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High Potential Individual (HPI) visa

The High Potential Individual visa was introduced on 30 May 2022. The aim is to attract highly educated individuals who have graduated from leading internationally recognised universities to come and live in the UK, by allowing them to seek employment opportunities including self-employment (not as a professional sportsperson or coach), volunteer, or to study (not if the course is eligible for a student visa), and thereafter to switch into another immigration category and thereby contribute to the UK economy.

The introduction of the High Potential individual visa is also a recognition of the international ‘war on talent’ globally and seeks to place the UK at the forefront of competitiveness by looking to ‘attract and retain the best and brightest.’ The High Potential Individual visa complements other visa categories within the points-based route with the UK looking to introduce more visa routes.

The High Potential Individual visa allows an applicant to bring their dependent partner and children under 18 to the UK.

The High Potential Individual visa cannot be extended, and an individual cannot apply through this route if they have been granted either a:

  • graduate visa
  • Student Doctorate extension
  • have already held the High Potential Individual visa.

The High Potential Individual visa is an attractive visa option given an applicant does not require sponsorship from a third party, are able to work freely, bring family members’ and provides them with opportunities to extend their stay and further their careers.

An application which is declined, can be reviewed through the Administrative Review process or by way of judicial review but with the latter only in rare cases.

If you are looking to come to the UK through the High Potential visa route and require assistance with yours and of course your dependants’ visa application’s, please contact us and one of the immigration team will contact you to discuss your case further.

Please click on the links below for further information on the High Potential visa.


An applicant must:

  • be over 18 years old
  • meet the suitability requirements
  • provide a tuberculosis test certificate, if required
  • comply with police registration requirements if they are nationals from specified countries.

The High Potential Individual visa is a points-based and an applicant needs to score 70 points as follows:

50 points – if their course is listed in the Global Universities List (GUL)

10 points – satisfy an English language requirement

10 points – meet a financial requirement.

Applicants must have either a bachelor’s or a postgraduate degree from one of the top international universities in the world as specified in the GUL within five years of the date of application.

Eligible courses from the GUL can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

Applicants should verify their qualification with ECCTIS as this is a requirement of the process so the Home Office can verify the degree is eligible to score points.

An applicant will need to meet a B1 English language requirement which can be me through one of the following:

  • being a national of a specified English-speaking country
  • having obtained a GCSE, A level, Scottish NVQ level qualification 4, Scottish Advanced Higher in English, if taught in the UK whilst the person had valid immigration permission
  • have a degree taught in a majority English language speaking country or
  • passed an approved English language test at level B1 through an SELT approved provider.

A financial requirement of holding £1270 for 28 days prior to the application will need to be shown unless the applicant has been resident in the UK for at least 12 months in another visa category.

An application for a High Potential Individual visa must be submitted through an online process either in the UK if the applicant has the required permission to switch immigration status, or from overseas. As part of the application process the applicant will need to submit supporting documentation and attend an appointment to provide biometrics.

It may be possible to have the application processed through a priority service subject to availability.

  • £822 application fee
  • £1025 Immigration Health Surcharge fee per year.

Current processing times are 3 weeks from within the UK and 8 weeks for those overseas.

Successful applicants for the High Potential Individual visa will be granted:

  • 2 years permission for degrees up to master’s level
  • 3 years permission for a PhD.

Once granted a High Potential Individual visa an applicant will be able to:

  • work on a full-time basis but not as a professional sportsperson or coach
  • undertake voluntary work
  • study so long as the course is not eligible for a student visa.


A High Potential Individual visa applicant can bring their wife, civil partner or unmarried partner and children under 18 to the UK.

Evidence of the relationship with the main applicant will need to be provided. In the case of an unmarried partner, evidence to show the couple cohabited for at least two years will be required.

The dependants need to meet a financial requirement as follows:

  • £285 for a partner
  • £315 for one child
  • £200 for each additional child.

The visa application fee is £715 and a £624 IHS fee per year per dependant.

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