The IAS Visa Wizard is the easy way to find the correct visa for you
If you are an international graduate with a UK bachelors degree and a genuine and credible business idea, you may be eligible for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. This visa allows you to start or take over a business in the UK, for a maximum period of 3 years and 4 months. It also offers the possibility of extending your visa for another year, providing the business has proven successful during this period. If you aren’t a graduate, you may be eligible for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.
With the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, you will be granted an initial one-year stay in the UK to set up your business. You will also be able to extend this visa by one year and then switch to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa if your business is successful.
You will need to prove that you have a credible business plan and have the funds available to begin investing in it. You will also need endorsement from a UK higher education institution or the Department for International Trade (DIT).
This application is very complex and has a high refusal rate. Seeking legal advice will give you the best chance possible for success. If you’re interested in the Graduate Entrepreneur route, get in touch today.
Or, read our FAQs below for more information.
To be eligible you must be from outside the EEA (European Economic Area), have gained either your Bachelor’s degree or higher from a UK institution and have had your business idea endorsed by one of the remove institutions.
You must have evidence that you can financially support yourselves by either having £945 in your bank account if you’re applying from inside the UK or £1,890 if you’re applying from outside the UK.
There are many differences between the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa and the Entrepreneur Visa. A Graduate Entrepreneur Visa can only be granted to someone with a UK Bachelors Degree or above. Someone applying for an Entrepreneur Visa needs to prove their previous experience and how their education will contribute to their business’ success in the UK.
The Entrepreneur Visa lasts for also a period of a most of 3 years and 4 months whereas the Graduate Entrepreneur period is one year. Furthermore, the Entrepreneur Visa requires you to have access to move funds to invest in the UK.
A Graduate Entrepreneur Visa must be endorsed by the DIT (Department for International Trade) as part of the elite global graduate entrepreneur programme (Sirius) or from a Higher Education body in the UK. The Higher Education must be able to endorse post-graduate visas in the UK.
There are many universities in the UK that do endorse this visa, but, it’s important to note that the amount of Graduate Entrepreneur Visas issued each year is usually under 2000 and this may decrease again after Brexit.
You must first apply through either your university or the DIT by putting together a business plan and a presentation about your business idea that will be judged by the institutions. The idea you present must be seen to be genuine and be seen to have a future in the UK.
Once your idea has been approved you can make the application. You’re able to apply online if you’re outside of the UK and if you are in the UK then your application must be sent through the post.
Family members from outside the EEA will be able to come with you, however, there are some requirements. They may either be your spouse or your child who is under the age of 18. They will have to pay their Healthcare Surcharge with their Dependent Visa application. There must also be evidence of maintenance funds for each dependent.
The Home Office has recently announced plans to begin a new ‘Startup Visa’ route which they state will replace the current entrepreneur route for graduates. This visa will not require applicants to have a university education.
For more information on the new Startup Visa.
If applying for a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, it is important to note that there is an annual limit on the number accepted by the Home Office. The amount of Graduate Entrepreneur Visas issued each year is usually under 2000 and this may decrease again after Brexit.
As a result, your application for a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa will be heavily scrutinised and the assistance of a legal expert during your application process is highly advisable.
At IAS, our team of expert immigration lawyers can walk you through each part of your application. We can also ensure that your business plan is as thorough as it needs to be, that you are fully prepared for your interview and that your chances of success are maximised.
IAS can also assist with extending your Entrepreneur Visa once yours is set to expire.
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