Graduate Entrepreneur Visas

Call 0333 363 8577 for a free consultation

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.

How can IAS help?

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 on 0333 363 8577 or use our online contact form.

Or, read our FAQs below for more information.



Am I eligible for a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa?

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.

What’s the difference between a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa and a regular Entrepreneur Visa?

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.

How can I apply for a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa?

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.

Can I bring my spouse/children with me?

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.

What is the UK Startup Visa?

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.

What services does IAS offer?

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.

Our Graduate Entrepreneur Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals


Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible


Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline


Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any hearings/tribunals


A few of

our experienced

immigration lawyers

Case studies

We are proud to have changed lives for the better. Here are some of their stories:

Joe: Student Visa

Joe, a Japanese National, was accepted into a UK university on a Tier 4 Visa at short notice and needed help to gain entry to the country as soon… Read More

Remy: Working in the UK

Remy was a French national living in the UK who had found employment in the UK.
However, his employer was unsure whether or not Remy was eligible to work in the… Read More

Romy: British Citizenship

Romy was a French National who had been living in the UK for 14 years.
Due to Brexit, she wanted to secure her life in the UK by acquiring British Citizenship… Read More

Joginder: Tier 2 to Tier 4

Joginder is a Kenyan National who had been working in the UK under a Tier 2 Visa.
Although he was given the option to extend his Tier 2 Visa, he… Read More

Ben finds employment whilst visiting the UK

Ben is a Brazilian national. While he was visiting the UK for business, he was offered a placement with a UK company.
He needed help as soon as possible and… Read More

Daniel: Fiance Visa

Daniel was in a long-distance relationship with his partner, a Brazilian National. He proposed to her and wanted to bring her over to the UK but was unsure of his… Read More

Latest reviews

Seridne M
Brilliant service and very friendly helpful staff. I have received my letter for my ceremony and it took me only… Read More

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