T1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa


As an international student and aspiring entrepreneur, you will need a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa to stay in the UK and start your own business after graduation.

There are a number of formalities of applying for the T1 visa (see here for more information) and the International Services team at Lancaster University will help you to ensure you have met all the visa requirements within the application timetable. The Enterprise Team will also work with you to develop your business idea and create a robust and achievable business plan which Lancaster University can endorse.

If you’ve decided you’d like to pursue a business startup here in the UK, where should you start?

Do your research

Tell everyone about your business idea. If you think your product or service will meet a demand or gap in the market, test that theory and ask your friends, family, lecturers and fellow students for their honest feedback. Be prepared to adapt your idea according to the advice you’re given.

Speak to the Lancaster University Enterprise Team!

Our role within the University is ultimately to support your enterprise ideas and plans, and help you on your way to making them real. We can introduce you to the Business Model Canvas and value propositions, connect you with other departments and interesting networks, as well as give you the feedback you need to improve and develop your idea into something which the University is happy to endorse. Even if you feel like your idea is well developed and ready to go, the International Services team will still refer you to us, so we can evaluate your business plan in detail and address any outstanding issues.

If you’re a Lancaster student or graduate, and you’d like to express your interest in the Tier 1 visa scheme, please complete this questionnaire and tell us more about what you want to do. 

Get planning

On a T4 visa, you cannot register a business in the UK. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start developing a business idea. Work on what makes your potential business unique and begin your market research – there’s no harm in being prepared. Think about how you plan to support yourself whilst you start your business; to apply for the T1 visa you must have at least £945 in savings so make sure you’re preparing your finances, as well as your business plans.

Find a mentor

We would recommend any future entrepreneur (international or not) has a mentor to learn from and use to enhance your networks in the UK. We can help you to find a suitable mentor, check out our mentoring pages for more information or drop us an email and we can connect you with Lancaster graduates who have gained a T1 visa with our support.

Read up!

The internet is full of information regarding the T1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa, and there are plenty of stories from previous successful applicants. Here are some links you might find useful:

If you have any questions about the T1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa or want to discuss your plans, get in touch via enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk and tier1grad-ent@lancaster.ac.uk

Please note: we can only endorse and work with applications from current or former Lancaster University students. If you are from another UK institution please contact your own university to find out if they run this scheme.