Graduate Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)

Switch to this visa

You can apply to change (‘switch’) from another visa to a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.


You must already be in the UK as a:

  • student
  • student nurse
  • student re-sitting an examination
  • student writing up a thesis
  • Tier 4 (General) visa holder
  • postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • Tier 2 (General) migrant working as a post-doctoral researcher

You must meet all of the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa’s eligibility requirements.

You cannot switch to this visa if you’ve already had a visa under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (Post Study Worker)
  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
  • International Graduates Scheme
  • Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme

How long you can stay

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

How to apply to switch your visa

You must apply apply online.

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.

Biometric information

You must also pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll be told how to do this after you’ve applied.

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to switch your visa is successful.

Get help using a computer to apply online

You can get help with:

  • accessing a computer or the internet
  • finding the right information on GOV.UK

You cannot get advice on:

  • whether you’re eligible to apply
  • what information to put in your application
  • an application you’ve already made

Telephone: 03333 445 675
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges
Text: ‘VISA’ to 07537 416 944

How long it takes

A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, eg:

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

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