1. Overview

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa if you:

  • are a graduate who has been officially endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea
  • are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • meet the other eligibility criteria

Getting endorsed

You must be endorsed by either:

How long it will take

How long it takes depends on how you’ve been endorsed.

UKTI endorsement

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks if you’ve been endorsed by UKTI. You can apply for this visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

UK HEI endorsement

You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks if you’ve been endorsed by a UK higher education institution.


How much you pay for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch by post in the UK
Yourself £342 £465
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £287 £410
All dependants £342 each person £465 each person

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for one year on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.

You can apply to extend this visa for one more year.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • bring family members with you
  • extend your stay in the UK using this visa
  • switch into this visa from some other visa categories

You can’t:

  • get public funds
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • work as a professional sportsperson, eg a sports coach
  • settle in the UK on this visa