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High Potential Individual Visa

Our Immigration lawyers provide highly skilled solicitors to facilitate your visa applications to the UK.

Our team of professionals will guide you through the lengthy and often information heavy process, and simplify and minimise your concerns as much as possible.

If you want to speak to someone, call us on 03334149244 to discuss your query with one of our knowledgeable, excellent and friendly immigration specialists.

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    Overview

    The High Potential Individual visa is a newly launched short term work visa for graduates who have a promising career and have shown great drive and determination during their degree.

    This visa is open to anyone with a Bachelors degree, or Postgraduate including Masters or PhD level qualifications, and graduates can apply without a job offer.

    This new scheme is spearheading the UK Government’s broader Innovation Strategy 2021, which drives to attract top global university talent from overseas to broaden the skilled workers by lifting the often strict and lengthy immigration barriers.

    This includes global innovators and entrepreneurs wanting to work or set up business in the UK, not just graduates.

    The scheme opened in April 2022.

    The High Potential Individual visa

    The High Potential Individual visa route is a short-term work visa for individuals at an early career stage, who have shown they have potential to benefit the UK workforce and a promising career.

    Applicants do not need to have a job offer to apply for the High Potential Individual visa.

    If successful you will be given a 2 year work visa, or a 3 year work visa for those with a PhD.

    Applicants will also be able to switch to other long-term employment visas, if they meet the eligibility requirements.

    Applicants can apply for the High Potential Individual visa route if you have graduated from an eligible university or international university in the 5 years immediately before your application.

    As this scheme is so new, information on the application process is limited.

    It is believed that the process will mirror most other visa applications such as the Senior or Specialist Worker visa or the Scale-Up visa, with applicants being required to provide identity documents, proof of qualifications and finances, and give biometric data.

    Eligibility requirements

     

    To be eligible for the High Potential Individual visa, applicants will need:

    • A degree level qualification or a recognised equivalent from a top university, which must have been verified by Ecctis, and awarded in the last 5 years (the university must appear in the Home Office Global Universities List)
    • A valid passport or recognised identity document
    • Applicants must be able to understand and communicate in English to a certain level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale (in short, being able to read, write, speak and listen to at least an intermediate Level B1)
    • Prove financial stability by being able to show cash funds of at least £1,270 at the date of application (they must have held those funds in their account for 28 days or more, ending no more than 31 days before the date of their application).

    permanent residence vs settled status

    Costs

    The high potential individual visa application cost is currently £715.

    You will also have to pay the annual healthcare surcharge.

    As this scheme is new, the finalised amount for varying costs has not yet been calculated. For updated information, keep checking back on our Immigration blog page or our newsletter.

    Alternatively, the GOV.UK website will be updating costs as they are announced.

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    Alternatives to the High Potential Individual visa

    Although the High Potential Individual visa provides a wealth of opportunity and promise to potential candidates, its requirements are not always achievable and most people will not qualify.

    There are a few other UK visa route options that have a similar deal for applicants, whereby they are talented, in demand, hardworking, and overseas.

    Listed are alternative routes to the High Potential Individual visa:

    The Scale-Up visa

    The Scale-Up visa allows skilled workers the opportunity to live and work in the UK for a Scale-Up business.

    A Scale-Up business is defined as a company with an annual average revenue of 20% over a 3 year period, plus a minimum of 10 employees at the start of this 3 year period.

    This visa will allow individuals to switch jobs or employers entirely after a minimum buffer period, and also allows for visa extension providing all immigration and eligibility rules have been met.

    Skilled worker visa

    The Skilled worker visa enables an individual to live and work in the UK for up to 5 years, at which stage they can apply for ILR settlement.

    The person needs to have a Home Office approved role in the list of eligible jobs, as well as a licensed sponsor.

    Global Talent visa

    The Global Talent visa enables skilled individuals in the following categories:

    • Digital Technology and advancement
    • Academic research
    • Arts and culture

    This visa grants talented workers to live and work in the UK for 5 years, after which they will be eligible for ILR settlement.

    It also furthers the applicants career through allowing for diversity in culture, access to the UK’s leading education in world university rankings, accessible opportunities, and more.

