Tier 1 is the category for "High value migrants" such as entrepreneurs and investors. It is the only tier of the Points-based system for which you do not need to be "sponsored" by an employer or education provider. There are numerous categories under Tier 1.
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur has been replaced with a new Start-up Visa route from 6th April 2019 for people who want to start a business in the UK. Further details are available on the gov.uk website.
The new route will widen the applicant pool of talented entrepreneurs and make the visa process faster and smoother for entrepreneurs coming to the UK. It replaces a visa route which was exclusively for graduates, opening it up to a wider pool of talented business founders.
It requires applicants to have acquired an endorsement from a university or approved business sponsor, including accelerators.
Please Note GCU Endorsement for the Tier 1 Start Up visa is currently only open to GCU students and alumni.
Further information regarding GCU endorsement are provided by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
You will be able to switch into the new Start-up route if you have not yet had the maximum 2 grants of leave under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route. If your start-up endorsement is from the same endorsing body (GCU) the business ideas will not need to meet the new start-up criteria in relation to innovation and scalability.
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants (including those who switch into the start-up category) will be able to switch into the Tier 1 (Innovator) category.
If you wish to remain in the UK and seek work after your studies, then you will find the options on the UK Government work visa website, including seeking work with a Tier 2 sponsor. If you are a PhD student, you may also be eligible for the Doctorate Extension Scheme.