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Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa - Top Three Tips For Successfully Pitching Your Business

In recent years, the UK government has imposed severe restrictions on non-EEA graduates attending UK universities from staying in Britain to work following completion of their course. One of the countries most affected by these restrictions is India, which has made clear to British Prime Minister, Theresa May, that any talk of a bi-lateral trade deal between the two countries could be hampered unless Britain softens its immigration policy towards its students. One way talented graduates from non-EEA countries can remain in the UK after their course ends is to successfully obtain a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa. A Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa is available for graduates who have a genuine and credible business idea. It allows a successful applicant to remain in the UK to establish their business after finishing their studies.

Eligibility for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

To qualify for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa, your business idea must be endorsed by either:

  • an approved Higher Educational Institute; or
  • The Department for International Trade

To be eligible for entry into the UK under the Graduate Entrepreneur route, via endorsement by a Higher Educational Institution, you must have all of the following:

  • 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 three months
  • A minimum of £945 in savings if applying from inside the UK, or £1,890 if applying from outside the UK to support yourself
  • meet the English language requirements
  • 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

To gain endorsement by the Department for International Trade (DIT), you need all of the following:

  • a degree qualification that is recognised as being equal to a UK bachelor's degree
  • to meet the criteria set by DIT
  • endorsement from DIT issued in the past 3 months
  • At least £945 in savings if applying from inside the UK or £1,890 if applying from outside the UK
  • meet the English language requirements

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

Three tips for a successful pitch

The biggest challenge prospective Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applicants must face is getting a body to endorse their business idea. How you pitch your concept and present your business plan will make all the difference as to whether or not you receive endorsement. Our top three tips for obtaining endorsement from an approved Higher Education Institution are as follows:

  1. Make sure your idea is original - you don't need to be the next Thomas Edison but your entrepreneurial idea must be relevant, original and applicable to the UK. Think about your market and your potential customers. What is the problem your unique idea will solve? Can this be done cost-effectively? Will investors see enough potential and return to provide the funding you need to get the idea off the ground? Once you have a clear answer to all these questions, you need to succinctly communicate your idea and its value to the British market in your pitch.
  2. Create a sharp business plan - your business plan not only has to demonstrate why your idea should gain endorsement and funding, it also needs to clearly identify the benefit it will have to the British market long-term. Market research is vital - there is no-point trying to pitch an idea that has already been done well. However, if you can add value from a customer's perspective to an existing idea, you may succeed in convincing the endorsement panel that your concept deserves a chance. Make sure you also include references to UK employment legislation if you plan to hire staff and the source and extent of your funding including how much of your own capital you plan to risk on the venture. All these points will add to the credibility of your pitch, showing that you have thoroughly researched the market and are prepared to risk your own money on making your venture a success.
  3. Study entrepreneur and business modules as part of your course and enter competitions - if you have optional modules within your course that cover topics including entrepreneurship, management and innovation, make sure you take them. This shows the endorsement committee that you have been planning your venture for some time and are truly committed to making it work. There are also entrepreneur competitions that allow you to develop and pitch your idea to a panel of experts. This can be a great way to get experience in selling your idea and you may possibly obtain some funding for your venture.

In summary

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa provides a way for dynamic, innovative graduates to remain in the UK and launch their own business based on a unique concept. To ensure the success of your application, it is advisable to seek expert legal advice to ensure your business pitch to an endorsing body and your application to UK Visas & Immigration has the highest chance of success. The team at Reiss Edwards consists of some of London's leading immigration solicitors. If you require expert legal advice on obtaining a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa and how to successfully pitch to an endorsement committee, please call us on 020 3744 2797.

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ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis Lexis Nexis
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O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

Zohaib Butt

"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija dealt with my case and I found her very professional and experienced in dealing with my application. The care and attention to detail was exceptional. I would definitely recommend Reiss Edwards!".

Quintus Liu

"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

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Deepak Chartbhurjh

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Hakeem Salam

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Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration...

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Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They ac...

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Richard Stone

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Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to ...

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