    The applicant will need endorsement from a Home Office approved organisation, or win a prestigious award such as a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Academy Award, Brit, or Nobel Prize in Sciences.

    The UK government is seeking to widen the list of awards necessary to bypass endorsement to make the visa more accessible to applicants regardless of class or financial status.

    What Can I Do With a High Potential Individual Visa?

    Those who possess a High Potential Individual visa may:

    • Perform most jobs
    • Seek employment
    • Work for yourself
    • If your partner and children are eligible, you must reside in the UK with them.
    • Volunteer your time
    • Travel and then come back to the UK

    Although you cannot:

    • Apply for the State Pension or the majority of benefits (public funds).
    • Working as a professional athlete
    • Obtain an extension for your H-1B visa
    • Request a permanent residence in the UK

    You must apply for a specific Sportsperson visa if you want to work as a sportsperson in the UK.

    If you wish to settle permanently in the UK, there may be another suitable immigration route available to you. Take a look at our guide for Indefinite Leave to Remain, contact one of our legal advisers on 0333 305 9375, or get in touch with us online.

    How to Apply If You're Outside the UK

    For the High Potential Individual visa, you must apply online.

    You’ll have to provide identification documentation as part of the application procedure. You will be required to:

    Visit a visa application centre to get your fingerprints and photo taken in order to receive a biometric residency permit.

    Use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity paper.

    If an appointment is required:

    • Your passport and other supporting documents might need to stay at the visa application centre while they process your application.
    • Your nearest visa application centre can be abroad, therefore you might have to travel there.
    • A employment offer from the UK is not necessary in order to submit an application for a High Potential Individual visa.

    How to Apply If You're Inside the UK

    If you already have a visa for another type of entry into the UK, you might be able to change to a High Potential Individual visa. To apply, go online.

    To change their visa, your spouse or kids will also need to submit a separate application. They can submit an application either at the same time as you or whenever their existing visa expires.

    Note that if you are currently in the UK on any of the following visas, you cannot apply to transfer to a High Potential Individual visa:

    • Visit permit
    • A temporary student visa
    • Student visa
    • Student visa for a parent of a child
    • Seasonally employed visa
    • Visa for a domestic worker in a private home

    Additionally, if you are in the UK, you cannot apply for a High Potential Individual visa:

    • Bail for immigration
    • Due to the fact that you were permitted to remain outside of the immigration laws, perhaps for compassionate reasons
    • If any of the aforementioned conditions apply to you, you must depart the UK before making an application for a High Potential Individual visa abroad.

    Processing Times

    Usually, if you are applying from outside the UK, you will hear back in three weeks.

    You will often receive a response within eight weeks if you submit your application from within the UK.

    If you are contacted regarding your application, it can take longer than this because:

    • Verification of your supporting documentation is required.
    • You must appear at the interview.
    • Pertaining to your individual circumstances, such as if you have a criminal record

    someone writing on a note with a laptop in front of them

    How can we help you?

    Our team of Immigration lawyers provide highly skilled solicitors to facilitate your visa applications to the UK.

    Our team of professionals will guide you through the lengthy and often information heavy process, and simplify and minimise your concerns as much as possible.

    If you want to speak to someone, call us on 03334149244 to discuss your query with one of our knowledgeable, excellent and friendly immigration specialists.

    Our list of assistance includes but is not limited to:

    • Provide a Letter of Representation
    • Assist you in completing your application to the best it can be, including fixing errors and proofreading
    • Conduct a thorough document check to make sure everything is included in your application
    • Walk you through eligibility for multiple visas that best suit your needs
    • Help you prepare for both the Life in the UK test and your English language examination
    • Liaise with the Home Office on your behalf throughout the entire process

    Frequently Asked Questions

    To qualify for a Global Talent Visa in the fields of eligible job roles, you must be considered a leading figure in the field and an exceptional talent in the industry. You must have worked continuously in the field for at least 5 years.

    2,768 global talent visas have been granted.

    The latest figures released by the UKVI show that the number of Global Talent visas granted has now reached a record number of 2,768 being granted.

    The Global Talent visa can last from 1 – 5 years, depending on the individuals needs, requirements, and if they can continually meet the immigration rules. Individuals can apply for extensions providing their endorsement remains intact.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on your High Potential Individual case. Contact Us

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