High Potential Individual Route and Scale Up Visa

The Home Office recently released two new visa routes – the High Potential Individual Route and the Scale Up Visa.

High Potential Individual Visa

As of 30 May 2022, the High Potential Individual Route will be available to recent graduates of top global universities who wish to work or look for work in the UK. The High Potential Individual route is not a sponsored route. Applicants do not need job offers from a sponsor approved by the Home Office. The High Potential Individual Route is not available to graduates graduated in the UK. However, there are other immigration routes for graduates graduated in the UK.

Requirements for a High Potential Individual Visa

  • Age requirement – you are 18 years or above;
  • Educational requirement – you have been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification from an institution on the Global Universities List, which is published by the Home Office.
  • Language requirement – English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to at least level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0), OR you are a national of a majority English-speaking country, OR have been awarded a degree taught in English, OR you have obtained a GCSE/A Level or Socttish Highers in English whilst at school in the UK.
  • Financial requirement — You have enough funds to support yourself without relying on public funds.
  • TB Test requirement – If you are from a country where TB is common, you must be screened for active TB in the lung.

Duration of a High Potential Individual Visa

Before applying for a High Potential Individual Visa you should also check that you have not previously been granted permission under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme as a Graduate or as a High Potential Individual. If so, your application will be refused.

If your application for a High Potential Visa is approved, the period of permission you will be granted will depend on the qualification that you relied on to meet the Global Universities List overseas degree requirement:

  • PHD or other doctoral level qualification – 3 years
  • All other degree qualifications – 2 years

The High Potential Individual Visa Route does not lead directly to settlement in the UK.

The Scale Up Visa

The Scale Up visa is open to all sectors as long as the businesses sponsoring the application meets the growth criteria. The Scale Up Visa Route will open on 22 August 2022.

What are the criteria of The Scale UP business?

The business needs to demonstrate that they have had a yearly growth of at least 20% for the previous 3 years in terms of turnover or staffing. They need to have a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the business. The business must be listed as A-rated on the Home Office’s register of licenced sponsor. The Sponsor must be authorised by the Home Office to sponsor the job in the question under the Scale Up route.

What is the criteria for Scale Up Visa applicant?

  • The applicant must be 18 or over on the date of the application
  • High levels of skills or education
  • A high-skilled job offer from a qualifying Scale Up business
  • A minimum annual salary of £33,000
  • Sufficient English Language proficiency.
  • TB Test requirement, if you are from a country where TB is common, you must be screened for active TB in the lung.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship must have been issued no more than 3 months before the date of your Scale-up Visa application. You can switch to an employer who are not classified as a Scale Up business within the UK after you have been employed in the job that you are being sponsored for an initial period of 6 months. After this initial period of 6 months, your immigration status will no longer be tied to your original sponsoring employer. You will also be permitted to study however you will not be permitted to access public funds.

The Scale Up Visa is a route to settlement in the UK. A dependent partner and dependent children can apply on this route.

After 5 years you, your dependent partner and children will be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK and also potentially British citizenship.

If you have any further questions about the personal immigration routes or business immigration routes or any other visa related queries, please contact our immigration team. We speak many languages including Mandarin and Cantonese, Gujarati, Russian, French, Korean and Spanish. With access to our solicitors at two locations, one in City and one in Mayfair.