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Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur (Tier 1 GE)

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa is intended for recent graduates that want to set up a business in the UK. Please read below for more information. 

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route opened on 6 April 2012 for those graduates identified by their institution as having developed an innovative business idea or entrepreneurial skill to establish one or more businesses in the UK. 

Under this route recent graduates must be sponsored by either a UK Higher Education Institution or by UK Trade and Investment (a government department) under their Sirius Programme.  Aston has successfully applied to be a sponsor and we currently have 20 sponsored visas to offer until April 2015. 

Latest Changes
  •  From 01 July 2014 the amount that you will need to show for maintenance is due to increase from £900 to £945 if applying inside the UK and from £1800 to £1890 if applying outside the UK.  You must be able to show that you have had this money for a 90 day period.  If you will be applying on or after 01 July 2014 please make sure you will have this increased amount of maintenance available to you for 90 days.   

Since 6th April 2014 the following changes apply:
  • The separation of endorsements for MBA graduates and for all other graduates has been abolished so that Aston University now has a total amount of general endorsements available for all students, MBA or otherwise.  

  • The Immigration Rules now allow the University to endorse you even if you have been awarded a degree from another institution and this was more than 12 months ago when you are applying for the visa.  Therefore you may be able to use a previous UK degree to apply for the visa rather than waiting until you have been awarded your degree from Aston, meaning you can apply earlier.  However the University will consider requests to sponsor students from a different institution on a case by case basis and may decide not to sponsor you. 
  • You can now switch from the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa into the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, as well as Tier 2 General and Tier 1 Entrepreneur.    
  • The cost of the application is now £422.   
        

Changes from 6th April 2013:

  • The scheme was extended adding a further 1000 Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas specifically for MBA graduates across the UK.  Aston University was given 12 endorsements to sponsor MBA students from April 2013 to April 2014. 

  • The requirement that the business idea must be 'world class and innovative' was changed to 'genuine and credible' making it more realistic.

  • Recent graduates were able to apply for this visa from outside the UK from 6th April 2013 onwards.

  • Holders of a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa were able to switch into Tier 2 General (as long as they met the Tier 2 General requirements) from 6th April 2013 onwards.

Anyone interested in applying for this visa must first be accepted onto the BSEEN, new start-up business project run at Aston University.  Please note that your business idea must be assessed by the BSEEN panel as being genuine and credible and you must be applying to set your business up in the West Midlands area.  If you would like to know more about BSEEN including how to apply please go to www.b-seen.biz.

Once accepted onto BSEEN, you must then apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa.  You will need to be issued with an endorsement from Aston University which you will need to apply for the visa. 

You must have been awarded your degree in order to apply for the visa so you must wait until you have your final results.  You no longer need to have been awarded your degree within the last 12 months on the date we issue you with an endorsement so you may be able to use a previous UK degree and apply earlier.

What points do I need?

You must get 95 points as follows:

25 Points             Valid endorsement from Aston University.

25 Points             The endorsement confirms that you and your business idea have been assessed and considered to be genuine and credible.

25 Points             For having been awarded your degree.

10 Points             English language requirement (having an endorsement will satisfy this requirement).

10 Points             Maintenance - £900 every day for a 90 day period ending no more than 31 days before you apply for the visa (outside the UK you will need to show £1800 for the 90 day period).  Please note this is due to increase on 01 July 2014 to £945 inside the UK and £1890 outside the UK.   

You can either apply for Tier 1 GE visa whilst you are in the UK with a student, or Tier 4, visa or you can apply overseas, but you will need to show a higher maintenance amount.

Please note: if you have previously held a Tier 1 Post Study Work (PSW) visa, an International Graduate Scheme (IGS) visa, a Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme (SEGS) visa, or a Fresh Talent (Working in Scotland) visa you will unfortunately not be eligible to apply for the T1GE visa.

How long will the visa be granted for?

Successful applicants will be granted a 12 month visa.  There is the possibility of applying for a second 12 month visa if the business is making satisfactory progress and Aston University agrees to continue sponsoring you.

Working on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa

Although you will be expected to spend most of your time setting up the business, the work conditions of this visa allow you to take employment.  The number of hours a week you can work is unrestricted if you apply on or after 6 April 2013. If you applied before 6 April 2013, you must not be employed for more than 20 hours a week. You are not allowed to work as a doctor or dentist in training or as a professional sportsperson (including work as a sports coach).

According to the Immigration Rules, if you applied for your Tier 4 Student visa on or after 13 December 2012 you are allowed to begin work on your new business as soon as you have applied for your Tier 1 GE visa; whilst you are waiting for a decision. You will not be caught by the normal rule that stops Tier 4 students being self-employed.  If you applied for your Tier 4 Student visa before 13 December 2012 you should wait until the Home Office has granted you permission to stay under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur). This is because you remain subject to your student work conditions until your Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) leave has been granted and student conditions prohibit self-employment. 

Time spent on a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa will not count towards settlement in the UK.

For assistance with your Tier 1 GE visa application and to discuss the 95 points you will need, please contact Laura Bryan in the Hub l.bryan@aston.ac.uk

For UKVI information please click here.

How much money will I need to show?

If you want to apply for this visa in the UK you will need to show that you have had £900 (£945 if applying on/after 01 July 2014) available to you every day for a 90 day period ending no more than 31 days before you apply for the visa. 

If you apply outside the UK you must show that you have had £1800 (£1890 if applying on/after 01 July 2014) available to you every day for a 90 day period ending no more than  31 days before you apply for the visa. 

What other documents do I need?

As a general rule you will need the following documents but please see an Adviser in The Hub for a detailed personalised list.

  • Passport(s)  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­         

  • Biometric Residence Permit - if you have one                      

  • 2 colour identical passport photos taken within the last month with your name on the back

  • Police Registration Certificate - if you are required to register with the Police 

  • Endorsement letter from Aston University  

  • Personal Bank Statement in your name showing at least £900 (£1800 if applying outside the UK) throughout a 90 day period which ends no more than 31 days before you apply.  Please note this is due to increase on 01 July 2014 to £945 for applications in the UK and £1890 if you are applying outside the UK.    

  • Letter from official sponsor ­giving consent for the application - if you have an official financial sponsor


Last checked and updated 13 June 2014 LB

 

BSEEN

BSEEN

Anyone interested in applying for this visa must first be accepted onto the BSEEN, new start-up business project run at Aston University.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

For highly skilled migrants already in the UK, or wishing to come to the UK, to set up or take over a UK business

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research