High Potential Individual and Graduate Visa – What’s the Difference?

Graduate Visa and High Potential Individual visa
LLB (Hons) & LPC Cathryn Davies
Written by: Jessica Lee Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Cathryn Davies Updated: In: Immigration

The Graduate and the High Potential Individual visa both provide a route for temporary residence in the UK following post-study however there are some differences between the two visas.

Graduate Visa

A Graduate visa permits you to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing a course (Bachelor’s degree or higher) in their UK university. To apply you must be in the UK.

A Graduate visa lasts for 2 years. If you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification, you can stay in the UK for 3 years.

Eligibility for a Graduate Visa

To apply for a graduate visa, you must be in the UK while applying for the Visa. Your current visa must be a Student visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa. Furthermore, you are eligible if you studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or another eligible course. You will need to have studied in the UK for a minimum period of time with your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. Your education provider (such as your university or college) has told the Home Office you’ve successfully completed your course.

Check if your UK course is eligible and how long you need to have studied in the UK.

With a Graduate Visa you can:

  • Work in most jobs
  • Look for work
  • Be a self-employed worker
  • Continue living in the UK with your partner and children if they are eligible.
  • Do voluntary work
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK

With a Graduate visa, you can not apply for benefits, or State Pension, or work as a sportsperson.

High Potential Individual Visa

The introduction of the High Potential Individual visa starts on the 30 May 2022,

A high potential Individual visa can be applied for if you have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher at a non-UK university. The degree must have been obtained within five years prior to submitting your application. The university you studied at must be listed in the government’s global university list for the year of your graduation.

High Potential Individual visas allow for an individual to stay in the UK for 2 years. However,  you will receive 3 years of residence on the completion of a  PhD.

Further details on how to apply for a High Potential Individual visa will become available on 30 May 2022.

How AWH’s Immigration Solicitors Can Help

Our team of highly experienced immigration solicitors are here to advise and assist you with your graduate visa application. Our team can help you determine if you are eligible and navigate you through what can be a complicated process.

Get in touch today to start your visa application process.

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