Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Route is for UK graduates who have been identified by Higher Education Institutions (HEI) as having developed genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills to establish a business in the UK.  If you are granted a Tier 2 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, you will be granted leave to remain in the UK for 1 year and there may be an opportunity to extend this visa for a further year.

Our expert business immigration team have assisted graduates who have been officially endorsed as having genuine and credible business ideas in obtaining a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa and are familiar with the complex guidance and immigration rules surrounding this visa.


The eligibility criteria for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa depends on how the applicant will be endorsed. For example, to apply for a visa under this route, you must be endorsed either by a HEI (if you received your qualification in the UK) or UKTI (if you received your qualification outside the UK). Applicants must bear in mind that the visa application must be submitted within 3 months of the endorsement being issued.

The process comprises of 2 stages. Firstly, you must be endorsed by either a Higher Education Institution (HEI) that is an authorised endorsing agent or by the Department of International Trade (DIT). Secondly, after you have obtained an endorsement, you can move forward to make the visa application in accordance with Immigration Rules.

Below are the essential criteria that you will need to satisfy to be eligible for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa:

  • Be from outside the EEA and Switzerland;
  • Have obtained an endorsement from a HEI or DIT;
  • Hold a UK recognised Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD;
  • Satisfy the English language requirement (you may be exempt from the requirement if you are a national of a majority English speaking country or if you hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD that is taught in English and is equivalent to UK qualifications);
  • Meet the maintenance requirements. You will need to have held £945 in savings if applying from inside the UK or £1890 if applying outside of the UK. You will have to demonstrate that you have held these funds for 90 consecutive days immediately prior to your date of application;
  • Do not fall under the general grounds for refusal in accordance with Immigration Rules.

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced by the Home Office on 6 April 2015 and applies to temporary, non-EEA migrants who are coming to the UK for more than 6 months. Payment for IHS is collected by the Home Office and goes directly to the National Health Service (NHS).

If instructed, our team of expert lawyers can consider whether you will need to pay the IHS. If you wish to consider your options, please contact our team today and arrange a meeting with a qualified immigration solicitor who can advise you of your options.

Expert UK Business Immigration Solicitors

Our immigration solicitors can help you prepare your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa application; our expert team offer some of the following services:

  • Consultation in person or via Skype or telephone with an experienced immigration solicitor who can advise on whether you meet the eligibility requirements and the merits of your application;
  • Tailored legal advice which will assist you in collating the documents required for an application; and
  • Preparation of the relevant application forms and legal representations.

If you wish to have your documents checked by an expert immigration solicitor, please contact us so we can explore your options.

We are a UK law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our professional business immigration team today and we can offer you a consultation in person or via telephone or Skype so we can explore your options. You can leave us a message on our Contact Form or give us a call on 02071830570.

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