High Potential Individual
visa: Global Universities
10 November 2022
On 1 November, the Home Office published the 2022 Global Universities List, which sets out the eligible institutions under the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa route.
The HPI route is a short-term work visa for individuals at an early career stage, who have shown they have potential to benefit the UK workforce. A HPI visa grants successful applicants permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years. During this time, they will be able to work, or look for work, at any skill level without requiring sponsorship from their employer.
Who can apply for a High Potential Individual visa?
From 30 May 2022, you can apply for a HPI visa if you have graduated from an eligible international university in the 5 years immediately before your application. Eligible institutions are listed in the Home Office’s Global Universities List. The awarding institution must appear on the list in respect of the date when you graduated with your degree.
Your qualification must be at the same level as:
- a UK bachelor’s degree
- a UK postgraduate degree
- a UK PhD or doctorate.
You will need to apply through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to check that your qualification is valid and at the right level.
As part of the application process, you will also need to prove your knowledge of English and prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK (unless you have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months).
Which universities are on the list?
The Global Universities List is compiled on an annual basis and is based on rankings of universities from around the world. The full list of institutions on the Global Universities List 2022 are as follows:
- California Institute of Technology (Caltech) – USA
- Chinese University of Hong Kong – Hong Kong
- Columbia University – USA
- Cornell University – USA
- Duke University – USA
- Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL Switzerland) – Switzerland
- ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) – Switzerland
- Harvard University – USA
- Johns Hopkins University – USA
- Karolinska Institute – Sweden
- Kyoto University – Japan
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA
- McGill University – Canada
- Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – Singapore
- National University of Singapore – Singapore
- New York University – USA
- Northwestern University – USA
- Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University – France
- Peking University – China
- Princeton University – USA
- Stanford University – USA
- Technical University of Munich – Germany
- Tsinghua University – China
- University of British Columbia – Canada
- University of California, Berkeley – USA
- University of California, Los Angeles – USA
- University of California, San Diego – USA
- University of Chicago – USA
- University of Hong Kong – Hong Kong
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – USA
- University of Melbourne – Australia
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – USA
- University of Pennsylvania – USA
- University of Queensland (UQ) – Australia
- University of Texas at Austin – USA
- University of Tokyo – Japan
- University of Toronto – Canada
- University of Washington – USA
- Yale University – USA
- Zhejiang University – China
This list of universities relates to qualifications awarded between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023.
UK universities are not eligible under the High Potential Individual route. If you are already in the UK on a Student visa, you may be able to apply for a Graduate visa.
Is the High Potential Individual visa the right route for you?
Before applying for a HPI visa, you should carefully consider whether this is the right route for you based on how long you intend to stay in the UK and what type of work you wish to undertake when you are here.
The HPI visa is a short-term visa which offers successful applicants a one-time, non-extendable period of leave. It does not lead to settlement in the UK.
If your long-term plan is to stay in the UK permanently and eventually apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you will need to switch into another visa category before your HPI visa expires. For example, you could apply to switch to a Skilled Worker visa if you find suitable employment from a UK sponsor and you meet the other eligibility requirements.
The HPI visa does offer some benefits however. Applicants will have the flexibility to work in any job at any skill or salary level without requiring sponsorship from an employer, or be self-employed. This can also benefit employers, who can recruit workers from this niche talent pool into any role, even if they do not hold a sponsor licence.
Support with your visa application
If you are interested in applying for a HPI visa, Smith Stone Walters can help. We will work with you from initial consultation to assess your eligibility right through to managing the application process on your behalf. To find out how we can help, please contact us today.