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Tier 1 - Graduate Entrepreneur

This subcategory of Tier 1 (implemented on 6 April 2012) is for graduates who have been identified by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as having developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills, to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to develop their business. 

Previously such graduates may have used Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) for this purpose. This new category will operate as follows:

The scheme will be open to all HEIs which are Highly Trusted Sponsors, but HEIs will only be able to "endorse" a total of 1000 graduates for each of the first two years following the introduction of this category.

Leave to remain (it is not possible to apply for entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) will be granted for a period of one year. Following this initial year of leave Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for one further year's leave to remain, subject to their being endorsed again by their HEI, but before the end of this second period they must either successfully apply for leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant or leave the UK.

The requirements to be met by a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) switching to leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant are relaxed. They will only have to show that they have £50,000, as compared with £200,000 to invest.