Students Staff

Applying for the Start-up scheme

The Home Office have replaced the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme with the new Start-up visa. This new scheme is for people wishing to remain in the UK for 2 years to set up a new UK business that must be innovative, viable and scalable.

  • Applicants must not have previously established a business in the UK and;
  • Must be able to meet all the Immigration rules and requirements.

If you have already had 2 years leave in the Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category you won’t be eligible to apply.

The University of Essex is an authorised Start-up endorsing body. Our scheme is only open to eligible Essex students and Essex graduates.

University of Essex Start-up scheme

The University of Essex Start-up scheme is for our current final year students and recent Essex graduates only. Places are limited and endorsements are not guaranteed. The scheme will usually be open for applications in the summer term and will have a deadline each year.

You must be able to meet all the Home Office requirements for the Start-up scheme and be in a position to make a valid immigration application.

Current Essex Tier 1 (GE) endorsees who are eligible to apply for a second year to remain in the UK, may be eligible for our endorsement under the Start-up scheme, different eligibility criteria applies. For more information please contact the Essex Startups Team at Studio X before your current Tier 1 (GE) leave expires, there is no need to follow the application process below.

When to apply

This year’s Essex scheme is open to applications from Essex final year students and recent Essex graduates until 4pm on the 20 June 2019.

  • How to apply

    Stage 1: Your expression of interest

    Send our Essex Startups Team your “expression of interest” by 4pm on the 20 June 2019:

    • In up to 200 words, explain how would you define ‘success’ in regard to your business idea. You should consider what impact you would like to make and how big an impact you can make with your new business.

    If you aren’t sure how to address this question you must engage with our Essex Startups Team before sending your expression of interest, contact us to request an appointment with a member of the team. If you send your expression of interest without fully addressing the above you may not be considered for the scheme.

    Once you have considered the above and formed your statement, you should email us your expression of interest before the deadline.

    Our Essex Startups Team will consider your idea and you may be invited to meet one of the team for further discussions.

    Stage 2: Application

    Once you have developed your business idea our Essex Startups Team will send you an application form which you must complete and return by 4pm on the 30 June 2019.

    Stage 3: Business assessment and selection

    After the closing date, your application and business idea will be considered and assessed against the Home Office Start-up scheme rules. If your business idea is deemed by our Essex Startups Team to meet the criteria you will proceed to the next stage of the selection process. This is likely to be a face-to-face interview.

    This is a competitive process, spaces on the scheme are limited and it is not guaranteed that all applications will be successful.

    Stage 4: Immigration check

    A full immigration check will be carried out by our International Services team.

    You will be required to provide evidence that you are able to meet all the Home Office requirements to make a valid application to the Start-up scheme, including evidence of your finances. You may be asked to meet a member of the team in person.

    Stage 5: Endorsement

    If you successfully pass all stages and endorsement is agreed, the International Services Team will create your endorsement letter in line with Home Office guidance for the Start-up scheme. This letter will be emailed to you and the Home Office.

  • Making your Start-up immigration application

    Read the Home Office website about making your visa application. Your endorsement letter will be valid for 3 months.

    Once you have submitted your application to the Home Office, you must provide the International Services team with a copy and evidence of the date you submitted it.

    You must inform the International Services team of the outcome of your visa application immediately and;

    • If your application is refused, you must send us a copy of the full refusal notice.
    • If your visa application is successful, you must bring your (BRP) Biometrics Residence Permit to your Student Services Hub.
  • Your responsibilities as an Essex Start-up Endorsee

    You must not start your business until your Start-up visa has been granted.

    You must:

    • Stay in contact with our Essex Startups Team, as agreed.
    • Ensure that you maintain your immigration status and do not breach the conditions of your leave.
    • Spend the majority of your time developing your business but can also take on other work to support yourself.

    You must tell us if you:

    • Switch to another visa type.
    • Permanently leave the UK.
    • Start working on a new business venture.