If you have recently finished university in the UK, and would like to set up your own business, you may be able to apply for leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant.
You will need to show that you meet the following requirements:
• You have been awarded a Bachelors degree, Masters degree or PhD within the last 12 months;
• The university or college that awarded your qualification has endorsed your application;
• The university or college confirms to the UK Border Agency that it has assessed your business idea and found it to be genuine, credible and innovative;
• You can speak and understand English to the required standard (the UK Border Agency will accept this provided that you have a degree that was taught in English);
• You have enough money to support yourself. Until 14th June 2012, you will have to show that you have held at least £800 in your bank account for at least 90 consecutive days; from 14 June onwards, the figure rises to £900.
Your university or college can only endorse your application if it has been approved by the UK Border Agency for the purposes of the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route. A total of 1,000 places are available on the scheme each year.
If your application is successful, you will be granted leave to remain for 1 year. Before your leave expires, you can then extend for another year if your university or college still endorses you and confirms that you are making satisfactory progress in your business.
After you have spent 2 years in this category, you can then switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category if you have access to at least £50,000.
"Paul is a technical expert ... he just knows all the answers. I now have my visa and can finally get on with my life!"
Mr. Senanayake - granted further leave to remain as a Tier 1 (General) Migrant