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High Potential Individual Visa

If you have graduated from a globally listed University within the last 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for the new High Potential Individual Visa.

For more information on how Birmingham Immigration Lawyers can assist you, call our friendly team of advisors today on 0121 667 6530.


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    What is the High Potential Individual Visa?

    The High Potential Individual Visa is a new visa that will sit under the short-term work visa umbrella in the UK visa system. Available from 30th May 2022, the Potential Individual Visa will allow for individuals at the early stage of their career, with the promise of benefitting a UK-based workforce, with the opportunity to work in the UK for a limited time.

    The new visa will allow holders to live and work in the UK for up to two years, or 3 if they hold a Ph.D. You may be eligible to switch to a long-term work visa afterward, but you must ensure that you reply before your current visa is due to expire.

    The HPI route is aimed at those considered as potential ‘global talent’, who have studied at and graduated from recognised global universities. The new approach to recruiting migrants with high potential leaves UK-based businesses and organisations hopeful to recruit the elite talent they require to become world-leading bodies in their field.

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    Who can apply for the HPI Visa?

    To be eligible to apply for a High Potential Individual Visa, you must have been awarded a postgraduate or bachelor’s degree within the last 5 years. The qualification must have come from an overseas establishment on the global universities list.

    For overseas degree-level qualifications, the applicant must be able to confirm that their qualification meets the Ecctis criteria as a required standard of a UK Bachelor’s degree, or similarly a Master’s or Doctorate degree.

    Some of the following universities are recognised on the global universities list; Austin USA University, Berkeley USA University, British Columbia Canada University, Melbourne Australia University, Pennsylvania USA University, San Diego USA University, Singapore National University, Toronto Canada University, and USA Chinese University, to name a few.

    Unlike many other UK worker visas, applicants of the HPI Visa are not required to have a job offer prior to their application. Typically those applying for a UK worker visa would be required to secure a job offer from a UK employer in support of their initial application to the Home Office.

    High Potential Individual Visa Application Criteria

    If you have graduated with a qualification from one of the establishments on the global universities list, then you may be eligible to apply for a High Potential Individual Visa, provided that you meet the following criteria:

    • Aged 18 years old or over
    • been awarded an overseas degree level qualification from a listed university in the last five years
    • You meet the competency requirements for the English language (CEFR B1)
    • You have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK (without relying on public funds and benefits)
    • You are able to take a valid Tuberculosis test (if you are from a listed country)

    If you are unsure if you properly meet the HPI Visa route criteria, a skilled immigration lawyer can help you understand the criteria and prepare an application if necessary. Call Birmingham Immigration Lawyers for a chat with one of our friendly advisors.

    English language requirements

    Before one can be considered for entry clearance, you must meet the minimum English language ability, by being able to communicate and understand English to a satisfactory level set out by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Applicants must be able to read, write, speak and listen in English to a minimum of level B1.

    To prove they can meet the requirements, applicants must sit the Secure English Language test. You must ensure you take the test with an approved test provider either inside or outside of the UK.

    For those who are applying and coming from an English-speaking country, you will not be required to take the English language. You can satisfy the language requirements by proving your nationality and identity.

    For those who have studied a degree taught in English, proof of your qualification is enough to ensure that you meet the requirement for entry clearance.

    Funds to support yourself in the UK

    As with many other UK Visas, applicants must be able to show that they can support themselves financially when they arrive to work in the UK. The minimum requirement for funds is £1,270- which you must have readily available in your account for 28 days consecutively before you submit your High Potential Individual Visa Visa application form.

    As part of your application, you must show proof of these funds. Ideally, this proof will come from a bank or building society statement. The fund requirement will also apply to those looking to switch from their current visa to the High Potential Individual Visa.

    If you are applying from within the UK, for example, you are switching from a different UK Visa, you will not be required to show proof of funds, as long as you have been in the UK for at least 12 months.

    How to apply for High Potential Individual Visa

    Applicants must apply online. You can do so from both inside and outside of the UK. Application forms must be submitted with any required supporting documents and the specified application fee.

