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High Potential Individual Visa

High Potential Individual

The high potential individual visa (HPI) is for international graduates who have within the last 5 years obtained a degree-level qualification from a university on the Global Universities List. It allows you to work in the UK for 2 or 3 years, depending on the number of points you secure. It is not a route to settlement, but you can bring your dependants, and you can switch to another visa if eligible.

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What you can do

  • Live and work in the UK for 2 or 3 years

  • Be self-employed

  • Bring your dependants

  • Volunteer

  • Leave the UK and return without issue

  • Switch to a different visa

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What you can't do

  • Receive public funds

  • Extend your HPI visa

  • Work as a professional sportsperson

  • Study, unless your course is not eligible for a student visa

  • Settle in the UK

Requirements

requirements

Valid Passport

You must have a valid passport to apply.

Academic Qualification

You must have been awarded a qualification within the last 5 years from a university on UKVI's Global Universities List. Your qualification must be equivalent to a UK bachelors or postgraduate degree.

Bachelors degrees, postgraduate degrees, and PhD or doctorate qualifications from UK universities are not eligible for the HPI visa.

English Language

You must prove your English language ability to at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This can be done by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) or, if you have an academic qualification taught in English, by applying to have your qualification verified by Ecctis for either £210 or £252.

English Language Exemption

Applicants who are nationals of any of the following countries do not need to provide their knowledge of English:

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Canada

  • New Zealand

  • Australia

  • Dominica

  • St Kitts and Nevis

  • The Bahamas

  • Grenada

  • St Lucia

  • Barbados

  • Guyana

  • St Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Belize

  • Jamaica

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • The British Overseas Territories

  • Malta

  • USA

Finances

Unless you have already been in the UK for 12 months or longer, you will need to show you have at least £1,270 available to you when you arrive in the UK. Additionally, you may have to pay the Ecctis qualification check mentioned above.

Additional

You may require a tuberculosis test depending on which country you are applying from. You could also be required to provide a criminal record certificate. 

