Does the UK’s high potential individual visa lead to ILR?

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The UK HPI is a skill-based visa available to foreign nationals who don’t have an employment offer but are qualified at higher education levels. This visa came into effect in May 2022.

To create the right skills for the UK’s dynamic labor market, the high potential visa was introduced to encourage exceptionally skilled individuals to move to the UK. Applicants need to convince the government that they will benefit the UK. Besides, the visa enables individuals to travel to the United Kingdom in search of work devoid of a sponsor. Still, they may be able to move with their families too.

It’s more of an education visa, but upon expiry, the High Potential Individual visa may apply for other types of visas for further settlement. The major cause for concern is whether this visa leads to indefinite leave to remain. In this post, we will take you through the step of getting the HPI Visa and shed some light on how it can lead to indefinite leave to remain.

HPI Visa educational requirements explained

An applicant who has graduated from a top university in the last five years may be qualified for this visa, provided the institution matches the Home Office’s Global University. This ensures that institutions with international influence and a worldwide reputation are included when assessing applications.

Other requirements include

  • Documents showing proof of being 18 years or older.
  • They have satisfied the linguistic standards for English requirements.
  • The applicant should have a minimum of £1,270 bank account for upkeep. There are exceptions if you have been staying in the United Kingdom for a year.
  • The applicant should not be on the records for the permission of the doctorate extension scheme.

How to apply

Applications are done online by accessing the UK government application portal and creating a profile. You will use this profile from the application start to the approval point. You must submit the proof of age document, certificates, and the application fee online. As for the biometrics and photos, you need to schedule an appointment at the UKVCAS station.

Approval duration

Due to the verification period it takes to verify your document, it is best to apply for the high potential visa a month before scheduling your flight.

Once you’ve applied for the visa, proceeded with proving your identity, and submitted all the required documents, you should receive a decision within a few weeks.

That is three weeks for UK non-residents and eight weeks for UK residents. If you previously have been a convict, processing your application may be derailed by the paperwork involved. You may be contacted to provide more documents regarding the conviction.

How much does the high potential individual visa cost?

The visa application fee stands at £2404. The additional £800 must be paid if you choose to use the super-priority service, and a decision may be reached within six months if you apply using the standard service.

What’s the validity period High Potential Individual Visa?

If the UK Home Office approves your HPI visa, you may live in the United Kingdom for three years. But, the time of stay hinges on what type of degree you hold. High-potential individuals holding a Ph.D. may have about three years on their Visas. However, the Visas will only be valid for two years for other degree holders. Once the period ends, they will be deemed invalid, and the holder may have to apply for other Visas.

Could the High potential individual UK visas be extended?

Unfortunately, the High Potential Individual visa period cannot be extended. It’s only for the three or two years you get. So if you want to stay for more than the Visa validity period, you may have to apply for different visa types.

Will a High Potential visa lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Indefinite leave to remain settles you permanently in the United Kingdom. That means you get to work, learn, and live as long as possible. Besides, it may be used in the application for British citizenship. The High Potential visa may not lay a direct path to settlement.

Still, applicants can switch to other visa options in the United Kingdom, but their applications need to acquiesce before the expiry of the current visa. For most tier 1 hopefuls, applying for a spousal visa via the marriage or civil partnership route is one option they could consider if they wish to settle in the United Kingdom long-term.

But there are also cases where individuals within the period of validity of the HPI visas have managed to get jobs as private servants in diplomatic households. As such, their visas change to international agreement visas. During the period of employment, the international agreement visa gives them the green light to apply for the indefinite leave to remain visa.

Why the high potential visa may not directly lead to the indefinite leave to remain

The high-potential individual visas may last up to four years. The requirements require the applicant to live in the United Kingdom for half a decade towards the application period. Also, it dictates applicants who have spent six months outside the UK within the last five years.

As a graduate, the applicant should not be on the records for the doctorate extension scheme. After the high-potential individual visa expires, they must stay in the United Kingdom with other types of visas, not an extension.

Further, the legal age is between 18 to 64. If you make the high-potential individual application when you are 62, after the five years that qualify one for the indefinite leave to remain visa, you won’t be of legal age.

Wrapping up

The high potential individual visas may lead to indefinite leave to remain. But you have to spend the right amount of time in the United Kingdom, wherein the high potential individual visa will be deemed invalid. You need to apply for other types of visas in the meantime while you wait to be eligible for the ILR.

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