What is a High Potential Individual visa?

The High Potential Individual UK visa route is a work route which was introduced on 30 May 2022 for recent graduates of top global universities, who want to work, or look for work in the UK, following the successful completion of an eligible course of study equivalent to UK bachelor’s degree level or above. The study must have been with
an institution listed on the Global Universities List.

An applicant does not require a prior job offer in the UK to qualify and will be permitted to work in the UK
without the need for a sponsor.

Which universities appear on the Global Universities List (GUL)?

The GUL is published annually by the Home Office on the GOV.UK website here

The list consists of all non-UK universities that have been included within 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 universities which appear on the list as at 2024 and which cover qualifications awarded between 1 November 2023 and 31 October 2024 are located in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

For the lists of the eligible international universities for the last 6 years, please refer to the above link.

    Further Information and FAQs

    • Do you need to satisfy an English language requirement for a High Potential Individual visa?

      You must satisfy a basic English language requirement in reading, writing, speaking and listening to at least level B1 (unless an exemption applies). Exemptions apply if you are a national of a majority English speaking country such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA or if you met the same level of requirement in a previous successful application for entry clearance or permission to stay.

    • Do you need to satisfy a financial requirement for a High Potential Individual visa?

      You must have held £1270 in your bank account for a 28-day period before you apply unless you are applying for permission to stay in the UK and have been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application.

    • Which activities can you undertake in the UK if you hold a High Potential Individual visa?

      Work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, except work as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).

      Study is also permitted, except study with an education provider which is a Student sponsor, and which would meet the approved qualification and level of study requirements of the Student UK visa route. If your course is eligible for a Student visa, you should apply for a Student visa instead.

    • How long is a High Potential Individual visa valid for?

      The High Potential Individual visa will be granted for 3 years if your qualification relied on is a PhD or other doctoral level qualification or 2 years for all other degree qualifications.

      If you wish to stay longer in the UK, you cannot extend your High Potential Individual visa. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa, for example, a Skilled Worker visa or Global Talent visa.

    • Can you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a High Potential Individual visa holder?

      No, the High Potential Individual visa is not a route which leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.

    • How long will your High Potential Individual visa application take to process – inside of the UK?

      If you apply from inside the UK, you’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.

    • How long will your High Potential Individual visa application take to process – outside of the UK?

      If you apply from outside the UK, you’ll usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

      You may be able to get your visa faster within 5 working days if you pay an extra fee of £500 or by the next working day if you pay an extra fee of £1000, subject to availability at your visa application centre.

Why Viaje

Why use VIAJE for High Potential Individual visa matters?

Extensive experience in making successful High Potential Individual visa applications

It’s all taken care of: we provide expert legal advice specific to your matter

Cost effective service with upfront fixed fees so that you know what to expect

Being able to contact your lawyer out of traditional office hours, assisting clients globally

Unwavering commitment to delivering excellent client care

Meticulous preparation of all supporting documentation to expedite the approval process

Whether you’re seeking a High Potential Individual visa for England or Scotland,
we’re here to help

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