Foreign Graduate Entrepreneurs 'Not Welcomed' In UK

By Fiona Moore, for 05 December, 2014

Britain's National Union of Students has warned that the UK risks losing talent unless changes are made to the visa system to make it easier for international students who wish to start their own business to remain in the country.

The body has produced a report, conducted in partnership with The Entrepreneurs Network. The authors note that just a third of international students who intend to start their own business following graduation want to remain in the UK, and that uptake of the new Tier-1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa has been low.

Problems identified in the report include strict limits on the kind of work allowable with a Tier-2 (General) visa, which makes it difficult for international students to gain experience in a UK business before beginning their own.

The report recommends that the Tier-1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa scheme should be open to UKTI-approved businesses accelerators, as well as to public colleges and to those who study skilled trades and technology at the further education level. Further, the financial requirements of the Tier-1 (Entrepreneur) visa, which graduates need after the Tier-1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, should be tailored to reflect different sectors, it says.

Other recommendations include removing the ban on self-employment for those with a Tier-4 (Student) visa, and the de-coupling of post-study work opportunities from the current sponsor system.

The authors also call on educational institutions to give greater support to international students, noting that many students are not sure whether their institution is certified to endorse them for a Tier-1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, and only a minority saying that they are given enough specific entrepreneur or enterprise advice and guidance.

The report warns that unless changes are implemented, international students will become competitors to the UK, rather than British entrepreneurs.

Tags: Business | Entrepreneurs | United Kingdom | Education | Expats | Visas And Passports | Working Abroad | Work | Working Abroad | Education | Working Abroad |


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