If you are a budding entrepreneur and want to stay in the UK after graduating to launch a business, then you can apply for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa.
What is the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa?
The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa is for international students who have graduated with an accredited Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degree from a UK university and want to stay in the UK to develop a business idea.
Who can apply?
Any international student who has graduated with a degree from an authorised UK higher education institution. A list of authorised UK institutions can be found here.
How long is the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship visa valid?
The initial visa is valid for 12 months. After 12 months, a student can extend their visa for an additional year. They must re-apply through the initial endorsing body that sponsored their visa. In total, students can stay in the UK for up to 24 months while developing their business.
I’ve developed my business. How can I stay longer than 24 months?
If you have been in the UK for 24 months on a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa you can switch to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. The Entrepreneur Visa is valid for an initial period of three years and four months. At the end of this period you can then apply to extend this visa for an additional two years. To be eligible to switch from the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa you must have access to at least £50,000 in investment funds for your business.
How much does a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa cost?
If you are applying from outside the UK the current cost is £363. If applying from within the UK the current cost is £493. In addition, you will have to pay a £300 health surcharge and you will need to prove that you have had at least £945 in a bank account for six months if applying from inside the UK and at least £1,800 in a bank account for six months if applying from outside the UK.
What do I need to apply?
It’s best to speak to your university, since they will be the ones sponsoring you and can give you the best advice. However, generally you’ll need a business plan and you’ll also have to prove that you’ve thought about how to scale and grow your business. Furthermore, you’ll need to explain why you want to stay in the UK to develop your company.