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Opportunity for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Route – It’s an Opportunity for Bright Students

May 23, 2018
Last Updated on May 22, 2024

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa can be the right category for foreign graduate students who have been officially endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea. Home to major tech, finance, media, law, and STEM sectors, Britain provides the perfect launch-pad for talented graduates.

Not only does applying for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa provide an opportunity for talented non-EEA students to remain in the UK after completing their studies, but it also delivers a platform from which to pitch their business idea and plan.

Obtaining a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is challenging; the standards are high and the competition fierce. However, A Y & J Solicitors have a wealth of experience in supporting those wishing to apply for entry into the UK under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa route. Not only can we assist you with entry clearance, but we can guide you through the endorsement process, dramatically improving your chances of having your application approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

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I would certainly use their services again if need be and recommend to others.

A Y & J solicitors were an absolute god-send. They supported me through each painstaking step of my application process. I rapidly became assured that I was in good hands and found their advice to be clear, calm and sound. The staff were very patient, accommodating and I felt well listened. I would certainly use their services again if need be and recommend to others”.

How to Get a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

The application process for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is two-fold. Firstly, you must receive an endorsement from either the Department for International Trade (DIT) or a Higher Education Institution (HEI) which has been authorised as an endorsing body. Following endorsement, all applicants must seek entry-clearance from UKVI.

Endorsement for the DIT for your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

The DIT partners with the Sirius Programme which “aims to bring some of the most exciting businesses and entrepreneurs from around the world to the UK”.

To be endorsed by the Sirius Programme, you need to be part of an entrepreneurial team of up to five people (more may be considered). At least 50% of all team members across the Programme must be recent graduates who are not British citizens and who require a visa to remain for work purposes in the UK.

Endorsement from an HEI for your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

To obtain an endorsement from an HEI, you must have been awarded a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD before applying for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.

To provide an endorsement, the HEI will need to be convinced you have a genuine and credible business idea and you will spend your time in the UK developing this idea into a credible business. The idea must also make good use of your skills and education and be of benefit to the UK economy. To be successful, you must show your idea will have a greater impact than simply being a routine business that competes with other traders.

You need to be a founder or co-founder of the business or hold shares in the company. To successfully be endorsed for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, you need to be more than an employee. It is also important to note that businesses which are primarily involved in property development or property management are not permitted under this visa route.

How do I Pitch my Entrepreneurial Idea to the Sirius Programme of an HEI?

The most exciting part of applying for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is pitching your business idea. Most HEI’s have dedicated information evenings for those wishing to apply for the graduate entrepreneur programme. You will then be asked to pitch your business proposition to a panel who will then decide whether to endorse it.

Pitching your idea to the Sirius Programme involves sending in a presentation describing your idea and a pitch deck of slides made up of the following:

  • Introduction– who you are, why you’re applying for the Sirius Programme?
  • Team– who are involved with the business you’re pitching; briefly describe how you met, each person, what their role is and what they bring to the team?
  • Problem– what are you trying to solve?
  • Advantages– what makes your idea better than anyone else’s and how are you different from others?
  • Solution– how will you solve the problem?
  • Product– how does your product or service work?
  • Traction– who are your potential customers?
  • Market– what’s the potential size of your market?
  • Competition– who’s out there doing something similar?
  • Business model– how will you make money?
  • Investing– what are your planned budget/financials?

Obtaining Entry-Clearance into the UK on a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

If you are successful in obtaining an endorsement, the next step is to secure entry-clearance. To do this, you will need to show:

  • you meet the English language requirements
  • you have £945 in savings if applying from inside the UK, or £1,890 if applying from outside the UK, which has been in your bank account for at least 90 days
  • any other requirements set by the DIT or HEI endorsing you

You will need to provide copies of your passport or other valid travel documentation, proof of your endorsement, bank statements showing you have the required funds to support yourself, and the results of your tuberculosis test if you are required to have one.

In Summary

Smart, talented individuals can greatly benefit from having a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. The initial visa is granted for one year; however, if the business is successful, this can be extended to two years. This route does not lead directly to settlement. However, it is possible to switch from this route into Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa which can lead to settlement (indefinite leave to remain).

Meet our experienced team who can walk through the requirements surrounding obtaining entry into the UK through the graduate entrepreneur route and assist you with the endorsement and visa application process. We understand what immigration officials are looking for when it comes to a genuine and credible business idea, and we will assist you. With our assistance, you can be confident about immigration requirement.

Get in Touch With A Y & J Solicitors.

A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like to have more information, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.

Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.

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