Global Universities List

Global Universities List

Qualifications Awarded Between
1 November 2018 and 31 October 2019

  • Australian National University 

  • California Institute of Technology 

  • Carnegie Mellon University 

  • Columbia University 

  • Cornell University 

  • Duke University 

  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 

  • ETH Zurich 

  • Harvard University 

  • Heidelberg University 

  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 

  • Johns Hopkins University 

  • Karolinska Institute 

  • Kyoto University 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

  • McGill University 

  • National University of Singapore 

  • New York University 

  • Northwestern University 

  • Peking University 

  • Princeton University

  • PSL Université Paris 

  • Stanford University

  • Technical University of Munich 

  • Tsinghua University 

  • University of British Columbia 

  • University of California, Berkeley 

  • University of California, Los Angeles 

  • University of California, San Diego 

  • University of Chicago US

  • University of Hong Kong

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • University of Melbourne

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Tokyo

  • University of Toronto

  • University of Washington

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Yale University

Qualifications Awarded Between
1 November 2019 and 31 October 2020

  • Australian National University 

  • California Institute of Technology 

  • Carnegie Mellon University 

  • Columbia University 

  • Cornell University 

  • Duke University 

  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 

  • ETH Zurich 

  • Harvard University 

  • Heidelberg University 

  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 

  • Johns Hopkins University 

  • Karolinska Institute 

  • Kyoto University 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

  • McGill University 

  • Nanyang Technology University

  • National University of Singapore 

  • New York University 

  • Northwestern University 

  • Peking University 

  • Princeton University

  • Stanford University

  • Tsinghua University 

  • University of British Columbia 

  • University of California, Berkeley 

  • University of California, Los Angeles 

  • University of California, San Diego 

  • University of Chicago US

  • University of Hong Kong

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • University of Melbourne

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Tokyo

  • University of Toronto

  • University of Washington

  • Yale University

Qualifications Awarded Between
1 November 2020 and 31 October 2021

  • California Institute of Technology 

  • Columbia University 

  • Cornell University 

  • Duke University 

  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 

  • ETH Zurich 

  • Harvard University 

  • Johns Hopkins University 

  • Karolinska Institute 

  • Kyoto University 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

  • McGill University 

  • Nanyang Technological University

  • National University of Singapore 

  • New York University 

  • Northwestern University 

  • Paris Sciences et Lettres - PSL Research University

  • Peking University 

  • Princeton University

  • Stanford University

  • Technical University of Munich

  • Tsinghua University 

  • University of British Columbia 

  • University of California, Berkeley 

  • University of California, Los Angeles 

  • University of California, San Diego 

  • University of Chicago

  • University of Hong Kong

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • University of Melbourne

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Tokyo

  • University of Toronto

  • University of Washington

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Washington University in St Louis

  • Yale University

Qualifications Awarded Between
1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022

  • California Institute of Technology 

  • Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • Columbia University 

  • Cornell University 

  • Duke University 

  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 

  • ETH Zurich 

  • Harvard University 

  • Johns Hopkins University 

  • Karolinska Institute 

  • Kyoto University 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

  • McGill University 

  • Nanyang Technological University

  • National University of Singapore 

  • New York University 

  • 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 

  • University of California, San Diego 

  • University of Chicago

  • University of Hong Kong

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • University of Melbourne

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • University of Munich

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Tokyo

  • University of Toronto

  • University of Washington

  • Yale University

Qualifications Awarded Between
1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023

  • California Institute of Technology 

  • Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • Columbia University 

  • Cornell University 

  • Duke University 

  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 

  • ETH Zurich 

  • Harvard University 

  • Johns Hopkins University 

  • Karolinska Institute 

  • Kyoto University 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

  • McGill University 

  • Nanyang Technological University

  • National University of Singapore 

  • New York University 

  • Northwestern University 

  • Paris Sciences et Lettres - PSL Research University

  • Peking University 

  • Princeton University

  • Stanford University

  • Technical University of Munich

  • Tsinghua University 

  • University of British Columbia 

  • University of California, Berkeley 

  • University of California, Los Angeles 

  • University of California, San Diego 

  • University of Chicago

  • University of Hong Kong

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • University of Melbourne

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Queensland

  • University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Tokyo

  • University of Toronto

  • University of Washington

  • Yale University

  • Zhejiang University

Qualifications Awarded Between
1 November 2023 and 31 October 2024

  • California Institute of Technology 

  • Columbia University 

  • Cornell University 

  • Delft University of Technology

  • Duke University 

  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 

  • ETH Zurich 

  • Fudan University

  • Harvard University 

  • Johns Hopkins University 

  • Karolinska Institute 

  • Kyoto University 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

  • McGill University 

  • Nanyang Technological University

  • National University of Singapore 

  • New York University 

  • Northwestern University 

  • Paris Sciences et Lettres - PSL Research University

  • Peking University 

  • Princeton University

  • Shanghai Jia Tong University

  • Stanford University

  • Technical University of Munich

  • Tsinghua University 

  • University of British Columbia 

  • University of California, Berkeley 

  • University of California, Los Angeles 

  • University of California, San Diego 

  • University of Chicago

  • University of Hong Kong

  • University of Melbourne

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Tokyo

  • University of Toronto

  • University of Washington

  • Yale University

  • Zhejiang University

The current application fee for a HPI visa is £822. You will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge which is £1,035 per year.

Term & Fees

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You can only stay in the UK on the HPI visa for 2 years. You can stay for 3 years if you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification. It is not possible to extend this visa.

Processing

ukvi processing time

The current processing time for the HPI visa is approximately 8 weeks for applications made from inside the UK or 3 weeks for applications from outside the UK. There is no enhanced service available for a faster decision.

Outcome

Next Steps

If your application for a HPI visa is successful, you will receive a new biometric residence permit confirming the length and conditions of your permission to remain in the United Kingdom.

If your application for a HPI visa is refused, you will receive a refusal letter outlining the reasons. There won't usually be a right of appeal, but you may consider applying for an administrative review if you believe an incorrect decision has been made based on a casework error. 

Related Posts

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