The UK High Potential Individual Visa

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The High Potential Individual visa is being introduced to enable foreign students without a job offer to work or look for work in the UK. This new visa route is open to foreign students who have recently graduated from top global Universities. High Potential Individual visa holders will be able to come to the UK for work without a sponsor, bring dependants, switch to a different visa type, potentially leading to permanent settlement (dependent on meeting eligibility requirements). The High Potential Individual visa route will open in May 2022.

To qualify, High Potential Individual visa applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Meet the financial requirements (have funds to support themselves without relying on public funds)
  • Meet the English language requirements (level B1 or above in speaking, listening, reading, writing)
  • Hold an overseas degree-level academic qualification from an institution featuring on the Global Universities List that was gained in the last 5 years.

The institution will need to feature on the Global Universities List and the overseas degree-level academic qualification must have been gained in the last 5 years.

Unlike the Skilled Worker route, the High Potential Individual visa route ensures that highly skilled graduates do not need a job offer for an eligible skilled job from a Home Office approved sponsor. It is also available to graduates in the UK who do not have a job offer and who simply wish to look for work in the UK.

Successful applicants will have a two-year work visa. For Ph. D students, this will be 3 years. Although the High Potential Individual route does not directly lead to permanent settlement status, towards the expiry of the High Potential Individual visa, applicants have the opportunity to apply to a different visa type, which may subsequently lead to permanent settlement.

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The content of this update is for the purpose of providing general legal information. It does not constitute legal advice from a solicitor and should not be treated as such.