Students Staff

Working in the UK after your studies

It may be possible for you to stay on in the UK for practical training or work experience or for full-time employment depending on your circumstances.

Graduate schemes

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

The Home Office states that the Tier 1 (GE) route is for “graduates whom UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) identify as having developed genuine and credible business ideas and the entrepreneurial skills to go on to establish one or more businesses in the UK”.

An HEI can choose to participate in the scheme and will develop their own methods of assessing business ideas and entrepreneurial skills. Our Tier 1 (GE) scheme is open to Essex graduates only and is administered jointly by our Employability and Careers Centre and our International Services Team. The scheme is open to Essex graduates who have been working with the centre whilst studying, spaces are limited.

  • Our Tier 1 (GE) scheme

    To be eligible you must:

    • be a recent Essex graduate or a current Essex degree student due to be awarded your degree qualification
    • have engaged with our Employability and Careers Centre whilst studying to develop your business idea and
    • be able to meet all the Immigration rules and requirements to be eligible to make a successful Tier 1 (GE) application

    Full details of the scheme are in our Tier 1 (GE) Guidance and Process document. (.pdf)

  • Your business idea

    The Home Office state that you must intend to spend the majority of your working time on developing your business ventures once you have been issued with your Tier 1 (GE) visa. Your business cannot be in property development or property management.

    Please note that if you are a Tier 4 (General) student, you must not engage in your business until your Tier 1 (GE) visa is issued otherwise you would breach your immigration conditions.

    Your business idea must be considered by the University to be genuine, credible and innovative. Our Employability and Careers Centre will evaluate your business idea.

  • Your immigration status and history

    You must meet all the relevant Immigration rules and requirements to make a successful Tier 1 (GE) application.

    If applying in the UK for Tier 1 (GE) for the first time, you must have a valid Tier 4 (General) or Tier 2 (General) visa and be in a position to make a valid application before your current visa expires.

    Our International Services Team will carry out further checks regarding your immigration status, your immigration history, attendance during your studies as well as your eligibility to make a Tier 1 (GE) application.

How to apply to the Essex scheme

  1. Read the Tier 1 (GE) Immigration rules and Policy Guidance to ensure you can meet all the Home Office requirements.
  2. Read our Tier 1 (GE) Guidance and Process document (.pdf)
  3. Complete the application form sign and submit by email to Please include a detailed business plan to support your request for endorsement under the T1 (GE) scheme.

All applicants should email a completed application form for the Tier 1 (GE) scheme between 1 April and 30 June in their final academic year of study. Applications received after this deadline will not be able to be considered.

We are not able to guarantee to issue endorsements to successful applicants to this scheme before their current visa expires. If this is the case you won’t be able to apply within the UK and must leave the UK before the date your current visa expires to apply for Entry Clearance if and when you receive an endorsement.

Information and guidance

Further advice

After reading all the information and guidance above;If you have any questions about your business idea, contact our Employability and Careers Centre If you have any questions about the Home Office requirements, contact our International Service Team by completing our enquiry form.

Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme)

This scheme came into force from 6 April 2013. It is designed to give Tier 4 students who have almost finished their UK PhD or other doctorate qualification, an additional 12 months of Tier 4 (General) immigration permission to remain in the UK. Our University is participating in this scheme so, if you haven’t yet completed your University of Essex PhD and have a valid Tier 4 (General) visa, read the details in our applying for a visa section to find out more.

Other schemes

If you have an employer who is prepared to sponsor you, you may be able to remain in the UK to work under Tier 2. We recommend reading the UKCISA guidance and the Home Office website for more information. If you require advice you can contact an immigration lawyer.

Please note: The University’s immigration advisers are not able to offer advice regarding work categories of the Immigration Rules, other than Tier 1 (GE) and Tier 4 (DES). Please see our website for details of alternative immigration advice services.

Employability and Careers Centre

Visit Employability and careers for friendly, professional support and one-to-one advice for students and Essex graduates.