Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa allows non-EU graduates with an outstanding business idea to extend their stay in the UK after graduation. 

The Enterprise team will be supporting and endorsing this initiative by identifying recent graduates who have, or are in the process of developing viable businesses. The university can endorse a number of Tier 1 applications, based on the quality and sustainability of the business idea submitted.

Applicants considering this scheme should allow at least three months before their existing visa is due to expire to begin the process.

Am I eligible to apply for a Tier 1 Visa?

If you can answer yes to the following questions then you may be suitable to apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa:

  • Graduated from De Montfort University on a course at degree level or above.
  • Had your award confirmed by De Montfort University no more than 12 months prior to the expected date of your application for the Graduate Entrepreneur visa.
  • Be based in the UK and able to attend face-to-face interviews with the Enterprise Team regarding your proposition (those wishing to apply from outside the UK will be considered on a case by case basis but will not normally be approved).
  • Meet the English language requirement.
  • Demonstrate you have a genuine and credible business through the submission of a completed application form. You will need to show a sound financial plan and a clear business development strategy.
  • The business proposal should make good use of your graduate skills and add to the UK economy, rather than seek to establish a routine business which will merely compete with local traders.
  • The Home Office require evidence of a minimum of £945 in a bank account for a consecutive period of 90 days before the date of application.

For further information, please read the university's Tier 1 visa policy document.

How to apply for the visa?

To apply for the visa you will require endorsement from De Montfort University. The process of applying for the visa can be seen below. 

GE Visa Map 2018


Case study: Luidpro

With a passion for innovative design and born in Medellin, Colombia, Luis Palacio came to the UK to study Design Innovation Masters in product design at De Montfort University.

After completing his Master’s degree in 2013, Luis quickly set out to start Luidpro, a product design and development business.

To enable Luis to execute his business idea in the UK, he applied for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.


The Enterprise Team endorsed Luis's visa application and provided him with business support and a mentor to help launch his business. "The Enterprise Team supported me overcoming the first challenges of starting up, such as creating a detailed business plan and setting up the foundations and roots of the business."

Earlier this year five of his designs were shortlisted entries for the world-renowned Red Dot awards. Luis will find out whether any of his entries have won when the results are announced later this year.

Luis has recently moved into the second year of his visa and says the next steps for his business is to establish a strong brand, increase the number of commissioned projects, commercialise some of the original Luidpro concepts and keep looking for business opportunities to grow.

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