In this article, we talk about the High Potential Individual route (HPI) and answer the important questions:
-Who is the High Potential Individual Route made for?
-What are the main requirements of the High Potential Individual Visa Route UK?
-How long can a High Potential Individual Route holder stay in the UK?
-And, how can a High Potential Individual Route eventually lead to permanent residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK?
What is the UK High Potential Individual Route?
The High Potential Individual route, or the HPI route, is a new immigration path intended to implement the UK government’s Plan for Growth goal of “establishing an elite points-based route to bring the brightest and best minds to the UK in order to preserve the country’s position as a leading international centre for innovative technologies.”
As stated above, the High Potential Individual Visa will begin on May 30, 2022, and will be open to recent graduates of top overseas universities who want to work or seek employment in the UK.
The High Potential Individual route is not a sponsored route. This implies that graduates do not need a work offer from a Home Office-approved sponsor to apply for an eligible skilled job in the United Kingdom. While international graduates with a UK job offer will be able to take the route, graduates who have no current employment opportunity in the United Kingdom and simply want to look for work in the United Kingdom will be able to do so.
Under the High Potential Individual Visa Program, applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply and may not have a higher age restriction than that of the Young Persons Mobility Scheme.
The High Potential Individual route will not result in settlement in the United Kingdom. Graduates with a High Potential Individual Visa who are residents of the UK may, however, switch into another immigration category that may lead to permanent residency. A spouse and dependent children can be added or accompanied by a partner for High Potential Individuals.
High Potential Individual Route Visa UK – Overseas Degree Requirement
Applicants for the high potential individual route visa UK must have graduated from an overseas (i.e., non-UK) degree-level academic credential to be eligible for a High Potential Individual Visa. If you are an internationally educated student who has completed a UK degree, your degree will not qualify you for the High Potential Individual Route. Instead, you might be able to satisfy the requirements of the Graduate Immigration Route.
If you have an overseas academic credential, make sure it is valid and comparable to a UK bachelors or postgraduate degree. You must provide evidence from Ecctis that this is the case.
It’s worth noting that not all overseas education degree-level academic credentials will be accepted by the Home Office. To be eligible for the High Potential Individual Visa, your foreign university degree level credential must have been given out five years prior to the date of your High Potential Individual Visa application. Ecctis will notify you when your degree is granted.
Additionally, the institution that granted your degree must have been listed on the Home Office’s Global Universities List on the date when your degree was awarded. The Home Office publishes a list of universities each year called the Global Universities List.
UK High Potential Individual Route – English Language Requirement
If you can satisfy the foreign degree requirement, the next step to qualifying for a High Potential Individual Visa is to ensure that you can fulfil the English language test.
To be eligible for a High Potential Individual Visa, you must show proficiency in the English language to a level outlined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all four components (reading, writing, talking, and listening). The level you must demonstrate is at least level B1 (intermediate).
If you are a recent graduate applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as a High Potential Individual, you will fulfil the English language requirement if you:
- Are already a national of a majority English-speaking country; or
- You have passed a Secure English Language Test; or
- You have studied and passed a degree that has been taught in English; or
- Have obtained, in the past, a GCSE/A Level or Scottish Highers in English while at school in the UK; or
- Have already shown that you have previously passed the requirement, of level B1, in a previous immigration application that has been successful for entry clearance or permission to stay.
High Potential Individual Route – Financial Requirement
You must have at least £1,270 in cash funds to be eligible for a High Potential Individual Visa.
You must have held the money for at least 28 days and ended on a date that is not more than 31 days before the date of your High Potential Individual Visa application.
Individuals who have been lawfully in the United Kingdom for at least 12 months and wish to stay longer can try and apply for an exemption from the financial requirement if they can show that they do not need access to funds.
High Potential Individual Route – Immigration Status Requirement
If you’ve been granted permission under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme as a Graduate or as a High Potential Individual, your application will be rejected.
UK High Potential Individual Route – Validity Period
The time period for which you will be authorised on a High Potential Visa is contingent upon the qualification you used to fulfil the Global Universities List overseas degree requirement.
If you used a PhD or other doctoral degree to enter or stay in the United Kingdom, you would be permitted to do so for three years. You might stay in the UK for two years if you relied on a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree.
High Potential Individual Route – Conditions of Stay
UK high potential individual route holders can work in the UK (including self-employment and voluntary work) in any job they wish, with the exception of professional sportspersons or sports coaches. Apart from that, you’ll be able to study anything you like. However, you won’t be eligible for public funding.
Extensions of Stay and ILR on the UK High Potential Individual Route
Under the high potential individual route visa uk, it is not allowed to apply for an extension. Moreover, the High Potential Individual Route does not directly lead to indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Before your stay comes to an end, you may be able to switch to another immigration route that will allow you to extend your stay and/or settle in the UK, subject to fulfilling the requirements of the route.
The best options for High Potential Individual Visa holders (those with no close family ties to a British or permanent resident) to extend their stay and settle in the UK are likely to be:
TB Test Requirement for Applicants of the High Potential Individual Route
Applicants for long-term UK visas from countries where tuberculosis is prevalent must be tested for TB in their lungs as part of the visa application. For more specific info on the TB test requirement for High Potential Individuals, do not hesitate to contact our immigration solicitors London.
Summary of Requirements for the High Potential Individual Route
This route for graduates of top global universities who want to come and work in the UK, following the completion of an equivalent to a UK BA degree or above, is a temporary route. The studies must be with an institution listed on the Global Universities list. It is comparable to the previous HSMP.
- No job offer is required.
- No sponsorship required
- English language at B1 in speaking, reading, and writing.
- Your bank statement should show you have at least £1270 in your account held for at least 28 days prior to the date of the application.
- Partners and children can be sponsored.
- Work [ including self-employment and voluntary work] is permitted, apart from as a professional sportsperson, including a sports coach).
- Study is permitted, but not with a student sponsor.
If the qualification is a degree at the PhD level, the applicant will be granted three years of permission and, in all other cases, two years.
Contact our Immigration Lawyers
Please contact our immigration lawyers London on 0207 269 9590 or fill out the form below to talk about your UK High Potential Individual Visa application or transfer into a path that leads to settlement.
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Armen Andonian is the CEO of Solicitors Marketing, a London-based legal marketing agency. He is a legal content marketing expert who writes on UK individual immigration, business immigration, family law, finance, employment law and intellectual property. He has a passion for researching and communicating complex legal concepts and ideas in a clear and engaging manner and has developed a reputation as a highly skilled and versatile author on UK law-related issues. He has written for numerous publications, both online and offline, and his work has been featured in a variety of high-profile media outlets.