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How to Apply for UK’s High Potential Visa

The UK’s new High Potential Visa is an excellent way for international talent to enter the UK. Those with degrees from certain globally-recognized prominent universities can avail of this benefit from the UK government. While there are many high-ranking universities worldwide, not all are eligible for the UK’s high potential visa. People eligible for this visa can obtain a work permit to live and work in the UK for 2 years at a stretch. 

What is a High Potential Visa?

When you contact lawyers for immigration, they will offer several types of visa opportunities. However, the High Potential Individual Visa is specifically meant for people with excellent degrees from leading global universities. This pre-approved list is specific only to the UK and is not meant as a guide for work permits to other countries. 

High Potential Visas to the UK have shown great promise for international skilled workers. 

Those who have completed their PhDs or other doctoral thesis could also be eligible for three years or more visas. The work visa duration is wholly dependent on the level and relevance of the qualification to the UK eligibility list. Since Brexit, the UK has faced an acute skills shortage due to which there is a growing rise in the need for highly skilled, well-qualified professionals. 

The High Potential Individual Visa also allows skilled workers to gain self-employment, migrate with family, and live in the UK with a partner and children as long as all the eligibility criteria are met. 

The best part about the UK High Potential Individual Visa is that eligible workers do not need a job offer in hand from an employer with a sponsorship licence. 

What Documents are Needed for the UK High Potential Visa?

Applying for a High Potential Visa requires additional paperwork. Some documents to furnish are:

  • A valid passport
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
  • Ecctis statement verifying qualification eligibility
  • Academic qualifications (awarded within the last 5 years)
  • Work experience
  • Proof of funds

Based on your personal circumstances and the country you are applying from, you may also be required to provide information about:

  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) 
  • Online residential proof
  • Proof of relationship (with partner/ spouse/ or children)
  • Tuberculosis test results (if needed)
  • English translations of all documents that are not in English or Welsh

How to Apply for the UK High Potential Visa from outside the UK?

The application process for the UK High Potential Visa is online. You do not have to make an appointment to submit the paperwork. However, you may need to visit the Visa Application Center (depending on your country) for the biometric paperwork or to submit your passport and verification details. 

As part of the application process, there is a high possibility you may be asked to submit your fingerprints for security clearances at the application centre, obtain and submit a Police Clearance Certificate, and use the new UK Immigration: ID Check app to help scan all your documents. The exact submission method will be informed during the scanning and presenting the papers. 

You should also note that if you submit the documents to the visa centre for verification, they may need to retain your passport and other data while the High Potential Visa application goes through. 

How to Apply for the UK High Potential Visa from inside the UK?

If you are already in the UK and have a higher degree from a globally recognized college of excellent repute, you could be eligible for the UK High Potential Visa. If you are in the UK on a work visa, you would have to reapply for the High Potential Visa. Like the offshore visa, this one also has to be applied online. If you have partners, children, or family members, they must also put in a new application in the high potential visa category. Your partner or children can apply for the visa before their current visa is cancelled or expires. 

Some visa categories do not allow for a UK High Potential Visa application. These are:

  • Domestic workers in private homes
  • Graduate visas
  • Parent of a Child Student Visa
  • Short Student Visa
  • Seasonal worker visa

Application Processing Times

Ideally, applications for the UK High Potential Visa (when applied from within the UK) get a decision within 7 – 8 weeks from the time of submission. Applications from outside the UK get decisions declared within three weeks. These timelines could take slightly longer if any additional documents or clarifications are needed for the application. If you need to attend an interview for the visa, the timeline may get extended further. 

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