High Potential Individual (HPI) visa
The High Potential Individual (HPI) route is a work route which was introduced on 30 May 2022 and provides a route for international graduates who have been awarded an overseas degree-level academic qualification that is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s or postgraduate degree. The qualification must have been awarded no more than 5 years before their application and be from a university that appears on the Global Universities List (GUL) which covers the date of award.
Your qualification must be at the same level as:
- • a UK bachelor’s degree;
- • a UK postgraduate degree;
- • a UK PhD or doctorate.
- You must apply to Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to check your qualification is valid and at the right level. Ecctis will not check if your university is eligible.
An applicant who is applying for permission to stay must be in the UK on the date of application and must not have, or have last been granted, permission:
• as a Visitor; or
• as a Short-term Student; or
• as a Parent of a Child Student; or
• as a Seasonal Worker; or
• as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or
• outside the Immigration Rules.
An HPI visa usually lasts for 2 years. If you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for 3 years.
High Potential Individual is not a route to settlement in the UK.
With an HPI visa you can:
• work in most jobs;
• look for work;
• be self-employed;
• live in the UK with your partner and children, if they’re eligible;
• do voluntary work;
• travel abroad and return to the UK;
• can only study with an HPI visa if your chosen course is not eligible for a Student visa.
To apply for an HPI visa you must also:
• prove your knowledge of English;
• prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, unless you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months;
• must provide a valid TB certificate with their application, if they have been present within a country listed in Appendix T;
• pay £210 for Ecctis to check your qualification (£252 if you’re applying from the UK);
• pay the £715 application fee;
• pay the healthcare surcharge – this is usually £624 for each year you’ll be in the UK.