Work for yourself in the UK after graduation

Working for yourself in the UK after graduation

Your visa status

If you are currently studying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa you are not authorised to work on a self-employed or freelance basis. This means you can’t set up a business/work on a self-employed basis while studying.  

The Graduate Route Visa allows you to work as self-employed under this route, however you cannot work as a professional sportsperson or coach. As your time under the Graduate route comes to an end, if you have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea, depending on the circumstances of your business and whether you have started trading you could apply to get endorsed for a Start Up Visa or Innovator Visa.

This Working in the UK: Answers to frequently asked questions and includes an overview of the main immigration routes available for international students looking to work in the UK

Strathclyde Inspire

The University is keen to support graduates we have identified as having world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills. Strathclyde Inspire works with staff, students and alumni to realise their entrepreneurial potential.

Graduates who have registered their business idea and have been actively working towards completion of a full business plan, including credible financial projections, and who are making regular use of the Strathcyde Inspire support and facilities available, may be provided with the opportunity to be endorsed by the University to apply for a Start-Up Visa.

A range of entrepreneurial support and guidance is available from Strathclyde Inspire.

Find out more about self-employment.