The government keeps saying that whatever happens with Brexit, the UK is open to business and innovation. If you are a graduate with a business idea, then one means of entering the UK is to apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) visa.
A graduate is eligible to apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) visa if they:
• Are a graduate; and
• Have been officially endorsed as having a credible and genuine business idea; and
• Are from outside the EEA
and Switzerland; and
• Are able to meet the English language requirement; and
• Have the required amount of savings.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
Who is classed as a graduate eligible to apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) visa?
You may think that the definition of a “graduate” is straightforward but top London immigration solicitors
will tell you that the Home Office has defined what the government means by the term “graduate” for the purposes of an application for a Tier 1
You will need:
• A UK recognised bachelor’s degree; or
• A UK recognised master’s degree; or
• A UK recognised PhD.
The degree needs to have been awarded before you receive your endorsement.
• A professional or vocational qualification; or
• A postgraduate diploma; or
• A degree awarded in the UK by an overseas awarding body or a degree qualification awarded by an overseas campus of a UK institution.
bodies argue that restricting the Tier 1
) visa to graduates excludes the students who may have the brightest and most developed sense of entrepreneurial spirit having undertaken vocational courses in the UK.
Endorsement requirements for a Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) visa
The best London immigration solicitors
advise that in order to apply for a Tier 1
) visa you have to have an endorsement from the Department for International Trade or from a UK higher education institution. If the endorsement is from a UK higher education institution then the institution has to be an authorised endorsing agent. The endorsement has to be issued within the past three months.
What is considered a credible and genuine business idea?
The Home Office guidance on Tier 1
) visa applications states that for an applicant to secure a visa they must be able to establish that their endorsing body (the Department for International Trade or UK higher education Institution) considers that they:
• Have a genuine and credible business idea; and
• Will spend the majority of their working time on the business; and
• Are going to be engaged in a relevant business. For example, a business that develops property for resale or a business that manages or rents property will not receive points under the immigration
points based system.
What business structure is necessary to apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) visa?
Many graduates assume that in order to apply for a Tier 1
) visa they need to set up their own company to meet eligibility criteria. The best London immigration solicitors
will tell you that it is not necessary to set up a formal company. The Home Office will accept an application from a graduate who intends to pursue their business idea as a sole trader, in a partnership or having set up a formal company. The important thing is the quality of the business idea and endorsement from an approved agency.
How does a graduate secure endorsement from a university?
If a university is an approved UK educational institution, it can invite students to apply for endorsement from them with a view to then applying for a Tier 1
However, a word of warning as each approved UK educational institution only has a limited number of endorsements available to allocate to graduates. Accordingly, the quality of the business idea and plan will be vital in helping ensure that a graduate gets the necessary endorsement from their university.
How long does a Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) visa last?
A Tier 1
) visa lasts for one year. The visa can be extended for another year.
No one setting up a business in the UK will want to leave a successful business after a two-year period. The immigration rules
allow an applicant to switch to a Tier 1
) visa at the end of the Tier 1
) visa, assuming that the business is a success.
You can apply to switch to the Graduate entrepreneur visa
from one of the following visa categories:
• Tier 2
(General) migrant who is working as a post-doctoral researcher; or
• Tier 4 student; or
• Student nurse; or
• Student who is re-sitting an examination or writing a thesis; or
• Postgraduate doctor or dentist.
If you are intending to apply for a Tier 1
) visa, the important point to note is that the application to switch visa must be made prior to the expiry of the current visa.
How can OTS Solicitors help?