    As part of the application process, applicants may be called into a Visa application centre to give some biometric information- which includes fingerprints and photographs.

    For a dependent partner or child, a visa application must be made separately to the main applicant- with a single application made for each dependent who intends to accompany the High Potential Individual Visa holder to the UK.

    List of Universities Who Relate to Qualifications Awarded Between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023.

    2022 Rankings in Alphabetical Order

    Institutions Featured on Multiple Top 50 Lists:

    University Country
    California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA
    Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
    Columbia University USA
    Cornell University USA
    Duke University USA
    Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL Switzerland) Switzerland
    ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Switzerland
    Harvard University USA
    Johns Hopkins University USA
    Karolinska Institute Sweden
    Kyoto University Japan
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA
    McGill University Canada
    Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore
    National University of Singapore Singapore
    New York University USA
    Northwestern University USA
    Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University France
    Peking University China
    Princeton University USA
    Stanford University USA
    Technical University of Munich Germany
    Tsinghua University China
    University of British Columbia Canada
    University of California, Berkeley USA
    University of California, Los Angeles USA
    University of California, San Diego USA
    University of Chicago USA
    University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign USA
    University of Melbourne Australia
    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA
    University of Pennsylvania USA
    University of Queensland (UQ) Australia
    University of Texas at Austin USA
    University of Tokyo Japan
    University of Toronto Canada
    University of Washington USA

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      Settlement in the UK Route for High Potential Individual Visa

      It is possible to gain settlement in the UK visa through the scale-up route. This becomes possible after you have spent 5 years continuously in the UK either exclusively on a High Potential Individual Visa or a combination with one of the following:

      To make a successful settlement application, you must be £33,000 per year on a PAYE salary.

      Applicants are also expected to take the Life in the UK Test as part of their settlement application.

      What is the Scale Up route?

      The scale-up visa route was implemented in the UK on the 22nd August 2022. The new scheme promises a more streamlined and efficient way for a business venture experiencing rapid growth rates to recruit the best-skilled workers from anywhere in the world.

      In order to take advantage of the new scale-up route, talented persons must acquire a highly skilled job offer from a qualifying UK-based scale-up.

      The scale-up route will allow visa holders to switch, jobs or employers in the UK and contribute to the growing success of a booming UK business.

      Allow our team of experts to help you with the High Potential Individual Visa. Contact Us

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        How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?

        Applying for a visa can seem daunting. It can be essential to ensure that the application is filled as precisely as possible, accompanied with all of the relevant documents, in order for the case to have the best chance of approval from the Home Office.

        Birmingham Immigration Lawyers have a proven track record of helping overseas workers enter the UK successfully on a UK work visa. For some, the opportunity is life-changing.

        For guidance on your visa query, call our friendly team of advisors today on 0121 667 6530.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The application for a HPI Visa will cost each applicant £715.

                  Each applicant will also be subjected to paying the Immigration Health Surcharge to access UK healthcare services whilst they stay in the UK. The fee is applicable for each year the overseas worker spends in the UK.

                  The typical fee to pay is £624 per year, however, this may vary depending on your personal circumstances. You can gain a better idea of how much you will pay overall via the government website.

                  Yes, you can bring your children and partner to the UK with you provided that they are classed as a dependent.

                  A dependant is any of the following:

                  • A spouse or a civil partner
                  • An unmarried partner- you must be able to prove that you have lived together at the same address for at least two years prior to applying for your visas
                  • A child under the age of 18- they must be unmarried and not pregnant, or, have any children of their own

                  Partners and children must apply separately for a dependent visa to be granted a stay in the UK. They will be required to pay individual application fees and will also be subjected to paying the annual immigration health surcharge for each year they stay.

                  You can apply to extend the High Potential Individual Visa provided that you still meet the relevant eligibility requirements. You must ensure that you apply for a visa extension before your current one is due to expire.

                  For any dependants present in the UK, they must also apply for a visa extension accordingly.

                  After five years of continuous residence in the UK, an applicant could be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK, either via the route of Indefinite Leave to Remain or the process of naturalisation (British Citizenship).