A High Potential Individual (HPI) visa gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years. To apply you must have obtained a qualification from an eligible university within the last 5 years.
What is the High Potential Individual Visa?
The High Potential Individual Visa is aimed at highly skilled and academically elite migrants. In particular international graduates from the world’s most prestigious universities who can work in Britain without needing a job offer.
This route is designed to make it easier for established UK businesses and organizations to recruit the talent they need from abroad. Particularly in digital technology, vaccine breakthrough or other sectors.
Who is eligible for the High Potential Individual Visa?
To be eligible for the High Potential Individual Visa, you must meet the following requirements:
You have obtained a qualification from an eligible university within the last five years. You can check eligible universities depending on the month and year you received your qualification on the UK government website.
- Are you older than 18?
- You have a proficiency in the English language equal to at least CEFR level B1 (or IELTS 4.0).
- You have sufficient financial means to support yourself without relying on public funds.
- You have not been granted permission under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme as a graduate or high potential individual.
What are the requirements for a High Potential Individual Visa to the UK?
When going down the High Potential Individual Visa route, it is important to meet all the visa criteria. This can help you streamline the application process. The criteria you must meet for this visa include the following:
- Are you older than 18
- You can prove that you have a tuberculosis certificate
- Within the last five years you have received a university-level academic qualification abroad from an institution ranked as a top university abroad or in the UK
- You have not previously received authorization under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme, as a graduate or high-potential individual
- You can speak English at CEFR level B1, equivalent to IELTS 4.0
- You can support yourself financially and will not rely on public funds
The most important thing you need for this immigrant visa category is your college degree. Ultimately, you will need to demonstrate that you obtained a degree abroad. This qualification must have been awarded to you within five years of applying for the visa.
Please note that your degree must be from one of the top universities on the global universities list. This list is usually published by the UK Home Office. There are three lists in particular that you should take into account each year when it comes to their college rankings. These are:
- The academic ranking of world universities
- Times Higher Education World University Rankings
- •Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings
If you hold one of these qualifications and can provide confirmation from Ecctis that the qualification meets the required standards of a UK bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate, it will likely be much easier to get approved for the High Potential Individual Visa for The UK. . Ecctis can demonstrate that you have an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification, as well as when you were awarded the qualification.
If you are unsure whether this is the right route for you, if you wish to move to the UK via an academic route, you could instead speak to your immigration lawyer about deciding to switch to the graduate immigration route. You may be eligible for this visa if you are an overseas student who has completed a degree in the UK.
Your high-potential individual visa lawyer can advise you on which visa route is best.
What documents are required for the UK High Potential Individual Visa?
Before completing your application for the UK High Potential Individual Visa, you need to ensure you have all the documentation ready to send to the Visas and Immigration team within the Home Office.
Not only should you have the essentials ready, including your birth certificate and passport, but you should also have a physical copy of your qualifications in hand. This way you can demonstrate that you have studied at one of the best universities and that you have graduated.
You may also want to look for a reference (or two!) to support your application to demonstrate that you have performed well during your academic years. Try scanning your degree and overall grades. This will allow you to ensure you always have them available to send.
If you are a recent graduate and intend to try to live in the UK through entry clearance or as a high-potential individual, you will need to demonstrate that you can understand the English language:
- Have passed a professional English language exam
- Be a citizen of an English-speaking country
- Already have a degree in English
- Have achieved GCSEs/Scottish Highers/A Levels through the UK education system
- Have a B1 level of requirements for settling in the UK
That said, try to provide as much evidence as possible for your application. This way, your lawyer will be able to help make the process go more smoothly and you can get an answer as quickly as possible.
How to apply for the High Potential Individual Visa?
Follow the steps below to apply for the High Potential Individual Visa:
- Apply online. You must apply via the link on the Home Office webpage. You will need to select where you will live in the UK once you arrive, your passport and select the visa application center in your country where you will send your biometric information.
- Upload the required documents in the online application form. You can scan documents or photograph them. When you upload photos of documents, they must be PNG, JPG, JPEG, or PDF. A list of required documents will be displayed on the online application platform.
- Book an appointment at the visa application center. You must make an appointment to provide your biometric data (photo and fingerprints). You can find the VAC closest to you by checking the Find a Visa Application Center section on the UK Government website.
- Pay the required fees. If you cannot pay your taxes online, you must go to the nearest visa application center.
Provide additional documents. If you have been asked to provide supporting documents, you can bring them to your appointment or upload them online.
What happens after I apply?
After applying for the High Potential Individual Visa, you will receive a response on whether your application has been approved. If you receive a positive response, you will get:
- A sticker that is added to your passport (if you have provided your biometric information at a visa application centre).
- Access to view your immigration status information online if you use the smartphone app to prove your identity.
How much does it cost?
When you apply for the High Potential Individual Visa you have to pay ECCTIS to check that your qualification is valid (£252 if applying from the UK) and also a £715 application fee and surcharge. This is usually £624 for each year you are in the UK. This is in addition to the £1270 funds that must be available to you, unless you are exempt.