Start-up visa

If you are an international graduate, this programme gives you the opportunity to set up your own business in the UK after finishing your studies.

This route is for new graduates of the University of Sheffield who wish to develop a viable, scaleable and innovative business idea and develop their entrepreneurial skills in order to establish a business in the UK. If you have a business proposal you can apply to join the programme, please see the below details and contact information.

Business Support

Places on the Start-up visa programme are limited each year and it is a competitive process. We will only endorse applications that meet the eligibility criteria. There are two rounds to make your applications before March 2021. You can choose the most appropriate round for you, depending on your graduation and visa expiry date. If you are successful, and endorsed by the University, you will be able to apply for a Start-up visa for 24 months, during which time you can develop your idea and start a new business.

Round 1: 10 am, Thursday 9th July 2020
Round 2: 10 am, Thursday 19th November 2020

We expect all the potential applicants to engage with the Enterprise team sufficiently before making their applications, through workshops and 1-1 meetings.

Unless previously agreed with the Enterprise team, we will not encourage applications from students who have not attended any workshops or not met with the team before making their application.

Who can apply
  • Non-EEA national students/graduates who have graduated from/will graduate before March 2021 from the University of Sheffield
  • Students/graduates who have recently been awarded/or will be awarded before March 2021 a University of Sheffield degree (Bachelors, Masters or PhD) and have not previously been awarded a Post Study Work Visa
  • Students/graduates who have a viable, scaleable and innovative business idea
  • Students/graduates who meet the current Home Office Immigration Eligibility Criteria for the Start-up visa (this will be checked by the International Adviser at the Student Advice Centre if you are shortlisted. See here for further visa information.)

The University will NOT accept applications from students/graduates of other universities.

How to apply

If you are considering applying for this scheme and would like to find out more please email

You will then be invited to take part in a mandatory information workshop to find out more about the opportunity. This will include information about the visa and business eligibility criteria and help you decide if the scheme is for you.

Upcoming Workshops:

The following workshops are aimed at potential visa applicants and are open to all students from across the university:

  • Workshop 1: What Makes a Good Business Idea? June 18th 10 am -1 pm
  • Workshop 2: How to plan a Business Plan? June 25th 10 am -1 pm
  • Workshop 3: How to do Cashflow Forecasting? July 1st 10am -1pm

To book a place, please email

If you are unable to attend the workshop or missed the last session then a recording will be available to you. The most recent workshop held on Wednesday 20th May 2020, 2-4pm is now available. Please email and state ‘Start-up Visa’ in the subject matter to request this.