Your stay in the United Kingdom will be extended for a minimum of two years if you are granted a High Potential Individual (HPI) visa. You may only apply if you’ve received a degree from a qualifying school within the last five years.

This path does not need a work offer as sponsorship. Thus, anybody may apply. You may work or search for a job in the United Kingdom regardless of your degree of experience or education.

Those interested in applying for a High Potential Individual visa can find details about eligibility and the application process here. For more information, contact a US immigration lawyer.


You may only apply for an HPI visa if you have received a degree or other qualifying award from an institution that meets the criteria within the past five years. If you want to apply, you need to have the same qualifications:

  • B.A. from a UK university
  • Graduate-level education in the UK
  • Any level of doctorate conferred in the United Kingdom.

To verify your qualification’s legitimacy and appropriate level, you must submit an application to Ecctis (previously UK NARIC).

Additionally, you should be fluent in spoken, written, and comprehended English. Applicants are often asked to demonstrate their proficiency in English.

If you have previously entered the UK on a Graduate visa or as a Doctorate Extension Scheme student, you will not be eligible to apply for an HPI visa.

Universities that qualify

The Home Office’s Global Universities List denotes those schools that qualify. The applicant’s degree-granting institution must be included on the list for the year in which they earned their degree.

Institutions based in the United Kingdom are disqualified. You may be eligible to apply for a Graduate visa if you are already in the UK on a Student visa.


It is valid for three years if you have a doctorate degree. The validity of your HPI visa cannot be extended once it has expired. If you choose to remain in the UK for an additional period of time, however, and you match the conditions for a different visa category, such as a Skilled Worker visa, you may be allowed to do so.

The HPI visa allows its holders to do the following:

  • Search for employment or start your own business.
  • You should bring along any dependent relatives who may benefit from your presence.
  • Participate in charitable activities.
  • A trip overseas followed by a return to the UK.


  • You will not be eligible for the State Pension or the vast majority of public assistance programs.
  • Pursue a career as an elite athlete.
  • Please grant a visa extension for this traveler.
  • Submit an application to live in the UK permanently.

How To Apply

Obtaining an HPI visa requires an online application. If you are one of the following, your application process will differ:

  • Who are now located outside of the UK but will soon be visiting there
  • You are currently in the United Kingdom and want to change to this visa category.

You must include identification documentation and other supporting materials with your application. One of the following will need to be done:

  • If you are applying for a visa from outside the UK, you must visit a VAC for an appointment.
  • If you are already in the UK, schedule an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.
  • If you are allowed to, you may use the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app to scan your identification.


You must demonstrate sufficient financial resources when applying for an HPI visa.

  • Make sure you have £715 to apply for a visa, which is the same amount whether you’re applying from outside or within the UK.
  • Payment to Ecctis to verify your qualification is required; the fee is £210 from outside the UK and £252 inside.
  • Put up £624 a year for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), or £470 if you’re under 18.
  • To prove you can financially support yourself in the United Kingdom, you’ll need to have at least £1,270 in liquid assets (unless you fall under an exemption category).

Please note that all dependents must also pay the visa application cost and the IHS.

Processing Time

You may expect to hear back about your visa application within three weeks if you are applying from outside the UK and eight weeks if you are applying from inside the UK.

Attending school With an HPI visa

If your intended course of study does not qualify for a Student visa, you will need to apply for an HPI visa instead. You should apply for a student visa if that is what is required to study at your desired institution. If you are investigating or studying controversial issues, you may need to get an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) accreditation.