Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

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Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

This route is for graduates who are identified as having an outstanding business idea that they wish to develop and then put that idea into practice in the UK. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) endorses graduates from the UK as having a genuine and credible business idea. The Department for International Trade (DIT), endorses individuals who got their qualification from outside of the UK.

There are 2000 places available for Graduate Entrepreneurs per year; the year runs from 6th April to the 5th April the following year. The places are allocated as follows: 1900 For HEIs to endorse graduates and 100 For DIT to endorse overseas graduates.

An applicant can make an entry clearance application or switch in the UK from Tier 4 Student Visa or a Tier 2 General Visa (special conditions apply). There is an English language and maintenance requirements for this visa.

The visa is granted for one year and it can be extended for a further year if the graduate is endorsed again. A migrant can spend a maximum of two years on this route and it does not lead to indefinite leave.

So as to obtain entry clearance within Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur you must achieve the following number of points:

  • At least 75 points for Attributes
  • 10 points for Maintenance
  • 10 points for English language

In order to obtain the Attributes points you must:


  • Have been endorsed by a UK Higher Educational Institution or The Department of International Trade. – 25 points

Note that this should come in form of a letter.

  • Have been awarded or recognized either a: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or a Doctor of Philosophy – 25 points

Note that the qualification must be a UK degree, otherwise it must be confirmed by UK NARIC.

  • Have an endorsement letter confirming that you endorsing body considers you to have a credible and genuine business plan.   – 25 points

Note that the endorsement must also confirm your intended business sector. Sectors such as property management and property development will not be awarded points.

In order to obtain the Maintenance points, you must:


  • Have proof that you have enough money to support yourself – 10 points

In Order To obtain the English language points, you must:


  • Provide proof that you meet the English language requirements – 10 points

Apply for an extension

A migrant with a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa may be able to  extend their visa for one year if they are able to meet the criteria.

They will be permitted and to include any dependants who are included their current visa onto their application to extend. This includes children who have turned 18 during their stay.

In order to be eligible for an extension, the applicant should already have a valid Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa as well as the the following:

  • a new endorsement letter from your UK higher education institute or the Department for International Trade (DIT) confirming that they have made satisfactory progress in developing the business in question
  • show that they have at least £945 available as maintenance funds

The application should be made online and the should be made before the current visa expires. The healthcare surcharge  will need to be paid as part of the extension application.

Please note that it is a common alternative to extending a Graduate Entrepreneur visa is that the migrant may choose to switch into a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa at the end of their 2 year as a Graduate Entrepreneur if they are able to prove that their business is successful.

How can we help?

At Master Legal Services we have extensive experience in processing Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa applications.

T: 020 8935 5205

E: a.s@master-legal-services.com