The Start-up visa is for UK graduates who have a business plan and wish to set up their business in the UK. Successful applicants will be granted a 2-year visa to stay in the UK and build their business under this scheme.

Start-up endorsement

The university is proud to be an endorsing body for the Start-up visa. Under this scheme, we can assess business plans and endorse eligible candidates to apply for a Start-up visa.

If you have a credible business plan that meets the eligibility requirements, the Start-up visa will enable you to stay in the UK for up to two years to set up and grow your business.

Your business plan will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Innovation – you have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage
  • Viability – you have, or are actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run your business
  • Scalability – you can evidence structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national markets

The University of Greenwich i3 Centre will carry out the assessments and provide support to you in developing your business.

The i3 Centre works with students and graduates from all faculties within the University. Its mission is to work with students and graduates who have ideas they want to pursue, as well as running business challenges, workshops and delivering university-wide entrepreneurship initiatives.

To register your interest in applying for the next round of endorsements, due to take place in August-September 2019, please email StartUpTier1Visa@greenwich.ac.uk for further information. All candidates for the Start-up visa will be required to enter the Enterprise Challenge as part of your assessment and supervision.

Applying for the Start-up visa

We can only accept applications for Start-up endorsements from University of Greenwich graduates.

You will need to be endorsed by the University of Greenwich and you will need the following documents to make a valid visa application:

  • Endorsement letter – this will be issued by the university following successful assessment of your business plan. The letter is valid up to 3 months from the day of issue.
  • Evidence of Funds (maintenance) – you must prove that you have at least £945 in an acceptable account in your name, and you must have held this money for a minimum of 90 consecutive days. The financial document must be dated no more than 31 days before you apply.
  • Passport and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) – these must be valid when you make your visa application

There may be other documents you will need to prepare for your application. Our International Student Advice Service will assist you in preparing for your visa application, and will let you know if you need any other documents.

Your obligations under the Start-up scheme

You are required to maintain contact with the university and the i3 Centre during your time on the Start-up visa. We are required to regularly check on the progress of your business development.

You are allowed to undertake employment on this visa, but you must spend the majority of your time developing your business ventures.

Switching from the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa

The Start-up visa has replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. If you are currently in your first year of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme, and you wish to extend your visa, you may be able to switch to the Start-up visa. Please contact the International Student Advice Service for more information.

The information on this page is correct at the time of writing. Whilst we try to make sure the information we provide is accurate, immigration policy changes frequently. You should therefore always refer to the official gov.uk website to ensure that you have up-to-date information: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration