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Supporting Overseas Graduates

In partnership with UEL's International office, UEL Enterprise supports graduates on the Start-Up Visa (Formerly Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa) programme. The Start-Up visa route allows UEL graduates from outside the EU/EEA to remain in the UK for up to 2 years to develop an innovative and genuine business idea.

Start-Up Visa Information

The Start-Up visa enables successful international applicants to remain in the UK for up to 2 Years post-graduation to develop and start their business with support and endorsement from UEL.


  • Current UEL student or recent graduate (3 years)
  • Proposed business must be UK based
  • Applicant must own at least 50% of the proposed business
  • Proposed business must be in a position to generate a profit within the first 12 months
  • Applicant cannot reapply if they have previously been refused a Start-Up Visa under this scheme

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria which is informed by both the Home Office guidance and UEL’s own assessment criteria;

  • Innovative – The applicant has a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
  • Market Focussed – The applicant has identified a key beneficiary/customer and clearly defined the market benefit/demand. The applicant has evidenced demand through extensive primary and secondary research.
  • Achievable – There is an achievable plan in place to take the idea to market with set milestones and goals. They have secured the start up funding needed to start the business and evidenced how they will meet the financial thresholds required for endorsement beyond year three.
  • Viable – The applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business..
  • Scalable – There is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

We have two applications rounds per year:

Autumn/Winter Dates

Expression of Interest Opens:
2nd September 2019

Expression of Interest Closes:
7th October 2019

Decision & Invitation to Start-Up Workshops and Full Application:

18th October 2019

Business Plan Deadline:
29th November 2019

11th December 2019

Spring/Summer Dates

Expression of Interest Opens:
12th April 2020

Expression of Interest Closes:
4th May 2020

Decision & Invitation to Start-Up Workshops and Full Application:
18th May 2020

Business Plan Deadline:
13th July 2020

22nd July 2020


  • Submit Expression of Interest Form by Deadline
  • Eligibility assessment undertaken by Student Enterprise and immigration check undertaken by ISA team (Decision within 15 Working Days)
  • If the business idea meets the eligibility your will be invited to attend our Start Up workshops and to submit full application
  • Final Business Plans submitted by Deadline
  • Panel Presentation (Decision within 10 Working Days)
  • The panels decision is final and only successful applicants will be put forward for endorsement under the scheme.
  • Once recommended you will be required to provide the maintenance documents as outlined in the eligibility. These will be checked against the requirements of the Start-Up Visa GE Policy Guidance by the ISA team.
  • Complete and return the Start-Up Agreement
  • An endorsement letter will be issued. You will need to include this letter with your visa application as you cannot make an application without this letter.
Following the receipt of initial expressions of interest selected applicants will then be invited to submit a full application and take part in our Start Up School. The final recommendation is made at our Start-Up visa Panel.

Applicants are asked to fill out an Expression of Interest form, and send to before the deadlines stated above.