the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

In order to switch into this visa category the applicant must be in the UK and have been awarded a degree from a participating UK academic institution at a Bachelors, Masters, or PhD level.

An applicant can switch into the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa category providing he or she is currently in the UK under the following categories:

  • Tier 4 Migrant;
  • Student;
  • Student nurse;
  • Student re-sitting an examination;
  • Student writing up a thesis;
  • Postgraduate doctor or dentist; or
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant.

Letter of endorsement from a UK higher education institution

In order to make a successful application within this visa category, the applicant will need to provide a letter of endorsement from his or her UK higher education institution. This letter will need to include confirmation from the institution that the applicant’s business idea has been assessed and is found to be a genuine, credible and innovative business idea.

Duration of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa is usually granted for a one year period after which time you can apply for an extension, providing your business is successful. After the two year period the applicant can apply for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa providing he or she is able to meet with the relevant UKBA requirements. Applicants can also switch from the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa into Tier 2 General visa category providing they meet with the relevant points based requirements.

Graduate Entrepreneur Visa does not lead to settlement

Please note that an applicant cannot apply for settlement in the UK under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category and time spent in the UK under this visa category will not count towards the qualifying period for any future applications for settlement in the UK.

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