High Potential Individual (HPI) Route

The High Potential Individual UK visa aims to attract top international talent to the UK without requiring a job offer.

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The High Potential Individual UK visa aims to attract top international talent to the UK without requiring a job offer, making it flexible for them to switch jobs or employers and thus contribute to the UK economy. This visa is aimed at the highly skilled and academically elite “recently graduated from a top global university” who can share their talents to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035 and meet its level up’ agenda. This route is part of the unsponsored Points Based Immigration system launched from 30 May 2022.

Overseas Degree Requirement

Foreign graduates from the world’s top universities will be eligible to apply for a High Potential Individual visa. An institution awarding the degree must have been listed on the Global Universities List published by the Home Office on the date when the degree was awarded. This list 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 overseas degree must have been earned within the last five years of your High Potential Individual Visa application date. You will need to provide confirmation from Ecctis that your qualification meets or exceeds the recognised standard of a UK bachelors or UK postgraduate degree.  UK Ecctis will also confirm the date when you were awarded your degree. This requirement only applies to overseas candidates. If an international student completes his UK degree, he might qualify for Graduate Immigration Route.

Requirement for High Potential Individual Route

The key requirement to be eligible to apply for an HPI visa route is as follows:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • An overseas degree-level academic qualification in the last 5 years from the university listed in the Global University List
  • National of a majority English-speaking country and have passed a secure English language test showing competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1
  • Maintain a cash fund of £1,270 for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your High Potential Individual Visa application, proving enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds
  • Not previously been granted permission under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme, as a Graduate or as a High Potential Individual

Once the High Potential Visa is granted, the duration of the stay depends on the overseas degree qualification provided to meet the Global University List. If it’s a Ph.D. or other doctoral-level qualifications the permission to enter and remain in the UK will be for 3 years and for all the other degrees, qualifications it will be for a period of 2 years. If a candidate is already on leave to remain in another immigration category, their stay might be extended by switching to the High Potential Individual Visa route unless they have or were previously 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.

Condition, Extension of stay, and Settlement on High Potential Individual Route

High Potential Individual Visa holders are permitted to work in the UK (including self-employment and voluntary work) in any role, apart from as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.  You will also be able to study other than on a course that would meet the requirements of the student route. You will not be permitted to access public funds.

Under the High Potential Individual visa route, one will be able to extend their visa and settle in the UK provided they switch to another immigration route meeting the requirements of that particular route before the expiry of the current visa. The route that High Potential Individual visa holder might consider switching is Skilled Worker Route, Scale-up Route Start-up Route, and Innovator Route.

Dependent partners above the age of 18 and dependent children under the age of 18 may apply to accompany or join a High Potential Individual Visa holder in the UK.

How can we assist?

Our Team of Immigration Lawyers at City Legal has immense experience and is well positioned in assisting talented graduates of the top global universities to set up a business and/or live and work in the UK. We will guide and assist you in completing your immigration application ensuring your personal and career goals are met. We are a multi-award-winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative, and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to providing clear, transparent, and reliable advice to our clients. As an SRA-regulated firm, we act with the utmost integrity and pride ourselves in giving accurate and timely legal advice to increase your probability of success.

Contact us today and find out how our friendly team can make the journey hassle free for you.

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