Start-Up Visa Scheme

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur scheme is now closed to anyone who has not already been endorsed.  The UKVI has launched a new business Start-up scheme which will be replacing it.  

What is the Start-up scheme?

The UKVI Start-up Scheme allows early stage but high potential entrepreneurs from outside the EEA to come to the UK for up to 2 years to develop innovative business ideas or entrepreneurial skills. Aston University is a Start-up Endorsing Body.

The University’s Start-up scheme is available to those who have completed a course of study at Aston University in the last 5 years that have been assessed as having an innovative, viable and scalable business idea.

Please see the Aston University Start-Up Scheme Policy and Procedure document for more information.

How can I apply for the Aston University start-up scheme?

Those who wish to be considered for Endorsement as part of University’s Start-up Scheme must first apply to take part in the Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) programme. BSEEN is a collaborative initiative to assist students and graduates to set up in business in the greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area through a start-up programme.  Applicants will need to submit a complete and detailed business plan as part of this process. 

In line with UKVI guidance to Endorsing Bodies, Aston University will assess all applications to the BSEEN against the criteria that are outlined below:




Does the applicant have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage?

Does the applicant have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business?

Is there evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets?


Once accepted on the BSEEN programme, Aston University will determine whether or not the University can endorse the student under the Start-up visa route and act as their Endorsing Body. 

For information about how to apply to the BSeen Programme, visit their site here.

You can also refer to the offical UKVI website here.

You will not be eligible to apply if you have previously established a business in the UK.  

Contact us

If you have any queries or would like more information please contact an International Student Adviser at or by calling us on 0121 204 4567.