Graduate Entrepreneur immigrat


Graduate Entrepreneur immigration FAQs answered

One of the lesser-known immigration routes is the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur immigration. This immigration route offers many advantages to South Africans and other non-EEA graduates, who have exciting business ideas they want to implement in the UK.

Graduate Entrepreneur immigrat


We have answered some of the most Frequently Asked Questions we receive on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route. We hope to get the word out on this one!

I have a South African degree qualification. Do I need to have a UK degree to qualify for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa?

You must have a degree qualification, which meets or exceed the recognised standard of a bachelor’s degree in the UK. If you obtained a South African or other overseas qualification, the standard must be confirmed by UK NARIC.

Apart from the degree, you must also be identified by a UK Higher Education Institute (HEI) or the Department for International Trade (DIT) as having developed a genuine and credible business idea.

Is there a limit to the number of places awarded in this route?

Yes, UK Visas and Immigration sets an annual limit of 2,000 Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur places annually.

My husband and I will be finishing our studies soon. I would like to apply, but will he be able to accompany me to the UK?

Yes, your spouse/civil partner/unmarried partner/same-sex partner and any dependent children can apply to accompany you.

He will also be able to work in the UK without restriction.

Does this immigration route lead to settlement in the UK?

Unfortunately, the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

You will be granted an initial leave to remain for one year. You can then apply to extend your stay in the UK for another year. The maximum period allowed under this category is two years.

After two years in this category, you may be eligible to apply as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, provided your business is successful.

Therefore, this category does not, in itself, lead to Permanent Residence. However, it does provide an applicant with up to two years’ Leave to Remain in the UK. This may facilitate future applications to enter an immigration route which will lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

If you have any further questions on this exciting route, please feel free to visit the Breytenbachs website, or fill out the form below.