Unlocking Opportunities with the High Potential Individual Visa

High Potential Individual Walking In City

If you’ve always dreamed of living and working in the UK, then the High Potential Individual Visa could be for you. This visa is aimed at foreign graduates who have recently graduated from one of the top universities worldwide. It allows you to remain in the UK for at least two years, and doesn’t require sponsorship from a business.

Not sure if you’re eligible for this visa? Read on to learn about what you’ll need to apply for a High Potential Individual Visa, as well as what you can do with it in the UK.

What is a High Potential Individual Visa?

The High Potential Individual Visa allows skilled graduates who’ve received qualifications from a leading global university to live and work in the UK. In most cases, you’ll typically be able to remain in the UK for two years on this visa. With a PhD or other doctoral degree, you can stay for up to three years. Unlike some other visa pathways, you won’t need a specific job offer to be eligible for this visa.

Am I eligible for a High Potential Individual Visa?

To be eligible for the High Potential Individual Visa, you must have received an academic qualification from an eligible university within the past five years. For your university to be eligible, it must be featured in the Global Universities List compiled by the Home Office. You can access these lists for the past five years on the gov.uk website.

Aside from this, you should also ensure that:

  • Your qualification is equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or PhD/doctoral degree. To ensure your qualification is eligible, you should apply to Ecctis. However, they cannot inform you if your university itself is eligible.
  • You can prove you speak English to Level B1 on the CEFR scale, e.g. by passing an SELT with a government-approved provider
  • You have the funds to support yourself (specifically at least £1,270), unless you’ve lived in the UK on a valid visa for at least twelve months
  • You haven’t already been granted a High Potential Individual Visa or a Graduate Visa, nor allowed to extend your UK visa via a Doctorate Extension Scheme
  • You have a valid tuberculosis test, if required

How do I apply for a High Potential Individual Visa?

You’ll need to apply for the High Potential Individual Visa online. The application routes are different depending on whether you’re applying for a visa from outside the UK or switching visas from within the UK.

Ultimately, you’ll need to provide some supporting documents. You may also be required to attend an appointment to provide biometric information, including a fingerprint scan and a photograph. Once this process is complete, you’ll receive a decision within 3 weeks for applications outside the UK, and 8 weeks for applications inside the UK.

What are the costs of a High Potential Individual Visa?

As part of the application process, you’ll have several fees to pay. So, you’ll need to ensure that you can afford the visa before you apply. These costs include:

  • £822 application fee
  • £210 (outside the UK) or £252 (inside the UK) for Ecctis to validate your qualification
  • £1,035 (approx.) healthcare surcharge for each year you intend to stay in the UK
  • £1,270 available funds to support yourself when you arrive in the UK (unless you meet the exemption criteria)

There will also be additional costs if your partner and children intend to apply to join you in the UK as your “dependants”. If you’re unsure about whether your family members would be eligible, it can be helpful to speak with experienced immigration solicitors.

What can I do with a High Potential Individual Visa?

The High Potential Individual Visa is a relatively flexible visa that allows you to do many things within the UK, including:

  • Search for employment
  • Work for an employer, or be self-employed
  • Partake in voluntary work
  • Study for courses (only if they’re not eligible for a Student Visa)
  • Travel abroad, and return legally to the UK
  • Bring your children and partner to stay with you in the UK, if they’re found to be eligible

However, there are some limitations to be aware of. You can’t apply for most public benefits, or work in certain professional sports roles. You also can’t extend the visa, or apply to settle in the UK. If you’d like to stay for longer in the UK, you could potentially switch to a different visa.

Tailored legal support from experienced immigration solicitors

If you’re excited to get started living and working in the UK, then it’s a good idea to seek advice from professional immigration solicitors. This blog post is for informational purposes only. At Osbourne Pinner Solicitors, our expert solicitors can advise you about the High Potential Individual Visa, providing guidance on your application, as well as bringing your family to the UK. We can also support you with visa appeals and UK deportations or removals.

Simply fill in our quick and easy application form below or email us on [email protected]. If you’d like to speak with our helpful team first, you can also call us on 0203 983 5080.

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