Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

What is the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa? 

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is a scheme run by the UK Government which allows certain institutions to endorse international citizens for a UK Visa. Holders of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa are entitled to stay in the UK for up to two years to run their own business in the UK.

We recommend that you read the full Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur guidance:

We further recommend that you read the full Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa guidance (this is the visa you are entitled to progress onto after the Graduate Entrepreneur visa):

Who is eligible to apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa? 

In order to apply for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, you must possess an endorsement from a registered institution, such as an HEI. Lancaster University is permitted to issue up to a maximum of 20 endorsements per year. Lancaster University will only consider endorsements for recent graduates and alumni from Lancaster University. If you are not affiliated with Lancaster University, then we will not consider you for an endorsement – please approach your relative HEI.

How do I apply for an endorsement? 

In order to apply for an endorsement for the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa you will need to submit a final business plan along with a 2 year financial forecast, which will assessed by a panel. This panel will decide if we think your idea is desirable, feasible, and financially viable enough to warrant being endorsed by the university. We highly recommend that you take the time to conduct proper market research and validation, and be able to evidence these factors in your business plan.

The university is limited to the number of endorsements it may give out per year. These are issued on a first come, first served basis. If you are endorsed by the university, you will receive a letter that is valid for three months which will allow you to apply for the visa.

You can read our full policy document here.

What support is available to me for the endorsement?

If you are in Lancaster or able to come to Lancaster, we highly recommend that you come in to see us to discuss support options available. Unfortunately, our ability to provide remote assistance to those outside of Lancaster is quite limited due to the demand on our resources and staff time.

Below are some links to resources we highly recommend that you read through before you submit your business plan:

In terms of being able to write a business plan, we recommend that you work through this free online platform to conduct your market research:

Here is a template for a business plan that we would recommend:

Finally, here is a cashflow forecast template with indicators on how to fill in various sections:

If you have any further questions, please first refer to our FAQs document which can be found here.

If you still have further questions specifically around the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, or other visa enquiries please contact: tier1grad-ent@lancaster.ac.uk

If you still have further questions specifically around the endorsement process and business support, please contact: enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk

If you have read all of the above links, including the FAQs and would like to apply for an endorsement, please download and fill out this form and email it to: enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk