International Students

Before you start up a business in the UK come along to an Enterprise Clinic as some visas may not allow you to start up a business in the UK whilst studying. The University of Portsmouth supports International students interested in business start up by offering a range of free start up courses, support from the Enterprise Team and much more.

There are limitations on setting up a business if you are in international (non-EU) student.

Student and Graduate Enterprise Support

Our expert Student Enterprise team is here to provide the tools and methods for success, inspire confidence and help you realise your goals. 

We can help students and graduates* with

  • Starting up a business
  • Develop a project or business for the benefit of the community
  • Setting up in freelance/self employment
  • A product/service idea

Students and graduates* can access our impartial confidential business support through our Enterprise Clinic and workshops.

Tier 1 International Visa

Non EEA International students are not permitted to start a business whilst studying. While studying we can support your startup development but you are not allowed to start trading.

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is for non-EEA international graduates (currently on a Tier 4 Visa) who have a viable, genuine and credible business idea that they want to put into practice in the UK. The University of Portsmouth is one of the endorsing institutions for this visa, and requires applicants to meet the following criteria in full. Applicants must be students or graduates of the University of Portsmouth.

Applicants must:

 1. begin the process- must at least 3 months before their existing visa is due to expire

 2. be fully engaged with the Student Enterprise Team at the University and must participate fully on either the Route To Startup programme or Social Startup  development programme.

3. have a valid Tier 4 Visa which can be switched (following approval by the UKVI) onto the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa route.

4. provide evidence that they meet the maintenance funds requirement.

Further information about eligibility, as well as the application form and guidance notes can be found at the UKVI website.

Full details can be downloaded by clicking on the following title: Tier 1 International Visa Process DocumentTier 1 International Visa process document

Students and graduates may make initial enquiries to the Student Enterprise team in Purple Door, Guildhall Walk during the Enterprise Clinics (Wed 2pm - 4pm or Fri 9.30am - 11.30am). Appointments to meet with one of the enterprise advisers can be made by emailing

For more information contact us.