High Potential Individual Visa Requirements Guide

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high potential individual visa requirements

The High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa is open to graduates of global elite universities outside the UK to live and work in the United Kingdom without the need for visa sponsorship.

In this guide, we explain the requirements to apply for the High Potential Individual visa and answer frequently asked questions for applicants.

 

What is the High Potential Individual Visa?

The High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa is a new immigration route that allows recent graduates (within the past five years) of eligible global elite universities to live and work in the United Kingdom. Initially, the lists of global elite universities were published from 2016 to 2021. The list of global elite universities will be posted yearly based on higher education institutions from the Top 50 rankings, which appeared on two or more lists.

You do not need to have an existing job offer to come to the United Kingdom on a High Potential Individual Visa, and you can work for any employer or as a self-employed person. This provides ultimate flexibility for talented graduates seeking to build a career in the United Kingdom. Whilst the route is temporary – two years for graduates with a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree and three years for graduates with a PhD or doctoral degree – you may be eligible to switch to an alternative route within the UK, such as the Skilled Worker Visa.

 

Who is eligible for the High Potential Individual Visa?

To be eligible for the High Potential Individual route, you must have graduated from an eligible international university within the past five years. This list of universities includes the top-ranked universities in the world outside the United Kingdom are listed at the end of this article.

You must have graduated from one of the eligible universities with a qualification at the same level as one of the following:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from the United Kingdom
  • A Postgraduate degree from the United Kingdom
  • A PhD or Doctoral degree from the University Kingdom

 

High Potential Individual Visa requirements

The requirements for the High Potential Individual Visa include the following:

  • You must have graduated from an eligible global elite university within the past five years with a bachelor, postgraduate, PhD, or doctoral degree
  • You must obtain an Ecctis qualification statement
  • You must be able to prove your knowledge of the English language
  • You must have at least £1,270 in savings unless you have been in the UK for at least 12-months

 

You cannot apply for a High Potential Individual Visa if you are in the United Kingdom on a Graduate Visa or if you are a Doctorate Extension Scheme student.

How to apply for the High Potential Individual Visa

First, you will first need to determine if you are eligible for a High Potential Individual Visa based on your educational qualification and your university. You should consult the annual list from the year you graduated from university. If your university is included on the annual list, you can proceed with your application. You can only apply for this route within five years of graduating from university.

Second, you will need to apply for an Ecctis qualification statement. This statement declares to the Home Office that your international qualification is of similar quality and level as a British degree. At the point of application for your qualification statement, you will need to provide Ecctis with documents such as:

  • A valid passport or travel document
  • Final degree certificate(s)
  • Final transcript(s)
  • Medium of Instruction letter(s)
  • Certified translations of documents, if not originally in English

 

You will then be issued with an Ecctis qualification statement. You cannot submit the online application for the High Potential Individual Visa without this document.

Third, you must submit the online application for the High Potential Individual Visa. At the end of the online application, you will pay the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. After paying these fees, your online application is officially submitted.

Fourth, you must provide all required supporting documents and submit biometric details to confirm your identity. You will either need to attend an in-person appointment at a visa application centre or use the UK Immigration: ID Check mobile phone application – you will be told which route to use when you submit your application. After providing all supporting documentation and submitting biometric details to confirm your identity, your full application is officially submitted to the Home Office. You must now wait for a decision on your application before travelling to the United Kingdom if you apply from outside the UK.

 

High Potential Individual Visa costs

You will be required to pay several associated fees for an HPI visa. These include the following fees per applicant:

  • Application fee – £715
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee – £624 per year of visa (£1,248 for a two-year visa, £1,872 for a three-year visa)
  • Ecctis qualification statement – £210 if applying outside the UK, £252 if applying inside the UK

 

You must also have at least £1,270 in savings to support yourself when you arrive in the United Kingdom. You will require additional evidence of savings if you intend to bring family members as dependents.

