High Potential Individual Visa – All you need to know

High Potential Individual visa for the UK - RS Global Visas

The new High Potential Individual visa route opens up this summer as the UK continues to work towards attracting the best and brightest to its shores.

From May 30, 2022, recent graduates from highly ranked global universities will be allowed to apply to enter the UK to work or look for work on a High Potential Individual (HPI) visa. Individuals on this visa will be allowed to take up employment without sponsorship, set up their own business, or be self employed. 

This route is similar to the current Graduate Visa except that it requires you to have graduated from a university outside the UK. Just like the Graduate Visa, the High Potential Individual visa route does not lead to settlement.

The High Potential Individual Visa route makes part of the UK’s commitment to attracting the brightest and best to the UK and maintaining a status as a leading international hub for emerging technologies. What is the nature of the visa route and what are the requirements? Here are answers to some of your most crucial questions:

Who is eligible for the High Potential Individual Visa?

To qualify for the HPI visa, you need to meet the following requirements stipulated by the UK Government.

  • Be 18 years or older;
  • Have acceptable Proficiency in English Language;
  • Have an overseas degree level academic qualification from an institution which appears on the UK Global Universities List, awarded within the last 5 years;
  • No previously granted permission under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme, as a Graduate or as a High Potential Individual;
  • Sufficient funds to support yourself without relying on public funds;
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

What is the UK Global Universities List?

The Global Universities is compiled and published once a year on the Uk Government website. It comprises universities that appear on at least two of the following ranking systems:

In a given year. To meet this requirement, you must confirm that on the date of your degree award, your awarding institution was on the Global Universities List. You would need to acquire this confirmation from Ecctis.

Also note that your degree must be a Bachelor’s or higher, awarded within 5 years of your application. Applicants with Bachelors or masters degrees will be given 2 year visas while applicants with PhD or other Doctoral Level Degrees will be given 3 year visas.

What is the English language requirement for the High Potential Individual visa?

As  with most UK visas, the HPI visa comes with an English Language requirement. To meet this requirement, you must fulfil one of the following:

  • Be a national of a majority English-speaking country;
  • Sit and pass an English language test with an approved English Language test provider;
  • Prove that you have been awarded a degree taught in English; 
  • Have obtained a GCSE/A Level or Scottish Highers in English while at school in the UK; or
  • Have already shown that they met the requirement, of level B1, in a previous successful application.

What is the financial requirement for the High Potential Individual visa?

If you have lived in the UK for at least 12 months on another visa type, you do not have to meet the financial requirement. If you are applying from outside the UK, you will have to present a proof of funds up to the tune of  £1270 to prove that you can look after yourself without relying on public funds. This amount has to have been held in a bank account for at least 28 days prior to the date of your application.

Does the High Potential Individual visa Allow me to bring my dependents to the UK with me?

The HPI visa allows you to come into the UK with your dependent spouse/partner or dependent Children. Your spouse/partner must be 18 years or older and dependent children must be under 18 at the time of the initial application.

The rules further state that where your dependants are currently in the UK, they must not have, or have last been granted permission as a:

  • Visitor
  • Short-term Student
  • Parent of a Child Student
  • Seasonal Worker
  • Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or
  • Be outside the Immigration Rules

What are the financial requirements for dependents?

If your dependents are switching to this category inside the UK and have lived in the UK for at least 12 months prior to the application, they will have no financial requirements. If applying from outside the UK, or with less than 12 months residence in the UK, the requirements are:

1. At least £285 for the partner

2. £315 for the first child

3. £200 for each additional child.

The funds have to have been held in a bank account for at least 28 days before the date of the application.

Can I switch to the High Potential Individual route from inside the UK?

You and your dependents can switch to the HPI route from another immigration category without leaving the UK. The following people cannot switch from within thee UK:

  • Visitors;
  • Short-term students;
  • People who have been granted leave to remain outside the immigration rules, parents of a child at school;
  • Domestic worker visa holders.

What are the work options for HPI holders and their dependents?

HPI holders do not require sponsorship. You can look for work, work as a skilled worker, or set up a business and work as a self employed person. Additionally, you and your dependent spouse/partner will be allowed to work in the UK in any role except as a professional sportsperson or sports coach. You will have no recourse to public funds on this visa.

Does the High Potential Individual visa lead to settlement in the UK?

The HPI visa does not lead to settlement in the UK. Before the expiry of your visa, however,  you may be able to apply from within the UK to switch into another route which leads to settlement.  You will need to satisfy the requirements of the immigration route that you choose.

How much will the High Potential Individual visa cost?

At this moment, no costs have been announced for the HPI visa route. We will be sure to update you when this is made available.

How can RS Global Visas help with the application process

As always, our team of highly qualified and experienced immigration advisors are available to take up the application process for you and your dependents. 

To start the process early, contact us today so we can carry out a review of your documents and outline which of the above listed requirements apply specifically to you.