Q: I AM in the UK on a student visa and interested to find out more about the new immigration route for graduate entrepreneurs. What are the requirements for this route?
A: The new Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) scheme will be open for graduates who have been identified by UK universities as persons who have developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills, and who are not able yet to fulfill the requirements of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route.
There will be a limit of 1,000 places on this scheme for the first year, which will be divided between the UK universities. The UK Home Office said that it will announce in due course a process and deadline by which the universities that wish to participate in the scheme should register.
Leave will be granted for 12 months, which can then be extended for a further 12 months, provided the sponsoring university is satisfied with the progress made.
Successful applicants will be expected to spend the majority of their time developing their business, but may work for up to 20 hours per week to support themselves. Dependants may join the applicant in the UK, provided the Tier 1 maintenance requirements are met.
Time spend on this category does not count toward settlement and at the end of the two years in this category, the migrant must switch into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or leave the UK. A lower fund requirement will apply for migrants switching from this scheme to the full Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
BIC will update clients as more information becomes available.
Director of Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Limited
www.bic-immigration.com or [email protected]