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High Potential Individual Visa | The New UK Visa Option for World’s Top Graduates

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

What is the new High Potential Individual visa?

As part of UK Government ‘s Growth Plan, the UK Government introduced a new immigration route ‘High Potential Individual visa’ to attract the best and brightest international talents to the country. And the scheme will expect to open on 30 Jun 2022.

A new scheme of High Potential Individual visa aimed at attracting high skilled overseas talents who graduated from word’s top universities. The scheme allows those to work and stay in the UK looking to share their talent and make contribution to the UK economy including global innovators and entrepreneurs who want to work or establish their business in the UK, while offering UK employers and businesses access to a global pool of talent.

How long can the applicants stay in the UK under the High Potential Individual Visa?

Successful applicants will be given permission to stay for two years or three years depending on their degree level. You will be granted two years visa if you hold a bachelor's or master’s degree and three years if you hold a phD degree. The academic degree you hold must meet or exceed, the academic qualification of a recognised standard of a UK bachelors or UK postgraduate degree.

What can applicants allow to do under the High Potential Individual Visa?

The successful applicants can undertake any work in the UK including paid and unpaid employment, self-employment and engaging in business or any professional activity. However, applicants are only not permitted to engage in professional sports (including coaching)

Study is permitted during the permission of stay except for study with a Student Sponsor on a course which would meet the requirement of the student route.

What are the requirements for the High Potential Individual visa?

The applicant must be awarded a total 70 points based on the table below:

Academic Requirement

The applicants must have either a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree qualification from one of the top 50 global universities outside the UK as published in the Global Universities List by the Home Office, award during past five years before the date of the application. The Global Universities List will be reviewed annually basis and consists of eligible non-UK institutions that are included in the list of top 50 universities in at least two of the following ranking systems:

  • The Academic Ranking of World Universities

  • Quacquarelli Symonds World University Ranking

  • Times Higher Education World University Ranking

The overseas degree level qualification must obtain confirmation from Ecctis, the overseas qualification must meet or exceeds the recognised standard of a UK bachelor’s or UK postgraduate degree. You will be given 50 points if you have meet above academic requirements.

This list of universities relates to qualifications awarded between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022.

English Language Requirement

The applicant must show English Language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of at least Level B1.

You will have to prove your knowledge of English by obtaining at least B1 Level with one of the following English Language Test providers:

  • Trinity College London

  • IELTS SELT Consortium

  • LanguageCert

  • Pearson

You will be exempted if you a national of any of the following majority-English-speaking countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Australia

  • The Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Belize

  • Canada

  • Dominica

  • Grenada

  • Guyana

  • Jamaica

  • Malta

  • New Zealand

  • St Kitts and Nevis

  • St Lucia

  • St Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • United States of America

You will be awarded 10 points for meeting the English Language requirement if the requirements above are met.

Financial Requirement

The applicant will need to show they have sufficient fund to stay in the UK without rely on public funds. You will have to show the equivalent of at least £1,270 in your bank account for a continuous 28-day period no later than 31 days prior before making the High Potential Individual Visa application

If you have been in the UK with permission to stay for 12 months or longer, you will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show the funds

If the requirements above are met, you will be awarded 10 points for meeting financial requirement.

How much will the visa cost?

The visa will cost £715 per application plus the immigration health surcharge, a fee which allows migrants to the UK to use National Health Services. The Immigration health surcharge is £624 per year. A total visa application fees including Immigration Health surcharge are approximately (Application fee £715 + (Immigration Health Surcharge £624*2) = £1963) (Depend on exchange rate per country and an annual increase of Home Office).

Can you bring your dependant?

You will be able to bring your partner dependant and child dependent age of under 18 with you. The partner dependant refers to a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner. However, the unmarried partners must show they have been living together for at least 2 years and their relationship must be genuine. They will have to pay for the visa application and Immigration Health Surcharge fees.

How to apply for the High Potential Individual Visa?

You will have to submit a specific online application and pay for the relevant fee and provide a number of supporting documents. You may also need to attend a biometrics appointment to provide your biometric information including a photo ID and scan of fingerprints.

Can you stay longer if your High Potential Individual Visa expires?

You will not allow to extend your stay under High Potential Individual Visa, and the HPI route does not lead to settlement and British Citizenship. However, you can switch to other eligible routes inside the UK before your visa expires.

What are the alternative routes you may be considered to switch before your HPI visa expires?

Global Business Mobility Visa

The new Global Business Mobility routes provide new solutions for overseas business transferring staff and establishing a UK presence to the UK. This is a sponsored route of five subcategories under a single banner. The Global Business Mobility Visa includes the Senior and Specialist Worker, Graduates Trainee, UK Expansion Worker, Service Suppliers and Secondment Worker routes.

The Scale-up visa is a new UK Immigration route that will open to application on 22 August 2022. This is a sponsored route designed for talented individuals recruited by a UK Scale-up Sponsor who have necessarily skill to enable the Scale up businesses to continue growing. For more information about Scale-up Visa, you can visitor the link here.

The innovator Route

The Innovator visa category is for individuals who are experienced businesspersons seeking to establish a business in the UK. The applicant will need to have at least £50,000 to invest in your business (or have already invested in your business). You will also need to have innovative, viable and scalable business ideas which are approved and supported by an endorsing body.

The innovator visa is valid for three years for the initial period of the grant, and this lead directly to settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) at the end of this period if the applicant has satisfied requirements of home office. Also, the innovator visa applicant can bring their partner and children with them as dependents.

Note: the applicant must obtain an endorsement letter from an approved endorsement body to submit with their application. In order to be granted a visa under the innovator route or to be endorsed by government-approved bodies, the applicant’s business must meet the following requirements:

Innovation – the applicant must have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

Viability – the applicant must be actively developing the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.

Scalability – the applicant must provide evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent Visa route is available for those who have been endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or potential leader in the field of science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts. This route come with the benefits over the skilled worker visa or other routes, including lower cost and much greater flexibility.

Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker Visa route is the replacement of the Tier 2 (General) visa at the end of 2020. This route enables international worker to come to or stay in the UK to take up necessary skilled sponsored job with an approved employer (Click link here to learn more about Sponsored Licence). This is highly flexible scheme without immigration cap on the number of skilled workers coming to the UK.

The scheme is opened to all applicants with the skills at least RQF Level 3 in an eligible occupation. The Skilled Worker Visa is a long-term visa that can lead to settlement and will be initially granted with the period of up to five years.

What are the advantages for High Potential Individual visa?


This is an unsponsored route that enable international talents to work and study in the UK without relying on a UK Employer Sponsor and cost to study in the UK.

The visa holders allow to work in any types of occupations except Professional Sportsperson and coaching, engage in the business, take up am self-employment as well as study in any courses that are not in the Student Visa route. This offers applicants to understand the UK market and prepare themselves to enhance the opportunities to switch to other routes that will lead to settlement.

You can bring your loved one

This route allows applicant to bring their partner dependent with them. The partner dependent visa also has greater flexibility to allow partner applicant to work in any types of occupations except Professional Sportsperson and coaching, engage in the business, take up am self-employment as well as study in any courses that are not in the Student Visa route.

Free education for your child dependent

This route allows you to bring your child who is underage of 18 as your dependent. Your child will access free UK Education and studying at state funded school before reaching the age of 18.

How Alstern can help?

Immigration laws and rules are constantly changing at all times. This is important to get the latest information. Our Immigration lawyers have years of experience specialise in UK Business Immigration with a high success rate and excellent track records. For more information, please contact us on 020 3923 9188 or email


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