Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur): Up to now, the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa has been divided into three subcategories, with separate quotas for each as set out in this table.

Under the changes, the MBA and other degree categories for UKHEI will be combined into a single type of endorsement for all types of graduate, and the maximum number each UKHEI will be able to award will be 20 per year.

Additionally, UKHEIs will be able to endorse graduates from other UKHEIs, and there will be no need for a migrant to have obtained his or her degree within the 12 months prior to being endorsed. Furthermore, existing holders of Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visas will be able to extend their visas for a second year using a different endorsing body from that of their first Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa. This allows budding entrepreneurs to have their pick of the different entrepreneur schemes being run by UKHEIs.

Consequent changes to the evidential requirements are being made in order to allow the Home Office to verify the degrees for which points will now be able to be claimed.

Overall, these changes will result in a great deal more flexibility for UKHEIs and hopefully greater take-up of this visa category.

Conclusion

The changes to Tier 1 are not major changes of policy, but will have a big impact on many migrants who are either already in the UK or coming in these categories in future. Anyone in these categories must be mindful of the changes to ensure that they do not inadvertently find themselves non-compliant as a result of the changes.