Applying for a High Potential Individual visa?

A High Potential Individual (HPI) visa gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years. If you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for 3 years.

This route is for recent graduates of top global universities, who wish to work or look for employment in the UK following the successful completion of an eligible overseas course of study equivalent to UK bachelor’s degree level or above. The study must have been with an institution listed on the Global Universities List.

It is no possible to apply for an extension or settlement under this visa category.

Although the HPI application requirements are clear and concise, there are still two points worth noting in your application to prevent a visa refusal.

  1. Graduate time and institution

The Home Office publishes a list of eligible universities for a fixed period between 1 January and 31 October, based on annual university rankings around the world, which means that the universities eligible to apply for the HPI are constantly changing.

However, you must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the last 5 years to apply. As the matter of fact, it is important to calculate your graduation date and make sure that your graduation institution is on the right list.

For instance, Zhejiang University, China is only eligible for 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023 within the past 5 years.

Another example is the Chinese University of Hong Kong which appears on the list of eligible institutions from 1 November 2021 to 31 October 2023. If you have been officially awarded a qualification from this institution on 31 October 2021, unfortunately, you would not be able to apply.

According to the Appendix High Potential Individual HPI 5.1, you must graduate within 5 years from your application date.

  1. Ecctis to certify your degree level

HPI visa is for graduates from non-UK universities, so you must apply to Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to check  that your qualification is recognised as valid and at the right level. Your qualification must be at the same level as at least a UK bachelor’s degree.

There are two types of services offered by ECCTIS: a) High Potential Individual;  b) and High Potential Individual with English proficiency.

If you were to apply to Ecctis to confirm that your qualification was taught in English, the statement is known as an ‘Academic Qualification Level Statement and English Language Proficiency Statement’. Otherwise, it’s called an ‘Academic Qualification Level Statement’.

HPI 6.1. Unless an exemption applies, the applicant must show English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of at least level B1.

HPI 6.2. The applicant must show they meet the English language requirement as specified in Appendix English Language.

HPI 6.3. If the requirements in HPI 6.1. and HPI 6.2. are met, the applicant will be awarded 10 points for meeting the English language requirement.

Please note that for English proficiency, your degree must be taught solely in English. Otherwise, you would need to submit your English language evidence to meet the requirement.


Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

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