This route is for graduates who have been identified by UK Higher Education Institutions as having developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills. This will enable the person to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK. You need to request an endorsement directly from a UK Higher Education Institution who has been approved by the UK Visa and Immigration for the purposes of Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category prior to making an application. You must submit your application along with the original endorsement letter within 3 months from the date of issue. When issued with an endorsement, you will be under the supervision of the institution that endorsed you while you are in this category.
For the purpose of the Immigration Rules ‘business’ means an enterprise as a:
company registered in the UK.
You cannot apply under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category if you are outside the UK.
Switching into the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category is permitted where the applicant has or has last been granted leave as a:
i) Tier 4 Migrant;
iii) Student Nurse;
iv) Student Re-sitting an Examination
v) Student Writing up a Thesis
vi) Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist; or
vii) Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant.
Applicants must not have previously been granted entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) migrant, a Participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme, or a Participant in the International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme)
Limit on Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applications
The UK government has limited the number of applications that can be made under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category.
There is a limit of 2,000 places per year (running from 6 April 2013 to 5 April 2014).
The limit of 2,000 places will be allocated as follows:
900 places will be allocated to qualifying Higher Education Institutions (HEI);
1,000 places will be allocated to qualifying Higher Education Institutions for MBA graduates, known as MBA endorsements; and
100 places will be allocated to UKTI for overseas graduates, known as Global endorsements.
The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) limit will not apply to extension applications where the applicant has, or last had, leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).