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Advice For Employers & HR Professionals

Spotlight: High Potential Individual Visa

The High Potential Individual Visa route opened on 30 May 2022; it’s an entirely new route with the aim of attracting highly skilled individuals to the UK to help tackle its current high-skilled labour shortage.

What’s most appealing about this route is there’s no requirement to have a sponsor or a job offer; there’s no salary thresholds, no limit to the type of job that eligible individuals can do and no skill level requirements.

To be eligible, the individual will just need to have graduated with the equivalent of a UK bachelor or master’s degree from a non-UK university on the global universities list produced by UK Visa and Immigration, five years prior to their application, as well as meeting financial and English language requirement. Click here for a link to the global universities list.

As would be expected given the name of this route, the universities that feature on the global universities list are some of the best ranked in the world; they must have appeared on at least two of either the Times Higher Education World University Rankings; Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Successful applicants will be granted temporary permission to work in the UK for up to two years (or up to three years if the individual has a PHD).

To apply for this visa, it costs £715. The individual will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is currently £624 per year. Another big plus is, there’s no costs for you as an employer (unless you agree to cover the applicants fees).

The downside of this route is that, for the individual, it doesn’t lead to settlement and time spent in the UK pursuant to this visa doesn’t count towards a continuous qualifying period for settlement via any other route. Because of this, eligible individuals might choose to opt for other routes that lead to settlement or, once they are eligible, switch into a settlement route.

Our Torque Tip: Some job applicants might be eligible for a High Potential Individual Visa, and therefore don’t need sponsorship, but aren’t aware of it. As part of your recruitment process you might want to ask whether candidates might be eligible for this visa and, if so, direct them to the UK Visa and Immigration’s website so they can decide whether that’s the case or not (remember, as an employer, you should never provide immigration advice).

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