New Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

16 April 2012

The UK Border Agency (UKBA), has introduced a new Tier 1 Points-Based Visa as a replacement for the Tier 1 Post-Study Work route. Whilst not a direct replacement, it will allow those who complete a course of undergraduate (or further) study in the UK to go on to make an application for an extension of stay in the UK.

Those wishing to extend their stay under the UK Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa will need to score 95 points under the points-based system in order to qualify.

The new visa category also comes with a quota of 1,000 visa which will be issued between April 2012 and April 2013. The following year a further 1,000 visa will be made available. The limit however, will not apply to those applying for extensions under the UK Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa category. The 1,000 visas will be split equally between educational institutions with a maximum of 10 per institution.

Applicants will be awarded 75 points by securing an Endorsement directly from the higher educational institution, which must have not been used previously in an application. The endorsement will be issue in the form of a letter and must be used within three months after which it will lapse. The 75 points will be divided equally in three parts – 25 points for having gained the endorsement, 25 points of having completed a UK Bachelor, Master, or PhD within 12 months of the application and 25 points if the sponsoring institution can confirm that the applicant is genuine, credible, and that their business idea is innovative. The remaining 20 points are given for having the requirement maintenance and meeting the English Language requirement.

Please note that applicants can not making an application for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa if they have previously been granted entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain under any of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (Post Study Worker);
  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme; or
  • International Graduates Scheme, or its predecessor the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme;