The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category is for graduates who have been identified by UK higher education institutions as having developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK. ‘Business’ here means an enterprise as a sole trader; partnership; or company registered in the UK.

This category is open to all Higher Education Institutions which are Highly Trusted Sponsors. The Institutions will only be able to “endorse” a total of 1000 graduates in a year. You will need to apply directly to your UK higher education institution for a letter of endorsement.

Switching into the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category will only be permitted where the applicant has or has last been granted leave as a Tier 4 Migrant; Student; Student Nurse; Student Re-sitting an Examination; Student Writing up a Thesis; Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist; or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant.

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).

Initial application for the leave to remain will be granted for a period of one year. Following this you will be able to apply for one further year’s leave to remain. Before the end of this second year they can apply for leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant. The requirements switching to leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur are relaxed. Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs will only have to show that they have £50,000 to invest as compared with £200,000.

Indefinite Leave to Remain
You cannot apply for settlement in the UK under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category and the time spent in the UK under this category will not count towards the qualifying period for any future applications for settlement in the UK.

Family Members
Family members of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent migrants can apply to join their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner or parent (if the applicant is a child under the age of 18 at the time of the application) in the UK.