 

High Potential Individual Visa application supporting documents

You will need to provide a number of supporting documents to the Home Office with your High Potential Individual Visa application. This list is not exhaustive, but you may be required to submit the following documents based on your personal circumstances:

  • A valid passport or travel document
  • An Ecctis qualification statement – either an ​​Academic Qualification Level Statement and English Language Proficiency Statement or an Academic Qualification Level Statement
  • Your current Biometric Residence Permit, if you are currently living in the UK
  • Tuberculosis test results, if you currently live in a country from which the Home Office requires these results
  • Proof of savings – at least £1,270 for a single person. If you intend to bring your spouse/partner and children, you will require evidence of more savings
  • Proof of your relationship with your spouse/partner and children, such as marriage certificates and birth certificates

 

Please note that all documents must be provided in English or Welsh. Any documents that are not originally in English or Welsh will require certified translations along with the original documents.

 

High Potential Individual Visa processing times

After submitting your online application, proving your identity and biometric details, and submitting supporting documents, you will need to wait for a decision on your High Potential Individual Visa application. The amount of time it takes for your High Potential Individual Visa application to process will depend on if you apply from outside the UK or inside the UK.

If you apply for a High Potential Individual Visa from outside the UK, you will generally receive a decision within three weeks.

If you apply for a High Potential Individual Visa from inside the UK, you will generally receive a decision within eight weeks.

 

High Potential Individual Visa extensions

The length of your High Potential Individual Visa depends on the type of degree you completed. If you graduated from an eligible university with a bachelor’s degree or postgraduate degree, your visa would last for two years. If you graduated from an eligible university with a PhD or doctoral degree, your visa would last for three years. You cannot extend your High Potential Individual Visa, but you may be able to switch to a different visa from within the UK if eligible.

 

High Potential Individual Visa dependants

You can bring your spouse, partner, and children to live in the UK with you as your dependents if they are eligible. You will need to submit separate PBS Dependent Visa applications for each of your dependents and pay the required application and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fees.

 

Does the High Potential Individual Visa lead to settlement in the UK?

No, the High Potential Individual Visa does not lead to settlement (also known as permanent residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the United Kingdom. However, you may switch to a different route whilst in the UK on an HPI Visa that does lead to settlement, such as a Skilled Worker Visa. You would then need to follow the correct route to settlement before becoming eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

 

Global universities lists

Global Universities List 2021 for graduates between 1 November 2021 to 31 October 2022:

Alphabetical Rankings Lists 2021 (establishments from Top 50 rankings which appeared on 2 or more lists) Country
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA
Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) 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 (NYU) USA
Northwestern University USA
Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University France
Peking University China
Princeton University USA
Stanford University USA
Tsinghua University China
University of British Columbia Canada
University of California, Berkeley USA
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) USA
University of California, San Diego USA
University of Chicago US USA
University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
University of Melbourne Australia
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA
University of Munich (LMU Munich) Germany
University of Pennsylvania USA
University of Texas at Austin USA
University of Tokyo Japan
University of Toronto Canada
University of Washington USA
Yale University USA

 

Global Universities List 2020 for graduates between 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021:

Alphabetical Rankings Lists 2020 (establishments from Top 50 rankings which appeared on 2 or mores lists) Country
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA
Columbia University USA
Cornell University USA
Duke University USA
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 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 (NYU) 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 (Technische Universität München) Germany
Tsinghua University China
University of British Columbia Canada
University of California, Berkeley USA
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) USA
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 Texas at Austin USA
University of Tokyo Japan
University of Toronto Canada
University of Washington USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison USA
Washington University in St Louis USA
Yale University USA

Global Universities List 2019 for graduates between 1 November 2019 to 31 October 2020:

Alphabetical Rankings Lists 2019 (establishments from Top 50 rankings which appeared on 2 or mores lists) Country
Australian National University Australia
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA
Carnegie Mellon University USA
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
Heidelberg University Germany
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
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
Peking University China
Princeton University USA
Stanford University USA
Tsinghua University China
University of British Columbia Canada
University of California, Berkeley USA
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) USA
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) USA
University of Chicago US 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 Texas at Austin USA
University of Tokyo Japan
University of Toronto Canada
University of Washington USA
Yale University USA

