TIER 1 GRADUATE ENTREPRENEUR VISA
The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa route is closing to new applicants on 29 March 2019. Two new immigration routes – the Start-up visa and Innovator visa – will open to new applicants on 29 March 2019.
The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa category is for non-EEA nationals who want to set up a business in the UK and who have been endorsed by a UK Higher Education Institution or the Department for International Trade as having a credible business idea and entrepreneurial skills.
What are the main eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa?
In order to qualify for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you have a degree, either from the UK or from an overseas education institution which has been confirmed as equivalent to a UK degree by UK NARIC.
You will also need to have an endorsement from a UK Higher Educational Institution or the Department for International Trade issued within the last 3 months.
Your endorsement must confirm that you have a genuine and credible business idea and that you will spend the majority of your time on your business venture.
You must be able to speak English to a required standard and support yourself in the UK without recourse to public funds.
What else do I need to know about the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa?
There is a limit of 2,000 endorsements which can be given each year. Of these, the Department for International Trade can only endorse 100 applications.
You will not be able to apply to enter this category if you have ever held leave as a Tier 1 Post Study Work migrant.
You can switch into this category if you have, or last held, leave as a Tier 4 General Student or a Tier 2 General Migrant. Individuals in other categories will need to leave the UK and apply for Entry Clearance as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur.
If your application for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa is successful, you will be granted leave for a period of one year initially, which can be extended for one further year.
At any stage after being granted leave as a Graduate Entrepreneur you will be able to switch into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category, if you have access to £50,000. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur category can lead to settlement in the UK.
Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany or join you as the Family Member of a PBS migrant.
How our immigration barristers can help
Richmond Chambers is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading immigration practices for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs. Our immigration barristers were awarded ‘Business Immigration Chambers of the Year in England’ at the 2018 Corporate Intl Magazine Global Awards, ‘UK Business Immigration Barrister of the Year’ at the ACQ5 Law Awards 2018 and ‘Business Immigration Set of the Year’ at the Global Law Experts Awards 2017. The work of our immigration barristers on behalf of entrepreneurs has also been recognised through membership of the Investment Migration Council and the Department of International Trade’s Investor Support Network.
Our team of immigration barristers has experience in assisting all types of entrepreneurs. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for graduate entrepreneurs and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to entrepreneurs as part of a professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Drafting a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur compliant business plan
As part of your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur application for endorsement, you may wish to include a detailed business plan. We can assist you to identify a suitably qualified business plan writer, instruct the business plan writer on your behalf and then liaise with the business plan writer to ensure that your business plan satisfies the requirements of the Immigration Rules.
Genuine entrepreneur interview preparation for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa applicants
Your endorsing body will need to be satisfied that you have a genuine and credible business idea and that you will spend the majority of your time on your business venture. Part of their assessment might involve an interview or presentation of your business plan.
Our Genuine Entrepreneur Interview Preparation sessions include:
- Advice as to potential interview questions;
- One-to-one interview practice with an immigration barrister;
- Constructive feedback on all aspects of your performance;
- Advice and tips on further preparation and how to improve on any weak areas;
- Time for you to ask questions and/or address any other concerns that you have about the interview.
Applications for extension of stay as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
You must have a new endorsement from a UK Higher Educational Institution or the Department for International Trade.
Your new endorsement must confirm that you have made satisfactory progress in developing your business.
You must be able to speak English and support yourself in the UK without recourse to public funds.
Applications for extension of stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur
In order to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, you will need to show that you have access to:
You will need to be competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking) and have enough additional money to support yourself without relying on public funds.
You will also need to satisfy the Home Office that you genuinely intend and are able to be actively involved in the running of a UK business and that you have a viable and credible business plan. The Home Office will look at your time as a Graduate Entrepreneur, in part, to assess these criteria.
Fresh applications, Administrative reviews and Judicial reviews for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs
If your application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.