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Flex your Entrepreneurial Skills

Learn what's permitted while you study in the UK

During your studies

If you are an international student on a Tier 4/Student Visa, you are not eligible to start a business during your studies. However, you can still develop a business idea alongside your studies with the support of our Student StartUp team.


After you graduate

After you graduate, different options are available to you whether you are looking to start a business in the UK or elsewhere. Here are some of the options:

Innovator Founder Visa

The Innovator Founder Visa is a viable option if you want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK - it must be different from anything else on the market.

You must be able to show that your business idea is:

  • new - you cannot join a business that is already trading
  • innovative - you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market
  • viable - with the potential for growth
  • scalable - you must give evidence of planning that includes creating jobs and growing into national and international markets

You’ll need to get an endorsing body to assess that your business idea meets the requirements.

Find out more about the Innovator Founder Visa

Graduate Route Visa

Under the Graduate Route Visa, international students can stay in the UK for up to 2 years after graduation. PhD Graduates can apply to stay for up to 3 years.

The Graduate Route is unsponsored, which means you do not need a job offer to apply

Find out more about the Graduate Route Visa

Starting a business in your home country

If you decide to return to your home country after completing your studies, you can access support from the Student StartUp Team for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Support from the Student StartUp Team

The Student StartUp Team can support you with this in several ways including attending our RoutetoStartup workshops, enterprise clinic appointments, online resources and more.

If you have any questions please contact us at studentstartup@port.ac.uk



Explore the International Student Career Guide

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