What is a High Potential Individual Dependant Visa?

A High Potential, Individual Dependant visa allows dependants to remain in the UK alongside the main applicant on the High Potential Individual visa. As the visa is available to applicants who have completed an acceptable qualification within the past 5 years from a highly-rated institution overseas, an application can be made from inside or outside the UK. The dependant application can be made at the same time as the main applicant or a later date. If the application is successful, the dependants will be issued with a visa that lasts 2 or 3 years, depending on the academic qualification that was obtained. The visa gives dependants the flexibility to work, study, and live in the UK, although they won’t be able to access any public funds or benefits.

High Potential Individual Dependant Visa Eligibility

To qualify for a High Potential Individual Dependant visa, there are several requirements to meet, the most important of which is the relationship requirement. This means you must be the spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, or dependent child of the main applicant applying for the visa. In addition to the relationship requirement, there is a financial requirement unless you have been living in the UK for the past 12 months or longer. This financial requirement means you must prove you have sufficient funds to support yourselves in the UK without accessing public funds. Specifically, you must show you have the following funds:

  • Main applicant – £1,270
  • Souse/partner – £285
  • First child – £315
  • Subsequent children – £200


Fortunately, there is no English language requirement for dependants on the High Potential Individual visa. However, you should be aware that any future application related to residency and citizenship will require you to provide evidence of your English language proficiency.


Documents Required for a High Potential Individual Dependant Visa

The following documents are required when applying for a High Potential Individual Dependant visa. The exact requirements may vary based on your specific circumstances:

  • Valid passport: A valid passport needs to be submitted for each dependant family member applying for the visa. The passport should have at least six months of validity remaining.
  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): If any dependants have previously been issued a biometric residence permit (BRP), it should be provided as part of this application.
  • Proof of relationship to the main applicant: You must establish the relationship between the main applicant and each dependant and evidence this with suitable documentation. For spouses or partners, this can include marriage certificates, civil partnership certificates, or evidence of cohabitation for at least 2 years in the case of unmarried partners. The cohabitation documents should cover the period of the past two years and come from various sources. For dependant children, birth certificates or adoption certificates will be required. Additionally, proof of address must be provided for children aged 16 years or older to demonstrate that they continue to reside with the main applicant.
  • Financial documentation: Unless you’ve been in the UK for more than 12 months, you must demonstrate sufficient funds to support the main applicant and their dependants. This means you must prove you have £285 for your partners, £315 for your first child, and £200 for each subsequent child. This is in addition to the £1,270 required for the main applicant.

Rights and Permissions Under a High Potential Individual Dependant Visa

The High Potential Individual Dependant visa provides several benefits to its holder, including granting them rights related to work, study, and general freedoms in the UK.

Dependant visa holders have the ability to:

  • Work a job, whether full-time or part-time, with any employer without requiring sponsorship or further documentation.
  • Study full-time or part-time at recognized schools, colleges, or universities in the UK.
  • Enter and exit the UK at their discretion without any restriction.
  • Apply for subsequent visa extensions to extend their stay in the UK (subject to the main applicant also doing so).

It’s important to understand the limitations of the visa, particularly regarding accessing public funds:

  • High Potential Individual Dependant visa holders do not have access to most UK public funds, including welfare benefits and social housing.
  • However, some exceptions exist, such as access to healthcare services provided by the National Health Service (NHS), which is covered under the Immigration Health Surcharge.

High Potential Individual Dependant Visa Fees

The fees for a High Potential Individual Dependant visa are the same as for the main applicant, meaning each dependant must pay an application fee of £822.

Apart from the application fees, several other additional fees may be associated with the application process:

  • Biometric appointment fee: It is possible to schedule biometric appointments online without charge if you book them well in advance. However, if you need to arrange a last-minute appointment, there could be a charge of up to £250 for the appointment. So, wherever possible, plan ahead and book your appointment early.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): High Potential Individual Dependant visa holders must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The current fees associated with the IHS are £624 per year for each adult and £470 per year for each child under 18 years of age. These fees are paid upfront at the time of application, and you’ll need to pay the appropriate fee for the duration of your visa. For a 2-year visa, each adult dependant would need to pay £1,248, and for a 3-year visa, the cost would increase to £1,872.

High Potential Individual Visa Processing Time

The processing time for an application only commences once the application is submitted online and your biometric information has been provided at the scheduled appointment. In most instances, applications are assessed and processed within 8 to 12 weeks from this point. It may also be possible to pay an additional fee to expedite your application and get a decision within 1 or 5 days. If priority services are available, appointments will be shown to you when booking your biometric appointment online.