Last modified: 18.12.18
The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) scheme is for recent graduates who have been officially endorsed by the University of Sheffield as having a genuine and credible business idea. You must be from outside the EEA and meet other eligibiity criteria (see below).
The University has been allocated 20 places by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) per year (1.4.2018 to 31.3.2019). It is hoped that further endorsements will be made available from April 2019 but this is not yet guaranteed.
If you have a business proposal, you can compete to join the scheme.
If you are successful, and endorsed by the University, you will be able to apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for 12 months, during which time you will have the opportunity to develop your new business idea. The visa may be extended for a further 12 months if significant progress is made.
(If you are a PhD student you may may also want to consider the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme which also allows you to set up in business. You can also apply for the Tier 1 GES after holding the Tier 4 DES visa.)
The deadline for applications is now closed for 2018/19. The University will advertise the next round of applications for Endorsement when it is confirmed that the scheme will run for 2019-20, this should be by April 2019. In the past an application deadline has been scheduled for June, endorsements are then offered to those who have applied and are deemed to have the strongest and most credible business ideas and business plans. A further round may take place later in the year subject to availbility of places. To apply for 2019/20 you will need to have been awarded your degree or expect to be awarded your degree by the end of March 2020.
For further information about the application for endorsement process, please see here
An overview of Tier 1 GES visa can be found here
Full Tier 1 GES Guidance can be found here
Details of Entrepreneurship/Business Support available at the University of Sheffield can be found here
1. Apply for endorsement from the University as above.
2. If successful you will then need to make an appointment to see International Adviser at Student Advice Centre (SAC) for an immigration eligibiility check. Email email@example.com to make an appointment.
3. If eligible you will then be able to request an Endorsement Letter from the University via the International Student Support team.
4. When you have the Endorsement Letter you can complete the application form. Form and document check is available with International Student Adviser (SAC).
You can apply for a Tier 1 PBS dependant visa at the same time as you apply for your visa or you can apply for your dependants to join you later.
A dependant is your husband, wife or partner and/or a child under 18.
You will need to show £630 (in UKK) or £1260 (outside UK) for each dependant and it must be held for 90 days.
Further information and application forms are available here
Help is available with dependant visa applications from the Student Advice Centre.
If successful you will be initially granted a visa of 12 months with a further extension of 12 months. During this period you will be able to focus on developing your business idea and will also be allowed to work full time hours to support yourself.
It will be possible to apply under this scheme from outside the UK, as long as you have been awarded a UK degree. You will need to show £1,890 if you apply outside the UK.
In order to get the further 12 months endorsement you will need to undergo an assessment by the University to confirm whether you have made satisfactory progress with your business idea. Further details on the process and deadlines is here.
1. First you must get an endorsement from the University (see above). If USE are happy with your business idea you will be asked to attend the Student Advice Centre for an immigration eligibility check before the endorsement letter is produced.
2. You then need to have been awarded your degree. This means if you are an undergraduate you can apply for your Tier 1 GES visa in July or if you are a Masters student in late November/early December.
3. You will need to show you have maintained £945 funds in your bank account for 90 days preceding the application.
4. If you apply for entry clearance outside the UK you need not have studied in the UK with Tier 4 or other student immigration permission.
5. You can access the forms here. The application fee for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applications in the UK £465. The entry clearance fee is £342. You must also pay an immigration healthcare charge before you can submit your visa application.
If you receive an endorsement you can get a one-to-one check of your visa application and supporting documents at the Student Advice Centre. You will be responsible for sending off the form and documents to UKVI.
See here for list of documents. We also advise you to look at the Tier 1 GES guidance.
Fees are subject to change, so please always check prior to application https://www.gov.uk/visa-fees.
How much you pay for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply. Fees correct as of 18.12.18.
|Who you’re applying for||Apply (outside the UK)||Extend or switch by post in the UK|
|If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia||£308||£438|
|All dependants||£363 each person||£493 each person|
You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
This is £200 per year per person but rising to £400 from 19.12.18.
You can work but not as a dentist or doctor in training or professional sportsperson
There is no actual limit on the hours you can work BUT your primary purpose for being in UK is to set up you business.
You will need to have regular contact with the University to check that you are making progress with your business. Current contact for University is Darren Chouings. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. The University will provide further information about this requirement.
If the University believe you are making satisfactory progress with the business you can be endorsed for a further year, you will need to apply to extend this visa.
After 2 years on Tier 1 GES you may be able to switch into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa
We cannot advise you in relation to Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas but would recommend that you seeek legal advice with this type of application. It is also recommended that you do familiarise yourself with the eligibility criteria and requirements for this visa as you will need to be able to meet these requirements at the end of the the two years on Tier 1 GES scheme, should you wish to stay and continue developing your business in the UK.