High Potential Individual

Under specific requirements, this visa option does not require a business sponsorship. 

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The High Potential Individual visa is an exciting category designed to enable those who have been awarded a degree level qualification from an institution on the Global Universities List within the last 5 years to come to the UK.

This route allows applicants to bring their dependant partner and children with them, subject to meeting requirements. Applicants can live and work in the UK without needing to be sponsored for a period of 2 or 3 years, depending on the circumstances. This route does not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, after this initial period, applicants can switch to an alternative visa category should they wish to remain in the UK.

How we can help

We have extensive experience of preparing successful High Potential Individual visa applications on behalf of our clients. We pride ourselves on the presentation of our applications to the Home Office. You can be assured that your application process will be managed in a professional and organised manner.

High Potential Individual FAQs

What is a High Potential Individual?

To qualify for this visa, you must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the last 5 years. The qualification needs to be at UK bachelor’s degree level or above. 

Do I need to meet the English language requirement?

Yes. You can do this through either of the below options:

  • Passing the Secure Engligh Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider.
  • Have a GCSE at A level, Scottish National Qualification leve 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, or gained it through study at a UK school under the age of 18.
  • Have a degree level qualification that was taught in English. Ecctis will need to approve that it is valid. 
What documents will I need to provide?

You will need to:

  • show that you have paid Ecctis to check that your qualification is valid
  • a valid passport
  • proof of English requirement
You may also need to provide the following:
  • your biometric residence permit (BRP) or online proof of your immigration status if you are swapping from one visa to another
  • proof of your relationship with your partner and children if they are joining
  • Tuberculosis test results if you are from a qualifying country. 
How long can I stay in the UK with this visa?

This visa usually lasts for 2 years. If your qualification is a PhD or other doctoral qualification, the visa will last for 3 years. 

Can I bring my family on a High Potential Individual Visa? 

Yes, subject to meeting eligibility requirements, you can apply for your partner and children aged under 18 to join you as your dependants.  

What if I want to stay in the UK after my visa expires? 

You may be eligible to apply for another visa, like the Skilled Worker Visa. 

Does this visa lead to settlement/British Citizenship?

This visa does not provide a direct route to settlement/ ILR in the UK. However, it may be possible to switch to an alternative visa from within the UK, that would allow you to qualify for settlement. 

How long does it take to get a decision for this visa? 

Current processing times are 8 weeks when applying from inside the UK, or 3 weeks when applying from overseas. For an additional fee, you can prioritise your application and receive an expedited decision. Please note, these timeframes are a guideline, and some applications do take longer to receive a decision.

How much does the visa cost?

The fees charged by Home Office can be found on their official website here

You will need to pay the healthcare (IHS) surcharge which currently stands at £1,035 per year of the visa, per applicant.
Will I need to submit my biometric information?

Yes. You will need to attend an appointment at your nearest visa centre to have your photograph taken and to submit your fingerprints. This is for your visa. 

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