The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur is an immigration route designed specifically for migrants who have been endorsed by their universities as having credible business ideas that will be beneficial to the United Kingdom. To apply for a Tier 1 Graduate entrepreneur visa, the following must apply:-
Endorsement: - The first phase of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship process begins with the applicant been endorsed by his university. Please make sure you university has been endorsed and is recognised by the UKBA for participating in the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Universities that are involved in this are called participating institutions.
Participating institutions would normally have their internal laid down process of determining qualification. These procedures would have normally been endorsed or okay'd by the Home Office. This is usually the criteria for them been accepted under this scheme
Endorsement is usually takes the form of an endorsement letter written by the University stating their endorsement of the applicant for the Tier 1 General application.
The next step after endorsement is to apply for the Graduate Entrepreneur visa. In your visa application, you will normally include proofs that you have completed your study, have passed and been awarded.
In addition to the above mentioned, you will also need to show that you meet the maintenance requirements. This means that you must have kept at least the sum of GBP 945 in your personal bank account for a minimum of 90 days. Please note that the sum above quoted above (GBP 945) is correct as at the time of writing this piece and is only applicable for in-country application.
For out of country applications you will need the sum of GBP 11,890 to be held in your personal bank account for 28 days. In addition, you will also need to pay the new IHS fee. Note also, that these figures are only correct as at the time of writing this web page.
It is important to note also, that your endorsement letter must be used within three months from the date it was issued.
Yes! Your dependants can apply with you. Your dependants will strictly include your spouse and/or your child. Importantly children above the age of 18 can no longer apply as dependants under this route.
Also, your dependants who may already be in the UK can also switch to depend on your visa; as dependants of a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur.
Graduates who have been identified to have brought into being exceptional innovative ideas or entrepreneurial expertise by United Kingdom Higher Education Institutions and intends to continues his/her residence on the United Kingdom so as to begin one or more business related operations whist in the UK after he/she has graduated from school can do so by Switching into Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category. Before the individual makes an application for this course, he/she is required to make a request to a United Kingdom Education Institution that is approved by the United Kingdom Border Agency for endorsement so as to receive Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) permit. The individual is required to make use of the Endorsement received for the UK Higher Education Institution as part of the application whilst the application to remain under this category before three months after receipt of the endorsement. The institution is charged with the responsibility of supervising the person whilst he/she is successful in this category.
The Immigration Rules explains the term 'business' to be a embarking on a venture as either a sole trader, partnership or a company registered in the United Kingdom.
It is not possible for an individual to make an application for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) if he/she is stationed outside the United Kingdom.
Switching into this category is authorised if the applying individual has been offered residence in the United Kingdom under any of the following categories:
However, the individual will not be authorised to make an application if he/she has previously receive entry clearance, leave to enter or 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).
If you are looking to make an application to switch into the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category, please contact one of our immigration solicitors on 0203744 2797 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The person applying is limited by the government of the United Kingdom to a number of applications under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category he/she is permitted to make as there is limited openings of 2,000 places per year (running from 6 April 2013 to 5 April 2014).
These openings are however allocated as thus:
100 places known as Global endorsements, allocated to UKTI for overseas graduates.
This limit of the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) does not apply to application for extension in a situation where the individual applying has been previously granted leave to remain under this category.
If an application is a success the applying person will be granted initially leave to remain for 12 months, which may be further extended for another 12 months as long as the HEI sponsor is pleased with the advancement attained by the Graduate Entrepreneur.
To be granted Leave to Remain under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, the individual will be required to meet the following conditions:
Applicants can only switch into this visa category if their last grant of leave was as a:-
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)
In the category, the individual is required to spend most of his/her time in growing his/her business but is also authorised to take up employ for at most 20 hours a week in order to get additional fund for support and maintenance.
Application for extension under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Category is authorized for individuals who have been previously granted leave to remain for 12 months as seeks to extend his/her stay. He/she might be granted an extension for an additional 12 months is the application is a success under this category. However, a maximum total of 2 years granted leave is permitted under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Category.
The limit of the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) does not apply to application for extension in a situation where the individual applying has been previously granted leave to remain under this category.
Extension of Stay as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
If your current leave to remain is as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, you may apply for an extension under the same category. Your sponsoring institution will theoretically have seen your business idea(s) grow and are happy to sponsor you to keep growing your business or idea. On the other hand if they feel that the business / business idea is failing and has no hope of survival, they may decide against your sponsorship and withdraw your endorsement.
If however, they are happy with your progress in the first year and continue to endorse you, you may apply for an visa extension under the Tier 2 Graduate entrepreneur visa category. If successful, you will be granted an additional year leave on your visa. It is important to note that there is a maximum of 2 years leave allowable under the Tier 1 Graduate entrepreneur scheme
It is expected that after two years, if the business continues to remain viable, the graduate entrepreneur may then apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. In which case he wouldn't need the normal GBP 200,000 investment funds but just GBP 50, 000.
A Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur migrant is allowed to bring in their dependants to join them in the UK. They will need to make an application as a dependant of a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur.
For the purposes of UK Immigration, a dependant is defined as a:-
Please note that your dependants may be over the age of 18 years if they became 18 in the UK but were under the age of 18 as at the time of their initial application. The Home Office will normally grant leave in line with the expiry date of the main applicant, in this case, the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur.
If you are a husband/wife or civil partner, an unmarried or same sex partner , or a child aged under 18 years, you fall into the category of the dependants.
In a situation where by a child is older than 18 years, he/she will be recognised as a dependant if he/she is currently in the country as a dependant.
If you as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa holder have dependants who intend to join you in the United Kingdom, they are permitted to make an application for a Visa in this regard to the UKVI. They will usually be issued visa that will elapse the same day as that held by you the Tier 1 Graduate Visa Holder.
In order to be considered for entry as your Spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, same sex partner or family member, you (the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur) as well as the dependant will each be required to be 18 years of age and over on the date in which they are to enter the country.
On the other hand, for your child to be considered for entry he/she is required to be less than 18 years of age on the date in which the application was made.
Recently there have been a lot of changes to the Immigration Rules some of which includes (that was enacted on October 1st, 2013) on the ability of individuals to switch into the Points Based System (PBS) of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur from inside the country. The individual will not be permitted to switch if:
For a child to make an application for leave as a child of a Points Based System (PBS) migrant, he/she is expected to be less than 18 years of age on the application date. However, in a situation where by the child is above 18 years of age, it is required that he/she holds or has held leave as a PBS migrant's family member, or a person making a leave application simultaneously as the Points Based System (PBS) Migrant.
If you seek an extension of your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur PBS dependant visa, you may be permitted to make an application along with the Main Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa holder (when he either seeks for extension or Indefinite Leave of Remain).
For Family members of the Points Based System (PBS) to be qualified for entry they have to meet the requirement of financial capability. They will have to meet their maintenance need without seeking for aid from public funds. In order to meet this requirement they are required to make proofs that support their claim available before making the application; that they have sufficient fund for maintenance that could last for a minimum of 90 days.
In some cases where the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur might be outside the country on a temporary basis not up to a year, it is expected that every family member would provide for themselves or for children (By the second parent in the country) £1800 available for meeting maintenance needs as well as the initial amount required as evidence of financial capability.
If the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur migrant will spend more than a year outside the country, each of the dependants remaining in the country would be required to make available for support and maintenance £600.
The PBS Dependant applicant can Lodge an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal if his/her application is rejected. If he/she is not given the right to appeal, he/she can challenge the decision through Judicial Review in the Upper Tribunal.
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