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Graduate Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)

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Overview

You can no longer apply for a new Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.

If you want to set up a business in the UK you can apply for a Start-up visa instead.

If you already have a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

You can still switch into a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You can no longer extend your Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa at the end of the first year. You must apply to switch to a Start-up visa instead.

You must apply to switch visas before your current visa expires.

You cannot settle in the UK on this visa.

Family members

Your family members (‘dependants’) can join you in the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • your child under 18

Read the guidance on dependant applications.

Savings

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

If you’ve been in the UK:

  • for less than 12 months, you must have £1,260 for each dependant
  • for more than 12 months, you must have £630 for each dependant

You must have bank statements proving you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before applying.

ExampleYou must have £2,520 if you want to bring your partner and 1 child to the UK: £1,260 for your partner + £1,260 for your child.

You do not need to provide evidence of your savings if you have a letter from the Department for International Trade (DIT) saying you’ve been given funding to support yourself and your dependants.

Fees

It costs:

  • £363 for each dependant applying from outside the UK
  • £493 for each dependant applying to extend or switch their visa inside the UK

Dependants applying from outside the UK

Your family members must apply online.

They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of their application.

They’ll have to collect their biometric residence permit within 10 days of when they said they’d arrive in the UK (even if they actually arrive at a later date).

They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they’re in – check with the visa application centre.

North Korea

Your family members cannot apply online if they’re living in North Korea.

Each family member will need to make their own application. They must:

Dependants applying in the UK on their own

Your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they’re already in the UK. Dependants must either:

Family members cannot apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.

Providing biometric information and supporting documents

When they apply, they’ll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide their biometric information (their fingerprints and a photo).

They’ll also need to submit their supporting documents. They can:

  • upload them into the online service
  • have them scanned at their UKVCAS appointment

They must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until they get a decision. Their application will be withdrawn if they do.

How long it takes to get a decision

A decision will be made within 8 weeks of their application date.

They’ll be contacted if their application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if their supporting documents need to be verified
  • if they need to attend an interview
  • because of their personal circumstances (for example if they have a criminal conviction)

Once they’ve applied they can stay in the UK until they’ve been given a decision, as long as they applied before their last visa expired.

Get help to apply online

Your family can get help with completing the online form if they:

  • do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
  • do not have internet access

Your family can only use this service if they’re applying to extend or switch to your visa in the UK.

You cannot get immigration advice through this service.

Children born while you’re in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply online to add them to your visa as your dependant.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with them.

You’ll need to provide a full UK birth certificate for each child, showing the names of both parents.

Data Source: https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-graduate-entrepreneur-visa