High Potential Individual Visa

This sponsor-free visa is designed to attract individuals with a qualification from certain universities at the early stages of their careers.

6 February 2024

The High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa is intended to attract overseas individuals who demonstrate exceptional promise, and are at the early stages of their careers. These individuals help to provide an additional pool of talent from which UK employers can recruit.

To be eligible, candidates must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the last five years. Individuals can apply from within or outside the UK. They will not need a sponsor for work purposes and will have a general right to work for most jobs.

The HPI visa usually gives individuals the right to work for two years. If they have a PhD or other doctoral qualification, this will be extended to three years.

After that time, they will not be able to extend their HPI visa but may be able to switch to other routes such as Skilled Worker and the Health and Care Visa

Individuals can only apply for a HPI visa once and cannot apply for a HPI visa if they have already been granted a Graduate Visa.

As part of their application, individuals will need to ensure that they have enough money to pay for fees, £210 for Ecctis (an organisation which provides official UK national agency services on behalf of the UK Government in qualifications, skills, and migration), to check that the qualification is valid, pay the £822 application fee, and be able to support themselves on arrival in the UK with at least £1270 available.

Applicants also have to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) (£2,070 for two years or £3,105 for three years), but if they acquire a role in public sector healthcare they will be eligible for a refund

More information about the HPI visa can be found on GOV.UK.