If you are a non-EEA international student or recent graduate, the International Graduate Scheme may give you the opportunity to set up your own business in the UK after graduating.


If you are a non-EEA international graduate, this scheme gives you the opportunity to set up your own business in the UK after finishing your studies.

This route is for new graduates of The University of Sheffield who wish to develop a credible business idea and entrepreneurial skills in order to establish a business in the UK. If you have a business proposal, you can compete to join the scheme.

If you are successful, and endorsed by the University, you will be able to apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entreprenuer) visa for 12 months, during which time you will have the opportunity to develop your new business idea.  The visa may be extended for a further 12 months if significant progress is made.

The scheme is run by the Evolve Team (based at University of Sheffield Enterprise USE).  There is only one application round per year.  The deadline for applications is Friday  8th June 2018 at 9am and applications will not be considered at any other time.

New graduates who meet the eligibility criteria below are invited to apply for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) endorsement.

Who can apply?

  • Non-EEA national students/graduates who have graduated from/will graduate before March 2019 from the University of Sheffield
  • Students/graduates who have recently been awarded/or will be awarded before March 2019 a University of Sheffield degree (Bachelors, Masters or PhD) and have not previously been awarded a Post Study Work Visa
  • Students/graduates who have a genuine, credible business idea
  • Students/graduates who meet the current Home Office Immigration Criteria for the Tier 1 GES Visa (this will be checked by the International Officers in Student Services if you are shortlisted).

The University will NOT accept applications from students/graduates of other Universities.

The University of Sheffield can endorse up to 20 graduates during April 2018–March 2019 under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route.  The University will NOT accept applications to set up businesses in the following sectors:

  • A business which ONLY operates online (e.g. apps/platforms/websites/online stores)
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking/Tobacco
  • Dating/Social Media
  • Gambling
  • Housing/Property Rentals/Construction/Renovation
  • Property Consultancy/Management
  • Any business which does not have significant growth potential
  • Any business which we consider may bring the University’s reputation into disrepute
  • A business which is a franchise/subsidiary/transfer/extension/replica of an existing business whether in the UK or overseas

If you are considering applying for this scheme you must first attend one of the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Drop-In sessions at USE to discuss whether your idea fits the criteria and that you are eligible to apply to join the scheme.  These will be held on:

Monday 30th April 2018 (9am-1pm) in the USE Boardroom

Wednesday 9th May 2018 (9am – 1pm) in the USE Silent Zone

Tuesday 22nd May 2018 (9am-12 noon) in the USE Boardroom

Monday 4th June 2018 (9am-11am) in the USE Boardroom

Application forms will be issued following attendance subject to you meeting the criteria.

More guidance on UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route can be found on www.gov.uk/tier-1-graduate-entrepreneur-visa/eligibility

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