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Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) - FAQs


What is Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur?

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur is the route for graduates to set up a business within the UK.
Only institutions approved by the Home Office can endorse their graduates for this visa. Lancaster University is one of the approved institutions and has been granted the maximum number of endorsements (10 for general degrees, 10 for MBAs only). A list of approved institutions can be found here

For more details on Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) see


Who can apply?

The scheme is open to:

  • Graduates who completed their Lancaster University degree in the last 12 months.
  • Current students completing their degree in the 2013/2014 academic session.
  • Your course of study must be a degree such as Bachelors, Masters or PhD. Diplomas and certificates are not accepted.
  • Post-doctoral researcher working at Lancaster under Tier 2 with a degree from a UK institution (not necessarily from Lancaster, and the completion date could be any time before the endorsement).

You must agree to bide by the terms of your visa and you will remain sponsored by the University for the duration of your visa.


How do I apply?

Your application takes 2 stages:

  • Apply for an endorsement from Lancaster University. You can download an application pack here. You will have to answer some questions, agree to terms and conditions and submit your business plan. The University will then judge whether your business plan is genuine and credible and, if you are successful, will agree to endorse you.  If you submit your application for endorsement before you have been awarded your degree, any endorsement will be conditional on you successfully completing your degree.
  • After you have been issued an endorsement from the University and have successfully completed your degree, you can make a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa application.  You must make this application within 3 months of the date the endorsement was issued. You will need to show money in your account for this. As well as paying for the visa application itself, you will need to show £900 (if you are already in the UK and applying for leave to remain) or £1,800 (if you are applying from outside the UK). These funds need to be in the account FOR 90 DAYS. Please note that if you have been financially sponsored by a Government or an international scholarship agency for your programme of study then you must provide a letter confirming the sponsor’s unconditional consent for you to remain in the UK. This letter must be submitted with your visa application.


For more information see


Can my immediate family apply as my dependants under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route?

Yes they can. Please find PBS dependants application form via the link below.


Can I do any paid work while on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa?

Yes. There are no restrictions on the hours worked while on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, and you may be self employed, but your main activities should be in relation to the business that you are setting up. You will not be able to work as a doctor or dentist in training, or as a professional sport person or sports coach.




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