Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

What is Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)?

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) is an immigration category to allow graduates with genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills to stay in the UK to develop their business under the supervision of their UK academic institution.

How do I apply for the visa?

To apply for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) immigration permission, you need a Letter of Endorsement from London Met.

To apply for this letter, you must pass an Endorsement Selection Process run by the Accelerator and the Sponsorship Compliance teams at London Met. We will use this selection process to identify genuine and credible business ideas that the university will endorse.

To enquire about the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and the Endorsement Selection Process, please contact adviceinternational@londonmet.ac.uk.

When should I apply to the London Met Endorsement Scheme?

You should apply three months before the expiration of your current immigration permission, and no more than four months before expiration. Unless you allow at least three months between deadline and the expiry of your current immigration permission, unfortunately we cannot guarantee that we will be able to process your application to the Endorsement Scheme before your visa expires. You are now allowed to apply for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa from overseas, so if we cannot process your application prior to the expiration of your visa, you can continue your application from your home country.

What happens after you are endorsed?

If the UK government grants you Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) immigration permission, London Met is responsible for monitoring the progress of your business against the agreed key performance indicators for the one-year period.

At the end of this year, if progress is satisfactory and you have not already been granted more than one year of immigration permission under the scheme, London Met may choose to send you a second letter of endorsement to recommend an extension of your Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) immigration permission for one further year.

Note that, as a London Met endorsed Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) immigration permission holder, you will be permitted to use the Hatchery hot desk space at Accelerator.

Who can apply for immigration permission as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) at London Met?

You may be able to apply for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) immigration permission if:

  • you have never been granted immigration permission under Tier 1 (Post-Study Work), Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme, International Graduates Scheme or the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme; and
  • you have not previously been granted more than one year of immigration permission under this scheme; and
  • you have been awarded a London Met bachelor’s or postgraduate degree within the preceding 12 months; and
  • (if you are applying in the UK) you have savings of at least £945 and you have held these savings for at least 90 days before you make your immigration application; or
  • (if you are applying from outside the UK) you have savings of at least £1,890 and you have held these savings for at least 90 days before you make your immigration application

Please note, you can only make an immigration application for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) in the UK if your most recent grant of immigration permission is as a Tier 4 (General) Student or if your most recent grant of immigration permission is as a Tier 2 (General) migrant and you are working at London Met as a postdoctoral researcher. Otherwise, you will have to return to your home country to make an application for entry clearance.

For full details of the requirements, read the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) of the Points Based System – Policy Guidance document, which is available from the Home Office website.

Please note that students who intend to create businesses in property development or management are excluded from the scheme.

How long can I stay in the UK with Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) immigration permission?

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) immigration permission will be granted for one year.

Provided you have not already been granted more than one year of immigration permission under the scheme and if your business is a success, London Met may choose to provide you with a second endorsement letter and you may be able to apply for immigration permission for a second year.

If your business continues to be a success, you may be able to apply for immigration permission as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur). Visit the UK Border Agency website for more information about Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) immigration permission.

Further information

If you have questions about the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneurship) scheme, please make an appointment to discuss your situation with an adviser by contacting adviceinternational@londonmet.ac.uk.