High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa Application Guidance UK

High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa Application Guidance UK
UK visa application guidance

Helping high-potential graduates to immigrate to the UK through legal consultation and visa application assistance.

High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa Application Guidance UK
UK visa application guidance
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To Simplify Your HPI Visa Application

We understand the HPI visa process can be lengthy and confusing. There are tons of documentation and legal complexities to jump through. And making sense of it all can be challenging.

A High Potential Individual visa will only be approved if you meet the requirements. Our qualified lawyers based in London are experts in HPI visa applications and can help you with legal advice and guidance to make the process effortless.   

  • We take full responsibility for working on your High Potential Individual visa application. 
  • We advise and walk you through your application process at every step.
  • We can help you navigate through the complex application process.

If you require assistance when applying for your High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, we are the right law firm for you. Contact us now to learn more about applying for an HPI visa UK.

What is the High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa in the UK?

The High Potential Individual visa route is for recent graduates of top global universities who want to work or look for work in the UK after successfully completing a qualification to at least the UK bachelor’s degree level or above. This route opened on 30 May 2022.

Not all university graduates are eligible for the HPI visa UK. You need to be from one of the eligible universities. You can check here for the complete list of eligible universities, updated each year. The list is based on university rankings, where universities are in the top 50 global universities on at least two rankings.

Moreover, you need to note that students in universities inside the UK are not eligible for the HPI visa, as they are eligible to apply for a UK graduate visa.

In addition to graduating from a qualifying university, you need to be awarded the degree within the last five years from a university on the list. As you might have noticed, this visa is very different from other visa schemes in the UK. One of the most significant differences is that you don’t need any job offer from a UK employer to get an HPI visa.

What Is the Eligibility Criteria for a HPI Visa?

All High Potential Individual visa applicants must fulfill the eligibility criteria. Many applicants may need clarification when checking the requirements for the HPI visa. 

Partnering with WestBridge Business Immigration can help you make sense of all the little nuances. There are a number of different criteria for the HPI visa application.

These include: 

  • Having a degree issued by a top 50 university in the last five years (the university must be on the list when you were awarded your degree)
  • You must have a degree equivalent to at least a UK bachelors degree or above
  • You must meet the maintenance requirement of being able to support yourself up to the value of £1,270 for at least 28 days continuously
  • Meet the English language requirement to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale

Furthermore, your partner and children under the age of 18 can also join you inside the UK. If your child is over the age of 18 and not leading an independent life, and they are currently inside the UK as your dependent they are also eligible to apply as your dependent. 

Eligible Universities for the High Potential Individual Visa

This list is updated every year based on the top 50 global universities.

There are universities listed from many different countries including the USA, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, China, Singapore, France, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and Germany.

Apart from graduating from a reputed university, you also need to hold a qualifying degree. Your qualification should be equivalent to one of the following:

  • UK Bachelors Degree
  • UK Postgraduate Degree or 
  • UK Doctorate or PhD

You must check whether your qualification is equivalent to any of the above three. You will need to apply to Ecctis to check whether your degree qualifies. 

Ecctis only checks whether your qualification is eligible. This is an important thing to keep in mind as well. It does not check whether the university is eligible.

UK HPI Visa English Language Requirement

As stated above, you need evidence that you can communicate in English to level B1 of CEFR. There are a number of ways you can prove this, including through being a national of a majority English language country, holding a relevant qualification taught in English or taking an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) at an approved centre. 

You must show that you can speak, listen, read and write in English to the required level.

Maintenance Requirements for a HPI Visa

Applicants should have at least £1,270 in their bank account for at least 28 days continuously.  

If your partner and children are coming along, you need to evidence that you can maintain them. Here is how much you need to show to prove that you can support them in the UK:

  • For partners you need to also have £285
  • For your first child you need to also have £315
  • For each additional child you need to also have £200

These figures are in addition to the savings required for yourself.

What Documents Will You Need for a HPI Visa?

Here are the documents you will need when applying for the HPI visa.

  • Documents for proving identity and nationality. 
  • Proof of your English language proficiency
  • Ecctis statements that prove you graduated with a qualifying degree and your evidence that your degree was taught at a listed university

The above documents are common for all candidates. However, in some circumstances, the Home Office might ask you for additional supporting documents. Here is a list of other documents that could be required for an HPI visa.

  • Proof of relationship with your partner and children (only if they are applying with you)
  • Tuberculosis result (if you are coming from one of the listed countries)

The TB test is not required for all countries. 

WestBridge Business Immigration can help you submit all the documents you need when applying for a HPI visa. We have years of experience in UK immigration.

How to Apply for HPI?

Applications for a HPI are done completely online. Fortunately, it makes things a bit easier. Here are the steps you must follow to apply for a HPI visa successfully.

Step 1: ECCTIS Verification

First, you must apply to Ecctis to check whether your university degree qualifies for an HPI visa. 

