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High Potential visa opens today


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The High Potential Individual visa went live at 9am today. It is a new route allowing people to live and work in the UK without needing an employer to sponsor them, vaguely in the mould of the dearly departed Highly Skilled Migrants Programme. It is however restricted to people who have graduated from certain named universities in the past five years.

There are different lists of qualifying unis depending on your year of graduation, reflecting changes in global rankings from year to year. For people graduating in 2021/22, the list is:

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Columbia University

Cornell University

Duke University

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL Switzerland)

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

Harvard University

Johns Hopkins University

Karolinska Institute

Kyoto University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

McGill University

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

National University of Singapore

New York University (NYU)

Northwestern University

Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University

Peking University

Princeton University

Stanford University

Tsinghua University

University of British Columbia

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

University of California, San Diego

University of Chicago US

University of Hong Kong

University of Melbourne

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

University of Munich (LMU Munich)

University of Pennsylvania

University of Texas at Austin

University of Tokyo

University of Toronto

University of Washington

Yale University

The person must also speak English to level B1. The resulting visa lasts two years, or three for people with PhDs. Details are in Appendix High Potential Individual and caseworker guidance.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.