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Graduate Entrepreneur - Tier 1 Visa

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa route is for graduates who have an outstanding business idea that they wish to put into practice in the UK. The University of Salford are now able to sponsor 10 students / graduates (of less than 1 year) on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa scheme.  

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category allows non-European MBA and other graduates to extend their stay after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK.

At present the University of Salford will only endorse their own graduates and applications from graduates of other universities will not be considered. Initial endorsement will be for one year, with the option to extend for a further year and the total amount of time the University can endorse a graduate for is two years.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this scheme applicants will need to satisfy our eligibility requirements and they must: 

  • Have an exceptional graduate level business idea related to their field of study    
  • Have a business idea that is not in the field of property development and/ or property management    
  • Contact the Enterprise Team at least 3 months before the end of their current visa    
  • Demonstrate market research carried out to check feasibility of their business idea    
  • Demonstrate sufficient funds to start the business    
  • Demonstrate sufficient funds to sustain themselves for 1 year    
  • Obtain an endorsement letter from their Lecturer/ Tutor    
  • Be ready to submit their application to panel at least 1 month before their visa ends    
  • Must not plan to work more than 20 hours whilst on the Tier 1 Visa    

Documents Required

  • A Business Plan which includes these sections: xecutive Summary, Management Team, Market Research/ Survey of potential clients, Competitor Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operational Plan, Financial Plan, Start-Up Costs, Cash-flow Forecast, Profit/Loss Balance Sheet, Personal Survival Budget, Risks/ Mitigation    
  • Bank statements showing sufficient funds to start their business    
  • Bank statements showing funds to sustain them for 1 year (personal survival budget)    
  • Letters from business contacts and companies that have agreed to work with them in the future    
  • Endorsement letters from their lecturer/ tutors    
  • Copy of their degree certificate    
  • Copy of their passport/ current visa    

Please also refer to the Marking Criteria here.

Support with Application Process

You will be eligible for support through this process in the form of 3 enterprise appointments, which will guide you through the documents you will need, construction of the business plan, as well as discussing the review of your business plan.

We will be able to provide up to 2 reviews of your business plan, before it is sent to panel for a final review and decision on the endorsement. Your application will then be assessed by a panel of three suitably qualified enterprise staff and you will receive feedback. 

Please note it may take up to 3 weeks for the panel to review your application so please plan accordingly. You will need to give yourself enough time to respond to this, so ensure you put in your final application at least 1 month before your visa ends.

What you need to do

If you are a Student or Graduate interested in the scheme please fill in this form.

For more information about eligibility for this scheme, please refer to: https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-graduate-entrepreneur-visa

Please note, if you are unsuccessful in obtaining the endorsement from the panel for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, the opportunity to appeal the decision will be available to you.

Appeals must be made on the following grounds of refusal; 

  1. There has been a significant procedural error on the part of the University;    
  2. The University has acted in a way which is manifestly unreasonable;    
  3. Excluding you from applying for the GES as a result of the decision of the Business and Enterprise Team is incompatible with your rights under the Equality Act 2010 (EHRC) and your rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)