The fee is £210 if you are outside the UK or £252 if you are inside the UK. ECCTIS will issue you with a certificate verifying your degree and if it was taught in English you can also ask them to verify that it was taught in English.

Step 2: Complete the Online HPI Visa Application Form

The second step is to complete the HPI visa application form online. Remember that you don’t have to finish the form in one sitting. You can save your progress and complete it later.

Step 3: Submission

At this stage you will need to submit it online and pay the relevant fees and schedule your appointment.

Step 4: Attend Your Appointment and Await a Decision

You may need to attend an appointment to submit your biometric information, this depends on your circumstances. Once you have attended your appointment, the Home Office should process your application within approximately 15 working days if outside the UK, or within eight weeks if inside the UK.

How to Apply for HPI From Inside the UK?

You cannot apply for an HPI visa if you are studying or graduated from a university in the UK. If you are already in the UK on another visa, you might be able to switch to an HPI visa. 

If you are in the UK on any of the following visas, you cannot switch to the HPI visa:

  • Graduate visa
  • Immigration bail
  • Domestic worker visa
  • Private household visa
  • Visit visa
  • Short-term student visa
  • Parent of a Child’s Student visa
  • Seasonal worker visa
  • Permitted to stay outside the immigration rules 

Those on other UK visas can switch inside the UK.

Fees for a HPI Visa

The total visa application and healthcare surcharge consist of the following costs:

  • £210 for Ecctis qualification check
  • £715 application fee per applicant
  • Immigration Healthcare surcharge of £624 per year for each person aged 18 or over (including spouses)
  • Immigration Healthcare surcharge of £470 per year for each dependent child aged 18 or under 

Remember that the healthcare surcharge will be counted as such:

  • £1,248 for 2 years
  • £1,872 for 3 years

How Long Will My HPI Visa Be Granted For?

For individuals coming to the UK that have a PhD or other doctoral qualification, your visa will be granted for three years.

For individuals coming to the UK, with a degree below PhD or doctoral qualification, your visa will be granted for two years.

Can You Extend the UK HPI Visa?

Unfortunately, no. You cannot extend the UK HPI visa, unlike other visas. The validity period for the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa is 2 years. If you hold a Ph.D. or any other doctorate-level degree, you can stay for 3 years. 

However, if you wish to stay longer, you can switch to another type of visa. 

Does the High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa Route Count Towards ILR?

The High Potential Individual (HPI) visa does not count towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Therefore, an HPI visa will not lead to a settlement. 

How Can West Bridge Help?

At WestBridge Business Immigration, we take full responsibility for your High Potential Individual (HPI) visa application. We take care of everything from advising on supporting documents, drafting the application submission/cover letter, working with the Home Office on your behalf, and supporting your application.

We are immigration and visa specialists with years of experience. This means we have in-depth expertise and knowledge regarding the HPI visa process. 

We offer fixed fees, so there are no surprise charges at the end. Our clients have a dedicated senior associate providing a comprehensive hand-holding service.

In addition, we provide rapid responses. Our service standard for replying to emails and telephone messages is the next business day.



Q: Is There an Age Limit for the HPI Visa?

There is no specific age limit for the HPI Visa. The program focuses on exceptional talent and abilities rather than age. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria and can demonstrate outstanding achievements in your field, you can apply for the visa regardless of your age.

Q: Is There a Quota or Limit on the Number of HPI Visas Granted Each Year?

Currently, there is no specific quota or limit on the number of HPI Visas granted each year. The program aims to attract exceptional individuals who can make significant contributions to UK society, and we encourage qualified applicants to apply.

Q: Can I Apply for the HPI Visa If I Am Already in the Country on a Different Visa?

Yes, if you are currently residing in the UK on a different visa and meet the eligibility criteria for the HPI Visa, you can apply for a change of status. Our immigration experts will guide you through the process and assist you.

Q: Can I Apply for the HPI Visa If I Have Previously Been Denied a Visa?

If you have previously been denied a visa, it does not automatically disqualify you from applying for the HPI Visa. Each application is evaluated on its own merits. However, it is important to address any previous visa denials and provide additional information or documentation to strengthen your application.

Q: Can I Apply for the HPI Visa If I Have a Criminal Record?

Each visa application is assessed on a case-by-case basis, including any criminal records. While a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from applying, it may be taken into consideration during the evaluation process. It is important to provide full and accurate information about your criminal record in your application and be prepared to provide any relevant documentation or explanations.

Q: Is There a Limit to the Number of Times I Can Apply for the HPI Visa?

There is no specific limit on the number of times you can apply for the HPI Visa. If your initial application is unsuccessful, you can make a new application in the future, provided you still meet the eligibility criteria. It is advisable to carefully review the reasons for the previous rejection and address any shortcomings before submitting a new application.

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