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Applying for a start up visa

Applying for a start up visa

Applying for a start up, or Tier 1, visa

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route is for graduates who do not have a job offer from an employer, but instead have an outstanding business idea that they wish to pursue in the UK. The University has a central role in identifying graduates who have developed genuine and credible business ideas or entrepreneurial skills, and in endorsing and supporting them.
For information on applying for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, please contact the International Student Support Office as early as possible.

To receive an endorsement for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa, the applicant must be able to demonstrate an outstanding business idea. These criteria are subjectively assessed by the Business Support Manager and supported by advice from the Student Start up Team, based on their experience of working with the applicant through the Student Start Ups programme. Comments from the Business Support Manager and Start up Support team will be recorded on the Tier 1 GE Business Idea Assessment Form.

The key features will include:

  • The resilience of the candidate. This will be evidenced by their continued engagement in the programme following setbacks.
  • The development of an entrepreneurial skillset. Evidenced by the effective use of the tools and techniques introduced in the Student Startup programme to develop their business idea, including Business Modelling, Lean Startup approaches, realistic financial modelling.
  • The commitment to pursuing an entrepreneurial career path. This will be evidenced by their willingness to adapt and develop the business idea as their research activity indicates the need to alter their original plans.
  • The viability of the business idea. This will be assessed based on the experience of the Business Support Manager and the Start up Support staff and aligned to the perceived capabilities of the applicant.
  • The nature of the business idea. The University of Exeter has interpreted the conditions of the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa to require any endorsed applicant’s business to be able to demonstrate a level of knowledge intensity and innovation which is likely to be linked to the degree course from which they have graduated.
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