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New ‘High Potential’ Visa announced by the UK Home Office

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

The UK Government’s Innovation Strategy, published this month, makes reference to a new visa route for ‘high potential individuals’ who will be able to come to the UK to work without a job offer.

The goal seems to be to create a visa route which will “make it as simple as possible for internationally mobile individuals who demonstrate high potential to come to the UK. Eligibility will be open to applicants who have graduated from a top global university.”

Interestingly, this potential route boasts that applicants will have no need for a job offer, enabling them to flexibly switch jobs and employers, allowing them to further contribute to the UK economy.

It is further stated that visa holders under this route will be able to extend their visa, and attain settlement in the UK, subject to specific requirements. It should be noted that this route is referenced in a Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy prospectus, a document which does not focus on immigration specifics.

Whilst full guidance has yet to be released, several immediate questions spring to mind, specifically:

  1. What is the definition of a ‘top global university’?
  2. How does one demonstrate ‘high potential’?
  3. Will this route have a cap on the number of applicants who can apply per year?

The Home Office has made reference to this type of visa route previously, describing that such a visa would be aimed at a smaller number of the most highly skilled workers, which would be capped at a certain number of available visas to be granted.

Those familiar with the current business / innovation routes are aware of the level of requirements imposed upon applicants, and in this vein, talk of such an open route is cause for optimism, however, further information is needed, and this office looks forward to further guidance to come from the Home Office, which begins to qualify this route into its specific definitions and requirements.

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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2021


Spencer Bienvenue 

  Spencer Bienvenue

  Trainee Solicitor in our General Immigration Team

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