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HIGH POTENTIAL INDIVIDUAL VISA

HIGH POTENTIAL INDIVIDUAL VISA

The High Potential Individual Visa is available to recent graduates of top global universities who wish to work, or look for work, in the UK.  The High Potential Individual route will open on 30 May 2022.

The High Potential Individual route does not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, before your leave expires, you may be able to apply from within the UK to switch into another immigration route which does lead to settlement. Applicants may be joined or accompanied by a partner and dependent children.

Requirements for a High Potential Individual Visa

In order to qualify for a High Potential Individual Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are aged 18 or over;
  • You have, in the last 5 years, been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification from an institution which appears on the Global Universities List;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
  • You have not previously been granted permission under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme, as a Graduate or as a High Potential Individual;
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

To discuss your High Potential Individual Visa application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our immigration team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

Global Universities List Overseas Degree Requirement

In order to qualify for a High Potential Individual Visa you will need to have been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification.

Your overseas degree level qualification must have been awarded in the 5 years before the date of your High Potential Individual Visa application.

The institution which awarded your degree must appear on the Global Universities List in respect of the date when you were awarded your degree. The Global Universities List is a list of universities published by the Home Office, which is compiled on an annual basis and consists of all institutions that are ranked in the top 50 of at least two of the following ranking systems:

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings; 
  • Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings; 
  • The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The High Potential Individual Visa Global Universities Lists for the last 6 years can be viewed below.  You should select the list for the year you graduated:

2021 2020 2019
2018 2017 2016

You will need to provide confirmation from Ecctis that your qualification meets or exceeds the recognised standard of a UK bachelor’s or UK postgraduate degree.  Ecctis will also confirm the date when you were awarded your degree.

If you are an international student who has completed an eligible UK degree then you may qualify for the Graduate Immigration Route instead.

High Potential Individual Visa English Language Requirement

In order to qualify for a High Potential Individual Visa you will need to demonstrate English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to at least level B1 (intermediate).

Recent graduates applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as a High Potential Individual will satisfy the English language requirement if they:

  • Are a national of a majority English-speaking country;
  • Have passed a Secure English Language Test;
  • Have been awarded a degree taught in English; 
  • Obtained a GCSE/A Level or Scottish Highers in English while at school in the UK; or
  • Have already shown that they met the requirement, of level B1, in a previous successful application for entry clearance or permission to stay.

High Potential Individual Visa Financial Requirement

Subject to the exemption below, you will need to have cash funds of at least £1,270 available.

You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your High Potential Individual Visa application.

If you are applying for permission to stay and have been in the UK with permission for 12 months or more at the date of application, you will meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds.

Switching into the High Potential Individual Visa Route

If you currently have leave to remain in another immigration category, you may extend your stay by switching into the High Potential Individual Visa route unless you have, or were last granted, permission as a Visitor, Short-term student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household or outside the Immigration Rules. 

Duration of a High Potential Individual Visa

If your application for a High Potential Visa is approved, the period of permission you will be granted will depend on the qualification that you relied on to meet the Global Universities List overseas degree requirement:

  • Phd or other doctoral level qualification – 3 years
  • All other degree qualifications – 2 years

Conditions of Stay as a High Potential Individual

If your application for a High Potential Individual Visa is approved you will be permitted to work (including self-employment and voluntary work), apart from as a professional sportsperson or sports coach. You will also be able to study other than on a course which would meet the requirements of the Student route. You will not be permitted to access public funds.

Extension of Stay on the High Potential Individual Visa Route

It is not possible to apply for an extension of a High Potential Individual Visa. However, before your leave expires, you may be able to apply from within the UK to switch into another immigration route.  You will need to satisfy the requirements of the immigration route that you wish to extend into.

Settlement on the High Potential Individual Visa Route

The High Potential Individual Visa does not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, before your leave expires, you may be able to apply from within the UK to switch into another immigration route which does lead to settlement, such as the Skilled Worker route or the Start-up route when combined with the Innovator route.  You will need to satisfy the requirements of the immigration route that you wish to extend into.  Details of all the main immigration routes, including whether they lead to settlement, are available on our website. 

You may also be eligible to extend your stay until you qualify for settlement on the basis of Long Residence.

Dependants of High Potential Individual Visa Applicants

High Potential Individual Visa holders can be joined or accompanied by a dependent partner over the age of 18 and dependent children under the age of 18.

How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help

Our team of immigration barristers has experience in assisting graduates of top global universities to live and work in the UK. We can guide you through the complexities of the immigration rules to ensure that your personal and career goals are met.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to graduates as part of a professional and friendly service.

We can also assist with

  • Fresh applications, Administrative reviews and Judicial reviews for High Potential Individuals

    If your application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a High Potential Individual has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.

    If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.

    If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.

  • Applications for Skilled Worker Visas

    The Skilled Worker Visa is open to individuals of all nationalities (except British and Irish) who have an offer of an eligible skilled job in the UK from a Home Office-approved sponsor.  The route can lead to settlement and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children.

    In order to qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You are aged 18 or over;
    • You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do;
    • Your job offer is a genuine vacancy;
    • Your sponsor has paid any required Immigration Skills Charge;
    • Your job is at an appropriate skill level;
    • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
    • You will be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both a general salary threshold and the ‘going rate’ for the occupation;
    • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
    • You have provided a criminal record certificate, if required; and
    • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for Start-up Visas

    The Start-up Visa is for individuals who are new entrepreneurs and want to establish a business in the UK for the first time.  You do not need to be a graduate or have secured any initial funding. However, you will need to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which has been approved by an endorsing body.

    In order to qualify for a Start-up Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You are at least 18 years old;
    • You have not previously established a business in the UK (unless you previously held leave as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur);
    • You have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body that has assessed your business idea for innovation, viability and scalability and is satisfied that you will spend the majority of your working time in the UK on developing your business venture;
    • Your endorsement letter was issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Start-up visa application;
    • You genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the UK stated in your application;
    • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B2 (equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking);
    • If you are outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months then you have at least £1270 to support yourself, plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child and £200 for each additional child.

    The exact requirements that you will need to satisfy may vary depending on the circumstances of your case.  We recommend speaking to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for Student Visas

    The Student Visa category is for individuals who are aged 16 or over and who wish to study on a further or higher education course in the UK.

    In order to qualify for a UK Student Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You are aged 16 or over;
    • You have been offered an unconditional place on an approved course with a licensed student sponsor;
    • You can read, write, speak and understand English to at least CEFR Level B2 (if studying at degree level or above) or CEFR Level B1 (if studying at below degree level);
    • You have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course without relying on public funds;
    • You have the consent of your parents if you are 16 or 17 years old;

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for Graduate Visas

    The Graduate Visa allows international students who have completed an eligible UK degree to stay in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years (three years for those being awarded doctorates) after they have completed their studies.

    In order to qualify for a Graduate Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You have successfully completed a UK degree, or other eligible course;
    • You have studied at a Higher Education Provider which is a student sponsor with a track record of compliance;
    • You have spent a minimum period of time studying in the UK;
    • You are applying from within the UK and have valid leave as a Student or Tier 4 Student at the date of application;
    • You have not previously held permission on the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES), or the Graduate route;
    • You do not fall for refusal on grounds of suitability.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

WHAT CAN WE HELP YOU WITH?

To discuss your High Potential Individual Visa application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our immigration team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.




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