 

Global Universities List 2018 for graduates between 1 November 2018 to 31 October 2019:

Alphabetical Rankings Lists 2018 (establishments from Top 50 rankings which appeared on 2 or mores lists) Country
Australian National University (ANU) Australia
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA
Carnegie Mellon University USA
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
Heidelberg University Germany
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
Johns Hopkins University USA
Karolinska Institute Sweden
Kyoto University Japan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA
McGill University Canada
National University of Singapore Singapore
New York University USA
Northwestern University USA
Peking University China
Princeton University USA
PSL Université Paris (Paris Sciences & Lettres) France
Stanford University USA
Technical University of Munich Germany
Tsinghua University China
University of British Columbia Canada
University of California, Berkeley USA
University of California, Los Angeles USA
University of California, San Diego USA
University of Chicago US 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 Texas at Austin USA
University of Tokyo Japan
University of Toronto Canada
University of Washington USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison USA
Yale University USA

 

 

Global Universities List 2017 for graduates between 1 November 2017 to 31 October 2018:

Alphabetical Rankings Lists 2017 (establishments from Top 50 rankings which appeared on 2 or mores lists) Country
Australian National University (ANU) Australia
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA
Carnegie Mellon University USA
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
Heidelberg University Germany
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
Johns Hopkins University USA
Karolinska Institute Sweden
Kyoto University Japan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA
McGill University Canada
National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore
New York University USA
Northwestern University USA
Peking university China
Princeton University USA
Stanford University USA
Technical University of Munich Germany
Tsinghua University China
University of British Columbia Canada
University of California, Berkeley USA
University of California, Los Angeles USA
University of California, San Diego USA
University of Chicago USA
University of Hong Kong (HKU) 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 Tokyo Japan
University of Toronto Canada
University of Washington USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison USA
Washington University in St. Louis USA
Yale University USA

 

Global Universities List 2016 for graduates between 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017:

Alphabetical Rankings Lists 2016 (establishments from Top 50 rankings which appeared on 2 or mores lists) Country
Australian National University (ANU) Australia
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA
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
Heidelberg University Germany
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
Johns Hopkins University USA
Karolinska Institute Sweden
Kyoto University Japan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA
McGill University Canada
National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore
New York University USA
Northwestern University USA
Peking University China
Princeton University USA
Stanford University USA
Technical University of Munich Germany
Tsinghua University China
University of British Columbia Canada
University of California, Berkeley USA
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) USA
University of California, San Diego USA
University of California, Santa Barbara USA
University of Chicago USA
University of Hong Kong (HKU) 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 Texas at Austin USA
University of Tokyo Japan
University of Toronto Canada
University of Washington USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison USA
Yale University USA

 

 

High Potential Individual Visa FAQs

What is a High Potential Individual Visa?

The High Potential Individual Visa is a new immigration route that allows graduates from global elite universities to live and work in the United Kingdom for a limited time. You must have graduated from an eligible university within the past five years with a UK-equivalent bachelor's, postgraduate, or PhD/doctoral degree.

What is a PBS Visa in the UK immigration system?

A PBS Visa in the UK immigration system is a Points-Based System Visa. Certain categories of visas allow for flexible arrangements and swapping of points to meet eligibility requirements set out by the Home Office.

What is the difference between the High Potential Individual Visa and the Global Talent route?

The main difference between the High Potential Individual Visa and the Global Talent Visa is that High Potential Individuals do not require endorsement. In contrast, Global Talent applicants need endorsement from an eligible body. High Potential Individuals are eligible for their visa based on having graduated from a global elite university. Global Talent applicants are eligible for their visa based on being a leader or emerging leader in their field.

 

Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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