We advise individuals and institutions on Student, Graduate and High Potential Individual visas

We advise individuals and institutions on Student visas and sponsoring, as well as helping with audits on compliance. We can also advise you on eligibility for the flexible Graduate visa and High Potential visa and when they are useful options for those that qualify.

Vanessa Ganguin Immigration Law’s expert lawyers are highly commended in the major legal directories for their friendly and attentive service advising both individuals and corporates on all aspects of UK immigration. We can help you through all stages of such applications and next steps if you intend to stay in the UK.

Contact us to arrange a free conversation to identify your best options or to discuss any UK immigration issues you may need help with. We offer fixed fees where we can. More information on pricing can be found here.

Student visas

There are three main types of UK student visas:

Student visa (this replaced the Tier 4 General student visa)

You can apply for a Student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:

  • have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsoring university or college
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
  • can speak, read, write and understand English
  • have consent from your parents if you’re 16 or 17

NB: From 2 January 2024, international students in the UK will no longer be able to bring dependants on their Student visa, unless they are studying a postgraduate research programme. At the moment only postgraduate students are able to bring dependent family to the UK with them. A research-based higher degree is defined as: “a postgraduate programme comprising a research component (including a requirement to produce original work) that is larger than any accompanying taught component when measured by student effort.” Also international students are no longer permitted to switch to a work route visa instead of their student visa unless they have completed their course.

Child Student visa

You can apply for a Student visa to study in the UK if you’re between the ages of four and 17 and you:

  • have an unconditional offer of a place on a course at an independent school
  • are able to show you’ll have access to enough money to support you in the UK and pay for your course
  • have the consent of your parent or guardian to study in the UK

Short-term study visa

You can apply for a Short-term study visa to study English language in the UK if you will be on an English language courses lasting longer than six months and up to 11 months.

If you have any questions or would like to find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

Graduate visa

A Graduate visa gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least two years after successfully completing a course in the UK.

You must be in the UK when you apply, on a Student visa (or the Tier 4 (General) student visa that preceded it) having studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course for a minimum period of time.

Check that the university or college that has sponsored your student visa has told the Home Office that you have successfully completed your course. You must apply before your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expires.

A Graduate visa lasts for two years. If you have a PHD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for three years. Your partner and children can also apply to stay in the UK if they previously had permission as dependants under the Student route.

If you want to stay in the UK after your Graduate visa you cannot extend it, but you may be able to switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa if you have an employer that can sponsor you.

If you or your employer have any questions or would like to find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

High Potential Individual visa

UK’s High Potential Individual visa is a fantastic immigration route for those that qualify. It’s a particularly useful immigration route for employers and those who have graduated from a list of around 40 top universities in the past five years to come and work in the UK without having to be sponsored.

Those granted a High Potential Individual (HPI) visa will be able to bring family to the UK and look for work, work for an employer, work for themselves or set up a business.

This means that applicants applying on this route will not be restricted to taking up employment with a UK business that holds a sponsor licence and any employment they undertake will not be subject to belonging to a standard occupation classification (SOC) code or minimum salary restrictions.

The lists of eligible international universities are published every year by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI). The latest list is yet again dominated by a majority of universities from North America. Out of 40 on the list for those graduating between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023, 21 are US education institutions and three are from Canada.

Potential applicants can check the lists below for the year they graduated to see if their higher education institution would qualify them to apply for a High Potential Individual visa.

NB: you must have been awarded your qualification in the last five years – ie: the date of actual award – this will normally appear on the diploma/certificate itself must be within five years of your application.

Check the list of High Potential Individual visa eligible universities for the month and year you were awarded your qualification:

You can read more about how the HPI visa works and eligibility here.

If you or your employer would like to find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

"I approached Vanessa for legal advice about my application and thanks to her and her team’s dedicated, responsive and excellent guidance through the process I gained British citizenship in good time. Communication throughout the process was excellent and there were no hidden costs."

Private client, student

Send us an enquiry. We will get back to you shortly.