UK Tier 1 Graduate Visa

If you are a graduate with a UK degree and a genuine and credible business idea, you can apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Visa.

To qualify for a Tier 1 Graduate Visa, your business idea has to be officially endorsed. An endorsement confirms that you have excellent entrepreneurial skills or outstanding innovations. To apply for endorsement, you need to present the Department for International Trade (DIT) or a UK higher education institution (HEI) with your business plan.

Other Tier 1 visa options you may want to consider include the Tier 1 Investor Visa, and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visaContact us for all your visa needs and services.


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Here at Optimus Law, our experienced lawyers will ensure your application is of the highest quality.

We will take you through all the various visa options available to you and ensure you are qualified for the Graduate visa. Our legal team is ready to assist you through the entire application process. We will guide you through the application process ensuring all forms are properly filled and supplementary documents are properly filed. For a successful endorsement, you need a good business plan. As such, we will prepare your business plan with you. Additionally, we will ensure you are well prepared for the interview. Your assigned lawyer will ensure that both the business plan and interview preparation are excellent.


Who is eligible to apply for a Graduate Visa?

To be eligible to apply for a Graduate Visa, you have to hold a UK degree and have an officially endorsed business idea. You also have to be from outside both the EEA and Switzerland.

Unlike the Tier 1 Investor Visa, and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you do not need access to investment funds.

Contact Optimus Law, if you need more information on this visa category.

How does the point system work in regards to the Graduate Entrepreneur visa?

Approval of the Graduate Visa depends on the applicant scoring 95 points on a point system. Having a letter of endorsement from a UK institution of higher education or the Department for International Trade earns you 50 points. Having a degree from a recognized UK higher education institution earns you 25 points. You also need to meet the required level of English proficiency. However, since you have earned a degree from a recognized UK higher education institution, you will automatically score 10 points. Lastly, if you can prove that you have the required funds to meet maintenance requirement, you will score 10 points.

Does the Graduate Visa offer a path to settlement?

While this visa category does not lead directly to permanent residence, it is an excellent platform from which to switch to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (this category can lead to permanent residency). Once the application is approved, the beneficiary on the Graduate Visa is granted a one-year’s leave, which can then be extended by an additional year provided the institution that originally issued the letter of endorsement issues another one.

Can my spouse/children come along?

This visa category allows you to bring along your spouse and children under 18. However, you need to provide evidence of maintenance funds for all dependents. In addition, payment has to be made for their visa application and Healthcare Surcharge.

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