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Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

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This category allows international graduates with a viable business plan to come to the UK to set up a business. Applicants for this visa must have been endorsed by a UK higher education institution or by the UK government's UK Trade and Investment department.

The Graduate Entrepreneur visa is subject to an annual limit set by the UK Home Office, which is set at a different level every year. In 2015 the limit is 1,900 visas.

Points

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa applicants must score 95 points for their visa to be granted. The following table gives a detailed breakdown of how points are awarded for this visa.

Tier 1 graduate Entrepreneur points table

Condition

Points

Having a letter of endorsement from:

  • A UK higher education institution OR;

  • From the UK government's UK Trade and Investment department

Which confirms the following:

  • That you have a viable business plan

  • What sector your businesses will be in (this must not be the management or development of property)

  • That you intend to spend the majority of your working hours on your business

50

Having one of the following qualifications, which must be recognised in the UK:

  • A Bachelor's degree

  • A Master's degree

  • A PhD

25

Having access to the required maintenance funds

10

Meeting the required level of English language proficiency

10

 

Funds

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur applicants must have funds available to support themselves during their stay; the amount of maintenance funds required depends where the applicant is applying from. Those applying from outside of the UK must have funds of at least £1,890, while those applying from inside the UK must have funds of at least £945.

All applicants must have had this amount consistently for 3 months or more.

Length of stay

Up to one year, and up to 2 years with extensions.

Documents

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur applicants must provide several documents with their application. The documents required depend on whether the application is endorsed by a UK higher education institution or by the UK governments UK Trade and Investment department.

Documents needed if endorsed by a UK higher education institution:

  • Current passport and/or other travel documents
     

  • A separate passport photograph
     

  • A letter of endorsement from their UK higher education institution
     

  • Proof that they can meet the maintenance funds requirements for their visa, such as bank statements
     

  • A clear tuberculosis (TB) test result letter, if the applicant is from one of the countries on the Home Office's TB testing list, found here (link)

If the applicant is endorsed by a different higher education institution than the one which awarded their degree they also need:

  • Proof of a degree level qualification, such as an original certificate
     

  • Proof of English language proficiency, such as English language test results

Documents needed if endorsed by the UK government's UK Trade and Investment department:

  • Current passport and/or other travel documents
     

  • Previous passports
     

  • 2 separate passport photographs
     

  • A letter of endorsement from the UK Trade and Investment department
     

  • Proof of a degree level qualification, such as an original certificate
     

  • Proof of English language proficiency, such as English language test results
     

  • A letter of confirmation from the UK's National Agency for the Recognition and Comparison of International Qualifications and Skills (NARIC), confirming that your qualification is recognised by them
     

  • Proof that they can meet the maintenance funds requirements for their visa, such as bank statements
     

  • A clear tuberculosis (TB) test result letter, if the applicant is from one of the countries on the Home Office's TB testing list, found here (link)

If the applicant is not a national of the country where they are making their application from they will need one of the following:

  • Proof of legal residence in the country where they are making their application from, such as a residence permit, visa, or green card

Other activities and restrictions

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa holders may work outside of their business in a second job, but cannot use their visa to settle (gain legal permanent residence) in the UK.

Further information, help, and advice

Workpermit.com's team of specialists has over 25 years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK. We work with OISC registered advisers who can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com