HPI Visa UK: Benefits, Eligibility & Application Process

7 minute read
HPI Visa UK: Benefits, Eligibility & Application Process

The HPI Visa stands for High Potential Individual Visa. Its use is an interesting story! Imagine that you have recently graduated or postgraduated from one of the top universities in the world. On top of that, you had a skill-oriented, more practical course that falls under high-demand jobs in the UK. Now, after getting your degree if you want to work in the UK without any prior experience or even a job offer, HPI Visa is your answer. Got a gist? Read on to know more!

Validity of HPI visa UK2 to 3 years
HPI Application Fees £822
HPI Healthcare surcharge Fees£624 for each year of stay 

What is an HPI Visa?

The UK Immigration Department issues several types of visas for individuals with high potential or exceptional talent, which often depend on their specific circumstances and educational qualifications. With an HPI visa, immigrants who have recently completed their higher studies from any top university in the world can come to the UK without any job offer.

It is issued by the immigration department of the UK, providing permission to stay in the UK for a period of at least 2 years. This time duration can be extended by switching to another visa such as a Skilled Worker Visa, also known as the UK PR Visa.

Benefits of an HPI Visa

When one sees a buffet, it is always natural to want to explore more. So, here is what this exclusive buffet of opportunities has to offer besides entry to the UK without a job offer!

  • You will be eligible for jobs in most organizations as a skilled employee.
  • Moreover, you will have the option of becoming self-employed.
  • You can also live in the UK for a minimum of 2 years with your partner and children if they also fulfil the requirements.
  • Also, you can travel to another country and return back to the UK.
  • The employment laws in the UK are transparent for both the employer and employee, which will make your job search quite easy.

Allowances & Restrictions of High Potential Individual Visa UK

Check listed below the allowances & restrictions of HPI visa UK:


  • Work in most of the jobs
  • Search for work
  • Be self-employed
  • Can live with partner and children if they are eligible
  • Do voluntary work
  • Travel in and out of the UK


  • Cannot apply for most benefits or public funds
  • Cannot work as a professional sportsperson
  • Cannot extend this visa
  • Cannot apply to settle permanently in the UK

Duration of Stay

Typically, an HPI visa is valid for two years. It will last for three years if you hold a PhD or another doctoral certification. Additionally, the time of your visa can be extended or switched to another visa type if you successfully find an employer who is ready to sponsor your visa.

Also Read: UK Visa Tracking with GWF Number

Eligibility Criteria for an HPI Visa

The HPI visa program came into effect on the 30th of May 2022. It was issued by the British government to provide organisations and employees with a larger number of talented employees in the UK. However, to be able to apply for an HPI Visa, it’s imperative that you fulfil the eligibility criteria. It includes details of educational qualifications, proficiency in the English language and proof of finances. The table below has all the three requirements elaborated.

Educational QualificationTo avail of this visa, the candidate must have completed their graduation from one of the world-recognised universities. Furthermore, this graduation should have been completed within the last five years of visa application and that too without any backlogs.
Language ProficiencyAs a potential candidate, you need to prove your command of the English language. It can only be done with the help of one of the widely accepted English proficiency tests in the UK. These include IELTS, PTE, Duoling, etc. Lastly, you must attain a minimum of 60% score in these examinations.
Visa Financial RequirementsCandidates must ensure that they are financially strong to support their expenses for staying in the UK while they are unemployed. Candidates are required to have a minimum cash of £1270 (INR 1.3 lacs) while completing their application. This money must have been there in the applicant’s account for the past 28 days.

Universities Qualifying for an HPI Visa

Several universities worldwide are eligible for this visa. However, the qualifying universities can differ based on the year. Hence, it is best to check the official website of the UK government to stay updated. Students who are graduating between the November 1st 2023 and 31st October 2024 must qualify from these universities:

University Country
Columbia UniversityUSA
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)USA
Delft University of TechnologyNetherlands
Cornell UniversityUSA
Duke UniversityUSA
ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)Switzerland
Fudan UniversityChina
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL Switzerland)Switzerland
Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA
Harvard UniversityUSA
Kyoto UniversityJapan
Karolinska InstituteSweden
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)USA
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)Singapore
McGill UniversityCanada
Northwestern UniversityUSA
New York UniversityUSA
Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research UniversityFrance
Princeton UniversityUSA
Peking UniversityChina
Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityChina
Technical University of MunichGermany
Stanford UniversityUSA
Tsinghua UniversityChina
University of California, BerkeleyUSA
University of British ColumbiaCanada
University of California, San DiegoUSA
University of California, Los AngelesUSA
University of Michigan-Ann ArborUSA
University of ChicagoUSA
University of Hong KongHong Kong
University of Michigan-Ann ArborUSA
University of MelbourneAustralia
University of TokyoJapan
University of PennsylvaniaUSA
Yale UniversityUSA
University of WashingtonUSA
University of TorontoCanada
Zhejiang UniversityChina

How to Apply for an HPI Visa?

