Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa

ARU has been running the Tier 1 programme for several years, supplying worthy graduates with start-up visas.

What is a start-up visa?

The start-up visa is for early stage, high potential entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK for the first time. It offers a one-off two-year visa. Applicants spend the majority of their time developing their business in this time.

Who can apply?

ARU will only accept applications from Tier 4 ARU graduates who have studied in the last 12 months. We do not endorse external applicants.

How do I prepare?

Tier 4 students are not permitted to engage in business activities while studying in the UK. Prior to applying, in preparation you can:

  • Carry out preliminary activities (such as writing business plans or negotiating contracts)
  • Incur pre-trading costs with a view to deciding whether to start your business
  • Show maintenance of £945 for 90 days held in your bank account.

How do I apply?

Applications for an endorsement letter for the start-up visa are made online. Please contact startupsupport@aru.ac.uk to receive an 'Expression of Interest' form. We recommend submitting your form three months prior to your visa expiring.

Applicants must produce a business plan together with financial forecast for one (and three) years. The business idea is then presented to the panel, representatives of Anglia Ruskin Enterprise Academy (AREA), the International Office, and the Compliance team.

Applicants are only endorsed if the business idea is robust and has good prospects for development into a successful business in the UK. Successful applicants will then be interviewed by the panel to further ascertain this criterion is met. If you are endorsed, you are required to engage with AREA and engage in quarterly contacts.