The business leaders of tomorrow: How Chinese graduates can stay in the UK as entrepreneurs

With an increasing number of Chinese students wanting to study in the UK and an increasing number graduating into the UK job market, the big question on the minds of our graduates everywhere is what comes next?

Despite Brexit, the UK job market is in as good a shape as any. Whilst Britain continues to lead the world in producing skilled graduates, unemployment has hit record lows. But not all these jobs are graduate jobs. In fact government labour market statistics published in 2016, show that less than a third of graduates are in jobs where they use the skills learnt in their degree.

At times like this, an entrepreneurial spirit can pay dividends; and many Chinese graduates have this in abundance. The number of businesses registered with China’s Administration of Industry Commerce reached 77 and a half million in 2015. This figure continues to grow with over 11% per year. But the astonishing figure is the 12,000 new businesses being registered each day in China, that’s 4 million per year!

The high competition means that many Chinese graduates from UK universities with ambitions to succeed in business, are opting to remain in the UK. This comes at a time when Chinese investment is flowing in thick and fast. Investors are buying property all over London with the specific aim of having a foothold in the UK for future business. Ambitious young Chinese graduates in the UK have a lot to look forward to.

But what are the legal requirements for staying in the UK under these circumstances?

The first thing you’ll need is a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. The general Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa can be used by any overseas entrepreneur looking to set up or take over a business in the UK. The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa allows recent graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher from a UK university to remain in the UK to set up a business. You must also be endorsed by either the Department for International Trade as part of the Sirius Programme, or by an authorised higher education institution. You must have at least £945 if you’re applying from inside the UK and at least £1,890 if you’re applying from outside the UK. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel and the visa lasts for up to a year.

Once you’ve navigated the minefield that is the UK visa system, the potential for investment and business growth that the UK has to offer is constantly expanding. There’s never been a better time for it. If you want help with your visa application, get in touch with the Immigration Advice Service today.

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