High Potential Individual visa: If your name's on the list you can come in
High Potential Individual visa: If your name’s on the list you can come in
In reshaping the UK immigration system, the government consistently referenced a desire to attract the 'best and brightest' migrant talent to benefit the UK workforce. Now, with the launch of the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, we have a better idea of what that slogan actually means in practice.
The HPI route is aimed at highly skilled migrants who have graduated from a top tier global university in the last five years. With an ongoing shortage of skilled talent at home, the launch on Monday 30 June is timely for businesses who will now be able to pivot to an elite talent pool to fill gaps.
Global universities list
Individuals can apply for an HPI visa if they graduated from an eligible university in the five years immediately before making an application. The Home Office publishes a global universities list and if your university is listed, you're eligible to apply - subject to satisfying any other criteria.
Key points for individuals
No job offer needed – you can work, look for work or even set up your own business
Successful applicants can stay in the UK for two or three years depending on their qualification (Bachelors/Masters degree or PHD). You need to check if your qualification is valid using ECCTIS.
Dependant family members are allowed, without the need for individual visas (something that is required under the sponsorship route)
A fee of £715 is payable at the time of submitting a HPI application and the Immigration Health Surcharge, which guarantees access to the NHS during your stay, is also payable
While settlement is not an option under this route, once in the UK it is possible to switch into another visa category that does allow for future settlement
Key points for businesses
This new visa route will grant you access to elite global talent without the need for a sponsor licence or an existing job offer
Individuals can switch into another visa category during the period of their high performance visa, so if you like what you see, longer term sponsorship is an option
Nearly half of the universities on the current list are located in the USA. This route offers employers a significantly faster and more cost effective means to bring in US-based talent versus the Skilled Worker or Global Business Mobility sponsorship routes.
How we can help
Our Corporate Immigration team supports clients with all aspects of day-to-day corporate immigration issues. We work alongside our Employment practice to ensure you have access to the best lawyers for every step of the recruitment process.
If you would like to find out more about the HPI visa, or how we can support your business in NI and GB with immigration matters generally, please get in touch with any member of the Belfast Employment and Incentives team.