Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
The visa route is now closed for all new applicants since 6th April 2019; however those with existing endorsement can continue to apply for the Tier 1 visa. Please note that you cannot lodge an application after 5th July 2019 if you have not done so for the initial application.
Those intending to extend their leave to remain can do so and will need to meet the published requirements. The Graduate Entrepreneur category allows graduates from universities the ability to develop innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills, to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish a viable business in the UK.
The endorsement letters can be provided from either the universities or UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), to support their application. The endorsement application must be lodged prior any visa application. In most cases, you would be required to submit a fully viable and realistic business plan to support the application. A visa cannot be applied prior the endorsement letter being approved.
How to meet the requirements of the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
To apply for the visa, you will need to have been approved by your Endorsing Body and have been given the approval letter to be submitted for the visa application.
You will have met the English language requirements through the completion of the degree and will need to show the maintenance requirements have been met.
The visa is granted for a period of 12 months and you would be able to extend your visa for a further 12 months, therefore will have a 24 months visa in total. The other benefit on this visa is the ability to build your business idea and then work full time simultaneously, allowing you to support yourself as well as possibly gaining business work experience.
The only exception to the above is that if your visa was granted prior 5th April 2013, you would not be allowed to be employed more than 20 hours a week.
Who can apply for the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
You can only apply from the UK if you have been granted a student visa, Tier 4 student visa or a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. If you hold any other leave to remain, you must leave the UK and apply for entry clearance.
There are no discretions applied if you hold any other visa categories, which includes any point based system category other than the ones listed above.
Extending the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
Once you have completed your 12 months and have not been able to switch into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you can extend your visa for a further 12 months, however you would need to demonstrate there has been progression on your business idea Your Endorsing Agency must be satisfied that there has been clear progression and you would be asked to provide evidences to support your grounds of extension.
The Home Office does not usually conduct a review on your business or the business plan but they may ask questions to understand your reasons for the extension of further 12 months.
You would be also allowed to change the Endorsing Body, however when moving to another body, they will be asked by the Home Office to conduct a thorough review of your business and the business plan, to see there has been previous progression.
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa refusal
If the Tier 1 visa is refused, you will be given a right to complete an administrative review. The Endorsing Body or the Home Office will set out their reasons for the refusal and you would be able to challenge the decision by way of completing an administrative review.
Taking legal advice on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
We at ICS Legal will provide guidance and correct advice on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. We can also assist on the endorsing agency application and complete the visa process both together.
You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are considering to apply under the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.