Scale-up, High Potential Individual & Innovator Route – Changes to Immigration Law

Changes to Immigration Law 2021/2022

Two new visa routes that are set to be launched in 2022: ‘High Potential Individual’ and ‘Scale-up’. There have also been further changes to the Innovator route.

High Potential Individual

The High Potential Individual route will be open to applicants who have graduated from a top global university. There will be no job requirement and there will be an option to extend the visa and settle in the UK, unlike with the new Graduate route that launched on 1 July 2021. The government has said it will explore opportunities to expand this route to other categories of high potential.


The Scale-up route will be open to individuals with a high-skilled job offer from a qualifying scale-up and a mandatory salary level. Individuals will be able to extend their visa and settle in the UK. They will also be able to switch jobs or employers. Scale-ups that can demonstrate an average revenue or employment growth rate of more than 20% over a three-year period and at least 10 employees at the start of the three-year period will be able to speed up their verification process to use this route.


The government has also announced plans to refresh the Innovator route. The following changes have been set out in the UK Innovation Strategy:

  • The business eligibility criteria will be simplified so that applicants are obligated to demonstrate that their business venture has a high potential to grow and add value to the UK and is innovative.
  • A lighter touch approval process will be introduced for applicants whose business ideas are particularly innovative to match the best-in-class.
  • International offers, with all applicants accepted on the Department for International Trade’s Global Entrepreneur Programme being automatically eligible.
  • There will no longer be a requirement to have at least £50,000 in investment funds where the supporting body is satisfied that the applicant has sufficient funds to grow their business.
  • The restriction on doing work outside of the applicant’s primary business will be removed.

If you require any further information on the Scale-up route, High Potential Route or Innovator route please do not hesitate to contact any of our Immigration staff at Bond Adams, at either of our offices in Birmingham and Leicester.