To obtain high potential individual visa, you must meet all the high potential individual visa requirements. An HPI visa usually lasts for 2 years.

What is High Potential Individual (HPI) visa?

A High Potential Individual (HPI) visa gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years. To apply, you must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the last 5 years.

As there is no requirement for employer sponsorship like skilled worker visa, the visa offers a less costly and administratively-onerous route for UK employers to recruit and manage overseas talent.

What are the requirements for high potential individual visa?

To apply for High Potential Individual visa you must meet eligibility, validity and suitability requirements, as stipulated in Appendix High Potential Individual.

High potential individual visa requirements

The requirements applicants must meet are split into 3 parts:

  • Validity requirements – these outline the requirements which must be met for
    the application to be valid. They ensure, for example, the applicant has used
    the correct form and supplied any required identity documents. Applications
    which do not meet these requirements are invalid and may be rejected and not
    considered: see guidance on validity.
  • Suitability requirements – these requirements relate to the suitability of the
    applicant to be granted any form of permission, not specifically whether they
    qualify as a High Potential Individual. Applicants must not fall for refusal on
    general grounds under Part 9 of the rules, must not be in breach of
    immigration laws (except for periods of overstaying where paragraph 39E
    applies) and must not be on immigration bail. Applications which do not meet
    the suitability requirements must be refused: see guidance on suitability.
  • Eligibility requirements – these are the main requirements specific to the
    High Potential Individual route. Applications which do not meet these
    requirements must be refused.

High potential individual visa eligibility for entry clearance

To be eligible applicants must be awarded 70 points (for the Global Universities List
degree, English language skills and financial requirement). In some cases (mainly
entry clearance applications), applicants must also satisfy non-points requirements
regarding tuberculosis testing.
The eligibility requirements can be found in the rules as set out below:

  • Entry requirement (HPI 3.1)
  • Tuberculosis certificate (HPI 3.2)
  • Points requirement (overview) (HPI 4.1)
  • Points for Global Universities List degree requirement (mandatory) (HPI 5.1-
  • Points for the English language requirement (mandatory) (HPI 6.1-6.3)
  • Points for the Financial requirement (mandatory) (HPI 7.1-7.4)

Financial requirement

An applicant will automatically meet the financial requirement when they are applying
for permission to stay in the UK, having been in the UK for at least 12 months with
permission on the date of application. See the financial requirement guidance for
details on how to consider this.
When the applicant is applying for entry clearance, or for permission to stay and has
been in the UK for less than 12 months, an applicant can meet the financial
requirement by:

  • providing evidence showing they have held funds of at least £1,270 for a 28-
    day period as set out in the financial requirement guidance.

High Potential Individual Visa English language requirement

To meet the HPI visa English language requirement, applicants must either:

  • Pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) English language qualification at CEFR Level B1 or above in speaking, listening, reading, and writing
  • Have a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, from an educational establishment in the UK that you started when under the age of 18
  • Have a degree-level qualification taught in English – this must be equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D., or
  • Be from an exempt English-speaking country.

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