Scheme Overview

The Tier 1 (GE) scheme is intended to enable recent graduates to set up and run a viable business in the UK after they have completed their studies.

Swansea University is licensed to endorse a small number of graduates each year and welcomes applications from current students who can demonstrably meet all the criteria set out below.

Please note that this scheme is not intended for students/graduates who are looking for employment in a company or other type of organisation within the UK or as a ‘stop gap’ for students who are primarily looking for a way to stay in the UK. It is very important that you seriously consider the criteria below and whether you genuinely fit into this category before you decide to spend additional time pursuing the Tier 1 (GE) route.

How do I qualify?

In order to be eligible for the Tier 1 (GE) scheme you must be able to demonstrate that you fulfil all of the criteria from the 3 sections below:

General criteria

  1. have maintained a good standing with the University, with no disciplinary, attendance or other problems surfacing in relation to your time at the University AND
  2. have no current, or history of debt with the University AND
  3. are studying a bachelor, Master or PHD degree course at Swansea University AND
  4. are in the UK (the University will only endorse applicants who are applying from within the UK) AND
  5. have a Tier 4 student visa (sponsored by Swansea University) AND
  6. have a minimum of 4 months leave remaining on their current Tier 4 visa AND
  7. obtain unconditional consent in writing if you are sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency AND

Financial criteria

  1.  meet the UKVI maintenance requirements (£945 held in your bank account for a consecutive 90 day period if applying from within the UK) AND
  2.  demonstrate the ability to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge (£200 per year and visa application fee £493 in the UK) AND
  3.  demonstrate the ability to meet all financial requirements for any dependants applying with you (£1323 per dependant applying within the UK) AND

Business criteria

  1. the business idea relates to your field of study AND
  2. the business idea is based on IP, know how or expertise that has been developed by you whilst studying at Swansea University AND
  3.  the business will be based in Swansea or another region in Wales AND
  4. have the necessary skills and expertise to run the business AND
  5. have sufficient funds and other resources to develop the business AND
  6. the business idea is innovative AND
  7. the business idea shows high growth potential over the next 5 years AND
  8. demonstrate a clear commitment to spend the majority of your time working on developing your business idea AND
  9. comply with the application and monitoring process for Swansea University endorsement

How do I apply?

If you believe that you can demonstrably meet all the criteria above, you are welcome to submit an application for assessment under the scheme.

You will need to send an email to which includes the following information:

Please note that any emails received that do not contain all the relevant information will not be considered and there will be no response sent. You need to take full responsibility to ensure that everything is included in a single email for assessment.

Can I get any help with my Business Plan?

You should use the Business Plan Template above to support you in putting together a viable business plan.

There is additional support and guidance available via Business Wales and so you may find it useful to visit their website.

Once you have submitted your Business Plan Template, and the general/financial criteria have been checked, staff from the Research, Engagement and Innovation Services (REIS) will undertake initial assessment. They will provide you with a Business Plan Assessment form and there may be opportunity to submit a second Business Plan Template based on their feedback and advice.

When can I apply?

As can be seen in the point 3 of the General Criteria, applications need to be received a minimum of 4 months before your current visa expires. This is to ensure that you have enough time to submit your application and make any adjustments that might be required as part of the Business Plan assessment. It also allows the University enough time to produce supporting documents and work with you to make sure you can make a valid visa application.

If you do not submit your complete application to in time it will not be looked at!

Can my dependants apply with me?

Yes, if you have dependants that are currently with you then they will be able to apply to extend their stay in the UK with you under the Tier 1 (GE) route. They must meet the financial requirements which are outlined mre fully in the Finances section of the Tier (GE) Application Form.

How long will my Tier 1(GE) visa last?

If granted, your Tier 1 (GE) visa will initially be granted for 12 months. It is possible to apply for a further 12 month sponsorship. Extended sponsorship will be dependent on the success and growth of your business. Further details regarding applying for additional sponsorship will be outlined to successful candidates once they have received their initial Tier 1 (GE) visa.

What happens if I my application is successful?

If you application for Sponsorship is successful you will be notified and then the University will produce a Sponsorship letter to include in your UKVI Tier 1 (GE) visa application. This letter will be released to the International @Campuslife (ICL) team and they will support you through the visa application process. The ICL will be notified that you have been successful in your application and will proactively contact you at the relevant time to ensure that you are supported.

What are my responsibilities if granted a Tier 1 (GE) visa?

Successful candidates will have responsibilities relating to: updating contact details; understanding additional working restrictions; monitoring criteria and providing regular business updates to the University. These will be fully explained to the successful students prior to the University issuing their Tier 1 (GE) BRP card.

A Tier 1 (GE) Responsibilities and Monitoring: Student Declaration which outlines these responsibilities will be provided to, and signed by, students to show that they understand and agree to these ongoing requirements. Should these not be adhered to, sponsorship will be withdrawn, the UKVI notified and the Tier 1 (GE) visa will fall for mandatory curtailment (shortening).


During the 12 months term of your visa you will be required to submit regular updates and/or attend meetings with a member of the REIS department who will monitor progress of your business and offer support and guidance. You will be expected to include provide information as outlined in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Quarterly Monitoring Template .


Who can I contact for further information?

All the information needed to make a Tier 1 (GE) application at Swansea University is included on these pages.

You can also find information via the Gov.UK website in the UKVI Tier 1 (GE) Policy Guidance and through the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).


Once you have submitted your application, provided it included everything required (as outline above) it will be assessed. The team responsible for assessing each stage of the application process will proactively contact you with an update.


The email address is not an enquiry line- it is purely for the receipt of complete applications. If you send general queries or incomplete applications, you should expect to receive a standard email which refers you back to the information held here.