policy monitor

High Potential Individual Visa route open to highly skilled graduates

The High Potential Individual Visa route allows graduates from non-UK top 50 universities to apply for a 2-year UK work Visa if they meet certain requirements. The new visa seeks to attract talent to the UK and participants will have options to move on to longer term employment schemes. Candidates must prove their knowledge of English and that they have sufficient savings to support themselves. This visa route complements other visa programs to allow talent to enter the UK after its leave from the EU.

What: Law

Impactscore: 1

For who: policy makers, graduates, IT companies, HR-professionals

URL: Press Release - HPI Visa requirements


The UK has opened a new visa route for graduates from prestigious non-UK universities. The goal of this High Potential Individual (HPI) visa is to attract talented overseas graduates to the UK to stimulate economic growth and technological advances. A successful applicant will receive a 2-year work visa (3-year for applicants with a PhD). Successful applicants can have their eligible partner and children join them. The visa cannot be extended but applicants have the option to move into long-term employment routes afterwards.

Candidates must meet certain requirements to qualify as a HPI and successfully apply for the visa. Visa candidates must have been awarded a qualification by a top 50 non-UK university in the past 5 years. The qualification must be at the same level as a UK bachelor, postgraduate or PhD degree or doctorate. Candidates do not need a job offer to apply but must prove their knowledge of English (CEFT B1 level) and that they have enough savings to support themselves in the UK (at minimum 1,270 £). Candidates can only apply for an HPI Visa once and can expect a decision on their application within three to eight weeks.

The new patent route is part of the UK’s measures to attract more talented workers to the country in the global race for talent. Alongside this HPI visa, the UK has introduced the Global Business Mobility visa route earlier this year allowing business to easier establish themselves in the UK and expand their presence. The Scale-up visa route will also launch later this year to further support businesses supported in their growth by being able to bring employees to the UK.