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Introducing the High Potential Individual Visa

On May 30th 2022, the new High Potential Individual visa was introduced. This is a new visa which allows international graduates from the top 50 non-UK universities to come to the UK to work, regardless of whether they have a job offer or not. It is hoped that through this visa, the UK will attract the ‘brightest and best’ talent to work in the UK.

What is the High Potential Individual Visa?

The High Potential Individual visa is an immigration scheme which allows alumni from the top global universities to come to the UK. It is important to note that whilst these graduates are not required to have secured a job offer prior to coming to the UK, they must have graduated from a top university within the past five years.

Successful applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree will be given a visa which is valid for two years, whereas, individuals with a PhD will be given a visa which is valid for three years. After this period of time, individuals will be able to switch to another employment-related visa (providing that they meet the eligibility requirements), and after 10 years in the UK, individuals will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain, and later, British Citizenship.

Who can apply for a High Potential Individual Visa?

To be eligible for this visa, individuals must have graduated from a university which features in the Government’s list of qualifying universities in the year they graduated. Therefore, an individual who graduated in 2019 from a university that was not featured on the top 50 global universities list in 2019 cannot apply to this scheme even if this institution now features on the 2021 list. The Government’s list of qualifying universities is updated every year and is based on the rankings published by the Time Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Alongside this academic requirement, applicants are also required to show that:

  • They satisfy the financial requirement (have at least £1,270 in their bank account).
  • They meet the English language requirements.
  • They have a valid TB test certificate (if from a listed country).
  • They pass a security and criminality check.
  • They have not been granted permission under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme, as a Graduate, or as a High Potential Individual.

The costs of the High Potential Individual Visa

The application fee for this visa stands at £715. However, as with all visa applications, individuals must pay the immigration health surcharge at the point of application which is £624 (the immigration health surcharge  must be paid annually).

How Paragon Law can help

At Paragon Law, our team of expert business immigration solicitors have a vast amount of experience helping international graduates and global talent to come to the UK to work and live. For over 20 years, our team of immigration solicitors have been providing knowledgeable and reliable immigration advice to graduates to enable them to seamlessly settle in the UK. To get in touch either fill out this form, send an email to, or call 0115 9644 123.