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High Potential Individual Visa

As the Home Office announced some while ago, yet another new visa is coming: the “High Potential Individual” visa. This has some similarities to – but also some important differences from – the Graduate visa.

Well, the new visa has now arrived, and it is embedded into the UK immigration rules.

Like applicants for the Graduate visa, applicants for the HPI visa must have a degree qualification and they can be granted either two or three years’ leave, depending on the level of their qualification: Bachelor’s or Master’s qualifications will get them two years and a Doctorate will get them three years.

But, very unlike the Graduate route, the degree qualification must come from a university outside the UK. The Home Office has published lists of those international educational establishments which evidently it thinks are the best or most suitable. There are about 40 of them: interestingly, the US predominates but there are other ones as well.

The qualification must be no more than five years old, and the list of eligible institutions varies slightly over the five-year period. Applicants must apply to Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to confirm – or not – that their qualification is valid and acceptable.

There are a couple of other requirements: B1 English language for those who do not otherwise qualify, and financial maintenance. Family members can apply along with the main applicant, who will be applying either from outside or from within the UK.

This visa route does not offer a route to settlement but switching visas in both directions – ie you can switch into it and also from it – is possible.

If you would like more information about this we will be able to advise and assist you.


GSN Immigration