Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa sponsorship scheme - Bangor University
The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa scheme is for those international graduates identified by the University as having developed a genuine and credible business idea that the University would then like to support with further development.
In order to qualify for the Bangor scheme, you will need to apply for the visa whilst still at Bangor and within 12 months of being awarded your Bangor University qualification. You must already have a valid Tier 4 student visa, and meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.
Bangor University has been granted an allocation of 10 endorsements for supporting this category of visa. Due to this limitation, there is a competitive process for the University to select the very best students who are able to demonstrate a robust business case together with real commitment to make a success of this exciting opportunity. If successful you will be eligible to apply for a one year Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa with the possibility of a further year extension or transfer to another visa category.
You may complete an application form at any time during the year and there will be three panel meetings each year to assess the applications. Please note that only one application per person will be considered and that the registered business must be based in the Bangor area. This is to ensure that the University can ensure compliance with UKVI regulations and so that successful applicants can receive support. The process is shown below.
The selection panel will meet three times a year - at the beginning of semester 1, and at the beginning and end of semester 2. Please note that the decision of the panel is final and that applicants should at no time contact panel members regarding their application or process. Application forms are available via a link below. Applications will need to have been received at least three weeks prior to a panel meeting in order to be considered during that specific panel. Feedback from the panel will be provided to applicants. If you need advice or wish to know more about the process, please contact the B-Enterprising team (B-Enterprising, 2nd floor, Rathbone, College Road, Bangor LL57 2DF. 01248 388424 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please note, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they fully meet the requirements of the UK Visa and Immigration Authority on submitting an application and information and advice can be found on the International Support Service website: www.bangor.ac.uk/international/studyabroad/FAQ-afterbangor.php in respect of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme.
Completing your application form
Before you complete the application form, please read this brief introduction to business planning. It will help help to guide you with the questions asked on the application form. You may also find it useful to use the Simply Do platform to help you to develop your idea. Click here for the link. You'll need to register and than join the Tier 1 Graduate Entreprenru Visa sponsorship group. Once this has been done you can start creating your idea. The Simply Do platform is a really useful tool to help you to think about your idea in more detail, for example who your customers and competitiors are. If you're receiving one to one mentoring support then your idea can easily be shared with the business mentor for coments etc. You can also use the details from the platform to help you submit your application form for the visa sponsorship.
You can apply for the visa sponsorship through completing this application form.
The closing date for the next application is 5pm on Friday 17 August 2018. The panel will meet on Monday 17 September 2018.
Please complete all questions, providing as much information as possible about your business and your experience. This application form is very important and will be used to filter applicants and decide who will be allowed to pitch their idea further to the selection panel. Applicants should ensure that all sections of the application form are completed as thoroughly as possible and that extensive market research has been done beforehand. The panel cannot assess for viability of the business if full information is not provided and the sponsorship will therefore not normally be approved.
Further advice on completing the application form can be found from the B-Enterprising team. They can arrange for you to meet a business mentor to help you develop your idea and to provide information to help you through the application process. Please note that all applicants will need to be in good academic standing and all university fees will need to have been settled prior to an application being considered.
You will be asked to adopt the Pecha Kucha approach to ‘pitching’ your business case to the members of the Selection Panel (the panel will usually consist of 3/4 people who are ‘experts’ in developing business ideas and nurturing entrepreneurship). You will be asked to give a Powerpoint® presentation consisting of 20 slides, each of which will be displayed for 20 seconds; progress from slide to slide will be automatic, so you need to ensure that you get your timing right! For more information on ‘pitching’ and Pecha Kucha, click on the following links: http://www.pechakucha.org/faq and http://www.deskmag.com/en/pecha-kucha-the-art-of-pitching-with-a-punch
Once you have been selected for support for this the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa you will need to satisfy the following requirements and also formally apply to the Home Office:
- You will need to be a current Bangor University student or have been awarded a Bangor University qualification within the last 12 months.
- You will need to be in possession of a valid Tier 4 student visa.
- You will need to apply from within the UK.
- You must have the financial ability and commitment to spend the majority of your working time solely on developing the business.
- You may apply once only.
- The registered business must be based in the area local to Bangor.
- You will need to pass a points based assessment (achieve 95 points):
- University endorsement: 25 points
- Have been awarded a UK degree 25 points
- Confirmation from the University that you have a genuine and credible business idea 25 points
- Have acceptable English language skills (your degree will satisfy this requirement) 10 points
- Held a minimum of £945 for 90 consecutive days (until at least 31 days prior to your application) 10 points.
- You will, in most likelihood, be asked to attend a 'credibility interview' where the UKVI will discuss your intentions.
For further advice on and help with applying for your visa, please contact IEC.
You should be aware that the notification process may take some time as some times of year are busier for the Home Office than others. You should be aware that sending a completed application form and receiving a letter of endorsement is not a guarantee of success. The Home Office will be weighing up other factors (such as your financial liquidity over the last 3 months) and their decision is FINAL and cannot be influenced by the University. An administration fee will be charged at the point of issuing the ‘letter of endorsement’. This fee is refundable if the Home Office refuse the visa.
Developing your business and on-going university support
The University will assist you with developing your business idea and where appropriate and available, will make space and facilities available to you during the period of the visa. Exact details will be provided if you are successful in the selection process. For further information, please contact B-Enterprising.
Please note, participating in enterprise/ entrepreneurship activities and receiving one to one business mentoring prior to applying is more likely to lead to a successful application.
During the period of University sponsorship you will need to:
- Keep the University informed as to your current contact details at all times.
- Maintain regular contact with the university and respond promptly to all enquiries from the University.
- Provide the University with regular reports on how your business plans are developing.
- Advise the University immediately if you discontinue your business development plans or leave the UK.
The University’s responsibilities
The University is obligated to inform the Home Office of any concerns regarding lack of regular contact with you or if it believes that you lack commitment to your business. Therefore the University will:
- Contact you at least once every 2 months to request updates on your progress.
- Carry out two formal reviews of progress at 4 months and 8 months to ensure that everything is proceeding satisfactorily.
- Carry out a ‘final review’ 2 months prior to the expiry of your visa to determine if the University will support an extension to your visa.
- Reserve the right to withdraw sponsorship where it believes that you have breached the terms of this scheme.