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International Students


Are you an international graduate looking to start up a business in the UK?

Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

If you are an international graduate of Cardiff University you may be able to apply for a one year TIER 1 (GRADUATE ENTREPRENEUR) VISA through a new scheme set up by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). To apply, you will need an endorsement from the University.

Each year the University can select a small number of graduates for whom they are willing to provide an endorsement to the UK Border Agency. To be eligible you would need to be a graduate who is setting up a business in the UK and who has a viable and innovative business proposal.

A number of eligibility criteria for this endorsement apply:

The applicant must:

  • currently be in the UK
  • be an international graduate (non- EEA)
  • have been awarded a degree (Undergraduate, Masters or PhD) in the last 12 months by Cardiff University.
  • have a genuine, credible and innovative business idea
  • demonstrate willingness to spend the majority of their time on their business
  • attend a decision making panel

The process for the University to select graduates to endorse is in 3 stages.

Stage One:   Complete a business description using the form to the right to outline the business idea. Please send the completed form to Student Enterprise We will then be in touch to advise you of the next steps.

Stage Two:  A full business plan will be required. Help and guidance is available from Student Enterprise to develop your business idea further to enable you to complete your business plan.

Stage Three:  An internal University panel will consider all business plans submitted by the publicised deadline. Business plans will be considered on the need for a demonstrated genuine, credible and innovative business idea.


The Panel will make a decision on each business plan and feedback to the graduate within five working days of the date of the panel meeting. 

  • The panel will meet several times a year at the following times
    • February 2013
    • March 2013
  • Panel decisions will be made based on assessment of the submitted business plan.
  • Following endorsement for this visa by Cardiff University, and subject to its issue by UKBA, the University is obligated to inform the UK Border Agency of any concerns regarding lack of regular contact or lack of commitment to the business.


If you would like to apply, please download and complete the business description form on this page and email to as soon as possible. You will then be asked to complete a full business plan. Guidance on writing a business plan is available from Cardiff University Enterprise and via our Business Workshops.  


For more information on these visas go to The UKBA Website

If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Cardiff University Enterprise


 Financial Support

Financial support may also be available for the development of innovative business ideas and may include:

  • Up to £1500 Proof of Concept Award for development of Cardiff University Graduate start up businesses
  • Welsh Government Graduate Start up Bursary
  • Spark Business Ideas Competition Awards

Each of these Awards is subject to an application process and has specific eligibility requirements. Please contact Cardiff University Enterprise for more information.