What is the High Potential Individual Visa?

The High Potential Individual route is a new immigration route due to be implemented on 30 May 2022. The route will be available to recent graduates of top global universities who wish to work or look for work in the UK after completion of a course equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above.

Eligible Qualification requirement

You must have been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification in the 5 years before the date of the application. Confirmation that the degree is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s or postgraduate degree will need to be obtained from Ecctis.

The institution awarding the degree must appear on the Global Universities List on the date the degree was awarded. Ecctis will confirm the date on which the degree was awarded.

The Global Universities List is a list of universities published by the Home Office on an annual basis and consists of all non-UK institutions that are ranked in the top 50 of at least 2 of the following ranking systems:

(a) Times Higher Education World University Rankings

(b) Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings

(c)The Academic Ranking of World Universities

 English Language requirement

 You will be required to meet the English language requirement at level B1 (speaking, reading, writing and listening) or above on the CEFR scale.

The requirement will be met if you:

  • Are a national of a majority English speaking country; or
  • Have been awarded a degree taught in English; or
  • Have passed an approved English language test; or
  • Have obtained a GCSE/Alevel/Scottish National Qualification at level 4 or 5/Scottish higher in English while studying at a school in the UK, or
  • Have met the requirement in a previous successful application

Financial requirement

If you are applying for entry clearance or you have lived in the UK for less than 12 months and are applying for leave to remain, you will need to show funds of at least £1270. The funds must have been held for a minimum period of 28 consecutive days.

If you have lived in the UK for 12 months or longer with valid leave and are switching in-country, you will be exempt from meeting the financial requirement.

Switching to the High Potential Individual Visa

If you are applying for leave to remain, you must be in the UK on the date of the application and must not have been granted permission:

  • as a Visitor; or
  • as a Short-term Student; or
  • as a Parent of a Child Student; or
  • as a Seasonal Worker; or
  • as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or
  • outside the Immigration Rules.

If you have previously been granted leave under the Student doctorate extension scheme, as a Graduate or a High Potential individual, you will not be eligible to apply.

Period and conditions of leave

 The length of leave granted will depend on your qualification:

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

Once the application is approved, you will have permission to work (including self-employment and voluntary work) apart from working as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).

You will be allowed to study except on a course that would meet the requirements under the student route with an education provider which is a student sponsor.

You will not be permitted to have access to any public funds.

You can be accompanied by your dependant partner over the age of 18 and your dependant children under the age of 18.

The High Potential Individual route does not lead to settlement.

How can Mulgrave Law assist?

Our team of expert immigration lawyers, Solicitors have substantial experience in UK visa applications and can assist with the application process from advising on eligibility to submission of the application. Our initial consultation is free of charge.

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