Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa if you:

  • are a graduate who has been officially endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea
  • are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland


  • You can bring dependent family members with you
  • You can extend your stay in the UK using this visa
  • You can switch into this visa from some other visa categories
  • You can stay in the UK for one year on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • You can apply to extend this visa for one more year
  • You may be able to switch into a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa at the end of your 2 years as a Graduate Entrepreneur if your business is successful
  • You can’t settle in the UK on this visa but can switch into another visa leading to settlement


The eligibility requirements for this visa depends on who is endorsing you.

Getting endorsed

You must be endorsed by either:

  • UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) as part of the elite global graduate entrepreneur programme (Sirius)
  • a UK higher education institution (HEI) if it’s an authorised endorsing body

Endorsement by a UK higher education institution (HEI)

You need all of the following to be eligible:

  • A UK-recognised bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD awarded before your date of endorsement
  • Endorsement from an authorised UK higher education institution issued in the past 3 months
  • Enough savings to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply
  • To meet the English language requirement
  • Permission to remain in the UK from your financial sponsor if they’re a government or an international scholarship agency and have paid your course fees and living costs in the past 12 months

You can't apply with any of the following

  • foundation degrees
  • honorary degrees
  • qualifications awarded in the UK by overseas awarding bodies
  • qualifications undertaken at overseas campuses of UK institutions
  • professional and vocational qualifications
  • postgraduate certificates or diplomas

You don’t have to provide evidence that you have sufficient savings to support yourself if you have an endorsement from UKTI stating you’ve been awarded funding to cover your maintenance.

Contact UK NARIC to find out if you can use your qualification for this visa.

Read the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) guidance when you apply for a visa.

Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways. Check the full visa guidance for detailed information.

How can we help you?

Joyya Law Associates can provide you with advice on the documents you and your family dependents must include in indefinite leave to remain applications, prepare the application form for you and draft representations in support of your application, if needed.

We understand that immigration law is not as straightforward as it is thought to be, so we are here to work with you and hopefully to increase the chances of success of your application.

Joyya Law Associates’ Immigration Solicitors are here to give you friendly, complete and realistic advice on Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa applications.

If you would like to know more about any of these areas of law, simply call us on 0161 835 1607 or complete our online enquiry form.