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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 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 month and year you were awarded your qualification:

1 Nov 2021 to 31 Oct 20221 Nov 2020 to 31 Oct 20211 Nov 2019 to 31 Oct 2020
1 Nov 2018 to 31 Oct 20191 Nov 2017 to 31 Oct 20181 Nov 2016 to 31 Oct 2017

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.

 

Contact Our Managing Director

As specialist immigration solicitors, we pride in having one of the best team of specialist immigration solicitors  with wealth of knowledge and experience to deal with all types of UK visa and immigration matters. Our top rated immigration solicitors have successfully helped thousands of clients with all types of UK visa and immigration applications, immigration appeals, Administrative Review, Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review.

Contact Our Legal Team

We are specialist in our areas of law and pride in ourselves for having one of the best teams of specialist Solicitors with wealth of knowledge and experience to deal with all types of matters. Our top-rated Solicitors have successfully helped thousands of clients with all types matters in our areas of specialisation.

We can represent you at all levels of the Court, from the Tribunal, County Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, to the Supreme Court as well before the European Court of Human Rights. Our Solicitors work in collaboration with very experienced and professional Barristers, who together present a formidable team.

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