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High Potential Individual Visa (HPI)

Overview

The High Potential Individual visa was created in 2022 and is a good opportunity to move to the UK if you are eligible. It allows international graduates from selected universities to come live and work in the UK for two years.

Who Qualifies?

International graduates who have been awarded at least a bachelor’s degree from an eligible university. Applicants can apply with their spouse/partner and dependent children.

How Long Can You Stay?

Up to 2 years for bachelor or postgraduate studies, 3 years for a PhD or more. After this period you can stay longer by applying for other work visas.

Processing Time?

After you have submitted your online application, proved your identity and provided the relevant documents, 90% of applicants are processed within 3 weeks.

Cost?

£715

Eligiblity for High Potential Individual Visa

In order to qualify for this visa you must meet several minimum requirements.

  • Achieved at least a bachelor’s degree from an eligible university
  • Qualification awarded within the last 5 years
  • Speak, read, write and understand English to a minimum standard
  • Must not have lived in the UK on a Graduate Visa

Occupations eligible for High Potential Individual Visa

The High Potential Individual visa allows you to work in any job, including self-employed or voluntary.

Occupations do not need to be registered on the skilled occupations list.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT

You must prove that you can speak, read, write and understand English. To do this, you must pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT).

Firstly, if you are a citizen of any of the below nations you are exempt from SELT.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

Students are also exempt if you achieved a bachelor’s degree or higher in an English taught course.

Certification Provider

The International English Language Test (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to the UK.

Your ability to listen, read, write and speak in English will be assessed during the test. IELTS is graded on a scale of 1-9.

You will be required to achieve at least 7.0 overall for this visa and in each category, Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.

High Potential Individual Visa Cost

You must have sufficient funds when applying for the High Potential Individual visa, the total minimum costs will vary depending on your circumstances.

Application Fee

When applying from outside the UK the application fee will be £715.

You will have to pay £252 to Ecctis to validate your qualification.

Healthcare

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) entitles you to use the NHS if you become unwell or have an accident while in the UK.

You have to pay the IHS even if you do not use the NHS or even if you have your own private health insurance, the cost is £624 per year.

If you are applying for a 2-year visa you will have to pay £624 each year, therefore you will have to pay a total of £1248.

If you are applying for a 3-year visa you will have to pay £624 each year, therefore you will have to pay a total of £1872.

Sufficient Funds

You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK, a bank statement will suffice.

The financial requirement is that you show you have enough money for your living costs for yourself and dependants while you move to the UK.

You do not need to show funds it you have been living in the UK for 12 months or more with permission on the date of application.

Documentation required for High Potential Individual Visa

You must bring relevant documentation that will require some preparation before arriving in the UK. Although, This will vary depending on your occupation, nationality and length of stay.

  • A valid passport for the entirety of the visa
  • Proof of your knowledge of English
  • Bank statement proving sufficient funds
  • Proof from Ecctis that your qualification is valid

Criminal Record Certificate

If you are applying for certain jobs mostly in the public sector such as healthcare, welfare and education sectors. You will need to provide a criminal record certificate for any country in which, since the age of 18, you have been present for 12 months or more in the 10 years before the date of your application.

Identity

For most applicants you must prove your identity by booking an appointment at a Visa Application Centre in your current country. The appointment will include collecting your fingerprints, facial photograph and signature. The UK government website has a list of addresses for each eligible country.

Can I bring my family?

This visa will allow family members to join the main applicant in the UK, they are known as “dependants”. You don’t have to be a permanent resident or have an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK to bring your family members. The cost for each adult dependant is £285, £315 for one child and £200 for additional children as of July 2023.

Dependants over 18 can work full time in any profession throughout with no restrictions. The length of time allowed to stay is the same as the main applicants work visa.

Can this lead to British citizenship?

This visa does not count towards becoming a British citizen, only other work visas will contribute towards this. The High Potential Individual visa however does allow you to work and build relationships with employers who will sponsor you after the visa ends. This is an advantage over applicants who have never worked in the UK and are applying abroad.

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