[skip to content]

International and EU students

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

SOAS is pleased to be taking part in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) scheme. The scheme is designed to enable non-European graduates that we identify as having developed genuine and credible business ideas or entrepreneurial skills, to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses.

SOAS can endorse up to 10 students per year on the scheme and we have been very successful in allocating places to our students.

Successful applicants will be granted a 12 month visa and have the chance to apply for a second 12 month visa if your business is making progress. Although you will be expected to spend most of your time setting up the business, you will be able to work outside the business in order to support yourself financially. To read about those we've endorsed please read the interviews.

You can apply for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) whilst you are in the UK or in your home country. You will need to be able to prove you have savings of £945, if applying in the UK, or £1890 if applying outside the UK, held for the 90 day period prior to making your application. Please visit GOV.UK for the latest requirements and guidance on applying as you can apply whilst in the UK or overseas.

We will maintain contact with participants and assess progress on a quarterly (or more frequent) basis and inform UK Visas and Immigration if participants are no longer participating in the scheme.

If you are a SOAS sponsored Postdoctoral Researcher you can also apply for the scheme if you have a degree from a UK institution recognised by UK Visas and Immigration.

If you have previously held a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa you will, unfortunately, not be eligible for the scheme.

Time spent on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa will not count towards settlement in the UK.

Deadlines for those graduating in 2014

The first deadline for those graduating in 2014 is 27th June 2014 – both UG and PG students can apply.  If all visas are allocated in this round, no further deadlines will apply.  
If all visas are not allocated, the second deadline is 3rd October 2014.  
Further applications may be accepted after this 2nd deadline if spaces are still available.  
The final deadline for applications from outside the UK will be 15th March 2015


To register your interest in the scheme please complete the registration form

In order to submit a full application you must do the following:
  • Make an appointment with John Hitchman, Student Advisor (Immigration and Finance) to confirm visa status/immigration requirements and email studententerprise@soas.ac.uk to discuss your business idea.
  • Submit a completed Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Business Idea Plan Form (msword; 71kb) with your CV, highlighting relevant experience, a covering letter explaining why you wish to apply for a graduate entrepreneur visa and what makes you suitable and 2 minute video pitch selling your business idea.  Your application will be considered by a panel and decisions communicated as soon as possible following the panel meetings.
  • Completed applications will not be considered if you have not discussed your idea with the Student Enterprise team and confirmed your eligibility to apply with the Student Advisor (Immigration and Finance).

For business support and advice please visit the SOAS Enterprise website and the SOAS Careers Service website.

For more information about the requirements of the visa please visit GOV.UK.