The application process for the HPI visa is quite similar to the other work visa applications. Also, the application form is online and applicants shall fill out all the details mentioned on the application form thoroughly. The application will be rejected in case of misinformation. Moreover, the visa processing fee will not be refunded.

After entering your details in the application form, nextly, pay the visa application fee and upload the required documents such as your latest passport-size photo and scanned copy of biometrics (fingerprints). Follow the below-given instructions to apply for an HPI visa.

  • Visit the website of the HPI visa at https://www.gov.uk/high-potential-individual-visa/.
  • On the webpage, look for the Apply Now option and click on it.
  • Fill out the application process by entering all the information.
  • After you’ve entered the details, make sure to cross-check, in case you’ve entered any wrong information.
  • The next step is to pay the visa application fee, which is  £252 (INR 25.8K).
  • Upload all the necessary documents in the required format.
  • Lastly, submit your visa application form after carefully uploading your documents. Soon, you’ll receive a confirmation message.

Watch the video below to learn more about the HPI visa application

Credit: @angelazheng535

Also Read – How to Apply for Visa?

Documents Required

Applications should submit their documents online in the form of a PDF along with the application form. Here’s a list of all the documents required for an HPI visa.

  • A valid passport or another international travel document highlighting your identity and nationality.
  • Proof of English proficiency score in any following tests; IELTS, PTE, Duolingo, etc.
  • The statement provided to you by Ecctis while verifying your qualifications.
  • Applicant’s biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • You will have to show online proof of your immigration status if you are switching from another visa type.
  • Furthermore, if you are bringing your partner or children with you, then you must provide proof of your relationship with them.

*Note – If any candidate is not having their documents in English or Welsh, you need to provide a certified translation.

Cost of High Potential Individual Visa UK

The candidate’s partner or children and the candidate themselves will have to pay the:

  • Application fees – £822
  • Healthcare surcharge for each year of stay – £624
    • 2 years – it will cost £1,248
    • 3 years – it will cost £1,872

Validity of High Potential Individual Visa UK

The validity of high potential individual visa UK is usually 2 years however if you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification then the validity is 3 years. The validity of the HIP visa cannot be extended but switched to any other visa such as a skilled worker visa. 

Processing Time for HPI Visa

Time taken for approval if the HPI visa is different for applicants depending on whether they apply from within or outside the UK. It takes around 8 weeks to get the visa for those applying from within the UK whereas 3 weeks for those applying from outside.

For this, you have to certify your identity and submit supporting documentation with your application. After a rigorous procedure of online application, identification, verification and submission of supporting documentation, you will receive your visa decision.

Also Read Types of UK Visa for India Students


What is an HPI Visa?

HPI Visa also known as High Potential Individual Visa is available to recent graduates from top universities who wish to work, look for work in the UK.

How to get a High Potential Individual visa UK?

An HPI allows an individual to stay in the UK for at least two years. To apply for an HPI the candidate must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the past 5 years.

What is the validity of the HPI Visa?

Usually, the HPI Visa is valid for two to three years. Two years in the case of a PhD and in the case of other doctoral qualifications the validity is 3 years.

Is the UK HPI visa worth it?

Yes. HPI visa is worth it if you have a PhD qualified. With an HPI visa, you can stay in the UK for 2-3 years. The visa is given to the brightest candidates worldwide. For this reason, the visa is extremely flexible and comes with several benefits. For example, be eligible for working in most jobs and for doing voluntary work. 

We hope you now understand what is high high potential individual visa, its eligibility criteria, the application process, etc. Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below, or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and we will guide you on your dream journey!

Relevant Reads:

Post-Study Work Visa in Ireland for Indian StudentsTier 2 Visa UK – A Comprehensive Overview
A Practical Guide to USA Work PermitsHow to Get PR in Ireland After Study?
How to Get a PR in France?Is it Easy to Get a PR in the UK?

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *