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What Is The High Potential Individual Visa

The High Potential Individual visa (HPI visa) is a relatively new visa route that enables immigrants worldwide who are graduates from top universities to relocate and work in the UK without a job offer. 

If you’re a highly educated individual from a top global university interested in working in the UK without a job offer, the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa is for you! The UK government launched this new Visa type on May 30, 2022, and its purpose is to give UK employers and businesses a larger talent pool for employees.


      Here are key points to note about the High Potential Individual visa (HPI        visa):

  1. This visa is for graduates from top worldwide universities who want to work in the UK without a job offer.
  2. The UK government launched the program on May 30, 2022, to give UK employers and businesses more talented employees.
  3. To be eligible, you must have earned an overseas bachelor’s or postgraduate degree qualification from a top global university in the past five years, as listed on the Home Office Global Universities List.
  4. The HPI visa allows graduates to stay in the UK for at least two years, while those with a Ph.D. or other doctoral qualifications can stay up to three years.


Who Is Eligible For The High Potential Individual Visa

To qualify for the HPI Visa, the candidate must have received at least a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree from a top global university outside the UK within the past five years. The university must be listed on the Home Office Global Universities List


What Are The Requirements For A High Potential Individual Visa

To apply for the HPI visa, you must complete an online application and meet these three specific eligibility criteria: 

  1. Having a degree from a university on the Global Universities list
  2. Demonstrating fluency in English 
  3. Meeting the program’s financial requirements.


How Does One Apply For The High Potential Individual UK visa?

Applying for the (HPI Visa) must be done online. How you apply depends on whether you’re:

Your partner and children can apply to join you or stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible.

If you are outside the UK and are coming to the UK, click here to start your registration, and if you are inside the UK and switching from a different visa, click here to start your registration.


What Are The Costs Of Applying For A UK High Potential Individual visa?

To obtain an HPI visa, applicants must pay the following visa fees:

  • Ecctis verification check: £210 (if applying outside the UK), £252 (if applying from within the UK)
  • HPI application fee: £715
  • Immigration Health Surcharge: £624 per year of stay in the UK

Aside from the visa fees, applicants must also show proof of funds to cover their expenses while in the UK. Typically, at least £1,270 in cash funds must be available in the applicant’s bank account, although this requirement may vary depending on the applicant’s circumstances.


What Documents Are Required For The UK High Potential Individual visa

Before applying for an HPI visa, applicants must pay for Ecctis to verify the validity of their qualifications. Along with the application, applicants must provide a valid passport or travel document as proof of identity and nationality and evidence of English language proficiency. Applicants must also provide a statement from Ecctis confirming the validity of their qualifications.

Additionally, depending on each applicant’s circumstances, they may be required to provide other documents, such as a biometric residence permit or proof of relationship with family members. If the applicant is from a listed country, they must also provide tuberculosis test results.



List Of Universities That Are Eligible For The High Potential Individual visa

The Global Universities List is compiled annually and based on rankings of universities worldwide. The complete list of institutions on the Global Universities List 2022 is as follows:

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) – USA

Chinese University of Hong Kong – Hong Kong

Columbia University – USA

Cornell University – USA

Duke University – USA

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL Switzerland) – Switzerland

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) – Switzerland

Harvard University – USA

Johns Hopkins University – USA

Karolinska Institute – Sweden

Kyoto University – Japan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA

McGill University – Canada

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – Singapore

National University of Singapore – Singapore

New York University – USA

Northwestern University – USA

Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University – France

Peking University – China

Princeton University – USA

Stanford University – USA

Technical University of Munich – Germany

Tsinghua University – China

University of British Columbia – Canada

The University of California, Berkeley – USA

The University of California, Los Angeles – USA

The University of California, San Diego – USA

University of Chicago – USA

University of Hong Kong – Hong Kong

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – USA

University of Melbourne – Australia

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – USA

University of Pennsylvania – USA

University of Queensland (UQ) – Australia

University of Texas at Austin – USA

University of Tokyo – Japan

University of Toronto – Canada

University of Washington – USA

Yale University – USA

Zhejiang University – China

This list of universities relates to qualifications awarded between November 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023. For updates, you can always check here 

UK universities are not eligible under the High Potential Individual route. If you are already in the UK on a Student visa, you can apply for a Graduate visa.


Everything Top College Graduates Need To Know About The New UK High-Performance Individual Visa

Under an HPI visa in the UK, you can legally work, seek employment, work as a self-employed individual, and participate in volunteer work. You can also travel freely in and out of the UK and engage in studies not eligible for a Student Visa. However, it is not permitted to apply for or receive public funds or the State Pension, work as a professional sportsperson, extend your HPI visa, or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or any other UK settlement route while under this visa.



credit:Svitlana Shlapak

           Studying with an HPI visa

You can only study with an HPI visa if your chosen course is not eligible for a Student visa. If your course is eligible for a Student visa, you can apply for a Student visa instead or extend your Student visa if you already have one.

You may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate while studying or researching sensitive topics.




How long does it take to process a High Potential Individual Visa?

Generally, UK visa applications submitted outside the UK are usually processed within three weeks. However, if you are already in the UK on another visa and wish to switch to an HPI visa, the processing time for your application may be longer, taking up to 8 weeks. It’s essential to keep these processing times in mind when planning your travel and visa application.

How long can you stay in the UK with the High Potential Individual visa?

HPI visas let people stay in the UK for 2-3 years, depending on their degree. Those with a Bachelor’s or Postgraduate degree get a 2-year visa, while those with a Ph.D. get a 3-year visa. People with an HPI visa cannot make it last longer, but they can try to get a different visa if they qualify.

Do I have to meet the English language requirement to get a UK Dependant visa?

The applicant must be able to meet the English language requirements (individuals who come from a majority English-speaking country like the United States are considered to meet this requirement)

Can High Potential individual visa UK bring dependants?

If you have an HPI visa, you can bring your spouse or partner and children to the UK. Your eligible dependants can include your husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner (if you have been in a relationship for at least two years) and your children if they are under 18.

Does a high-potential individual visa lead to settlement?

While on the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, individuals can change to other permitted visa categories like Skilled Worker, Start-up, Scale-up, Innovator, or Global Talent visas before the visa expires. 

What is the age limit for an HPI visa?

Unlike the Youth Mobility Scheme, there is no upper age limit for a High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, and the route is available to all nationalities. However, applicants for the HPI visa must be at least 18 years old to apply.

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