The UK High Potential Individual Visa: The Eligibility Requirements
This article provides a detailed summary of the UK High Potential Individual Visa route.
There are two parts, which cover the following topics:
What is the Purpose of the UK High Potential Individual Visa?
The Validity Requirements
The Suitability Requirement
The Eligibility Requirements
Points-Based Eligibility Requirements
This is part 2 of the article.
You can read part 1 HERE.
The Eligibility Requirements
The suitability requirements are the same for almost all immigration visa applications. However, the eligibility requirements are always unique. They will always be different, depending on what type of application you are making.
The UK High Potential Individual Visa is a points-based type of application.
You’ll need to score 70 points to meet the eligibility requirements. You’ll get these points for:
|Global Universities List degree requirement||50|
|English Language requirement at level B1||10|
Global Universities List Degree Requirement (50 points)
There are three elements to this part of the requirement:
- The date
- The Global Universities List
The Date and Qualifications
To meet this requirement, you’ll need to prove that in the last 5 years immediately before the date of the application, you were awarded an equivalent of a UK bachelor’s, a UK postgraduate degree or a UK PhD or doctorate.
Gwen got her Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University in July 2019 and applied for the UK Hight Potential Individual visa in August 2022. She’ll meet the Global Universities List degree requirement because the award date is within the 5 years immediately before the date of the application (July 2019 + 5 years = July 2024). Also, because Carnegie Mellon University appeared on the Global Universities List published on 1 November 2018.
What if Gwen was awarded her Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University on 31 August 2017 and applied on 1 August 2022? Will she meet the Global Universities List degree requirement? Although her application will still be within the 5-year limit (31 August 2017+5years = 31 August 2022), she will not qualify because the university did not appear on the Global Universities List published on 1 November 2016, which will be used to assess qualifications awarded between 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017.
Carnegie Mellon University appeared on the Global Universities List from 1 November 2017. What if Gwen graduated from Carnegie Mellon University on 1 November 2017 and made her UK Hight Potential Visa application on 1 January 2023, will she qualify? No, because the date of award is not within the 5 years immediately before the date of the application (1 November 2017 + 5 years = 1 November 2022).
You’ll need to get Ecctis to confirm this. Ecctis provides official UK national agency services on behalf of the UK Government to confirm the applicant’s qualifications and skills.
If you had to apply to Ecctis to confirm that your qualification was taught in English, the statement is called an ‘Academic Qualification Level Statement and English Language Proficiency Statement’. Otherwise, it’s called an ‘Academic Qualification Level Statement’.
The Global Universities List
Also, your degree can only be from one of the universities on the Global Universities List at the date when the award was granted.
English Language Requirement
You’ll get 10 points for meeting the English language requirement. You’ll need to 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. That is unless you are exempt from meeting the English language requirement.
Which Provider and Which Test?
The Home Office will only accept B1 test certificates for the approved tests undertaken by the approved providers. You’ll be able to check the current list of tests and providers here.
Are You Exempt?
You’ll be exempt from meeting the English language requirement if any of the following apply:
- You are aged either 65+ or under 18
- You have a physical or mental disability which prevents you from meeting this requirement
How Can You Meet the English Language Requirement without Passing a Test?
You don’t need to take the B1 test if:
- You are applying from the UK, and you already met the English language requirement when making your previous application
- You are from a Majority English speaking countries
- Your bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate was awarded in the UK
- Your degree or degree-level qualification was taught in a university or college in a majority-English-speaking country (except Canada) or Ireland, which meets or exceeds the recognised standard of a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate awarded in the UK
- Your degree or degree level qualification which meets, or exceeds, the recognised standard of a UK bachelor’s degree; master’s degree or doctorate was taught or researched in English.
Financial Requirement (10 points)
When You’ll Meet the Financial Requirement Automatically
You don’t need to show funds and will meet the financial requirement automatically if you are applying from the UK and have been lawfully residing here for at least 12 months.
In all other circumstances, you’ll need to provide evidence confirming that you held £1,270 in your bank account for at least 28 days before the date of the application. Day 28 will have to be within 31 days of your visa application date.
If your application is not successful, you cannot appeal the decision. However, you can apply for an Administrative Review.
How Long Can You Stay?
Unless you are a PhD student, you’ll get a 2-year visa. If you are a PhD student, you can stay here for 3 years.
Those EEA nationals who used the UK Immigration: ID Check app, will be given an eVisa (digital visa).
Can you Extend Your Visa?
After remaining in the UK for 2 or 3 years, can you apply to extend your stay in this immigration category? Sadly ‘no’. If you have to switch to another immigration category before the expiry of your UK High Potential Individual Visa.
What You Cannot Do
If your application is successful, you cannot:
- claim benefits (some exceptions apply)
- work as a professional sportsperson
- extend this visa
- apply to settle permanently in the UK
What You Can Do
- work in most jobs
- look for work
- be self-employed
- invited your spouse and your children under 18 to live with you
- do voluntary work
- trave abroad and return to the UK.
- Studying, but with some exceptions.
Studying with the UK High Potential Individual Visa
Studying options are not great. You can only enrol on a course that is not eligible for a Student visa. So, in other words, it is not:
- a full-time course leading to a qualification that’s below degree level (RQF level 3, 4 or 5) with at least 15 hours a week of organised daytime study
- a full-time course leading to a qualification that’s degree level or above (RQF level 6, 7 or 8)
- a full-time course at degree level or above (RQF level 6,7 or 8) that’s equivalent to a UK higher education course and is being delivered as part of a longer course overseas
- a part-time course leading to a qualification that’s above degree level (RQF level 7 or above)
- a recognised foundation programme for postgraduate doctors or dentists
- an English language course at level B2 or above in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Read part 1 HERE.